Officer criticized for using Taser

An Edmonton police officer has been criticized by a judge for zapping a suspect with his Taser because the man swatted his hand away.

An Edmonton police officer has been criticized by a judge for zapping a suspect with his Taser because the man swatted his hand away.

Calgary Judge Bruce Fraser ruled it was “excessive force” on the part of Const. Neil Thompson.

The ruling led to the acquittal of Shaun Paul Dianocky on a charge of assaulting a police officer.

Fraser said he was not against the user of Tasers, but felt Thompson and his partner, Const. V. Pipke, should have been able to physically subdue Dianocky.

Fraser said Tasers should not be used “just because it is easier or less physically exerting.” Putting 50,000 volts of electricity into a person’s body can be injurious and should not be used as a first line of control, he said.

Court heard the two officers had responded to a domestic dispute. When they arrived, Dianocky was yelling and swearing. Thompson tried to put his hand on his shoulder to calm him.

Dianocky swatted Thompson’s hand away and was pushed into a chair by Pipke who used a hand stun to his head. Dianocky was then zapped with a Taser by Thompson.