Source: CBC.ca

A coalition of politicians and community leaders is calling for a moratorium on the use of Tasers by Montreal's police force, arguing the stun guns are too lethal.

The group's renewed call for the ban comes in the wake of recent high-profile incidents of people dying after being jolted by the electroshock weapons.

In October, 39-year-old Quebecer Quilem Registre died days after Montreal police stunned him six times with the device in order to subdue him. Police said he showed aggressive behaviour.

Last Thursday, 45-year-old Nova Scotian Howard Hyde also died after he was shocked by corrections officials at a prison in Dartmouth, N.S.

Reports since 2001 of more than a dozen Taser-related deaths in Canada suggest the devices are fatal, said Quebec NDP MP Thomas Mulcair, who is among the elected officials on Montreal's anti-Taser coalition.

"Tasers are not a safe substitute for the use of firearms. They should be regarded at the same level," Mulcair said. "Tasers turn off human beings and they have an unfortunate side-effect: they cause death. The 17 deaths now recorded in Canada are ample proof of that."

A Quebec government task force recently rejected calls for a moratorium, saying there is no proof that Tasers kill.


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