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Kelowna  

RCMP apologize for tasering senior

Kelowna RCMP have apologized to a man who was tasered during an altercation with a police officer last month.

John Peters, 68, was tasered twice after he got into a verbal exchange with a police officer during a traffic dispute on November 5th in downtown Kelowna.

According to RCMP, Peters who delivers papers for the Capital News, was told by the officer to move his vehicle because he was blocking traffic. Peters refused to move his vehicle and the officer demanded he provide identification because he was going to get a traffic ticket. Peters drove away. Police pulled him over and attempted to arrest him for obstruction and he became combative.

Peters was tasered once while sitting in his car and again when he got out of the vehicle.

Kelowna Superintendent, Bill McKinnon, says the officer had the right to use his taser, but made a mistake when he deployed it while Peters was in the vehicle.

"We determined that the use of the Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW) while Mr. Peters remained seated in the driver's seat of his vehicle was inappropriate."

McKinnon says he's apologized to Peters and the officer is facing disciplinary action.

"Would the general public find the actions of this member to be disgraceful? That's why I've asked for a code of conduct review because I believe that the general public would find the actions of this member to be disgraceful, causing embarrassment to this organization."

McKinnon says disciplinary options include firing the officer, but adds that the member will likely receive a written reprimand which stays on the member's file for the remainder of his career.

McKinnon says the officer, who has been on the force for four years, is embarrassed about the incident.

"I would suggest he's embarrassed. He's made a mistake. We all make mistakes and we learn from them."

McKinnon would not release the officer's name.

He says the same officer and Peters had a run-in prior to the taser incident. He says it happened last May and doesn't believe it played a role in what happened on November 5th.

McKinnon says Peters will not be facing charges for obstruction and that to the best of his knowledge, Peters has not launched legal action against the RCMP.


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