Thursday, January 31, 2008

Canadian Police paid in stock by TASER International

Taser is in the news again. This time Thomas Smith, Taser stun gun manufacturer, was grilled by MPs on Parliament Hill. The Public Safety commission was questioning Mr. Smith as part of study stemming from death of Robert Dziekanski.

Deadly Tasers

OTTAWA — With his company under intense scrutiny following a high-profile death, and with a potentially lucrative Canadian business deal on the horizon, the CEO of Taser International vigorously defended his company's signature stun gun on Parliament Hill yesterday. [...]

The committee's study of tasers, and in turn Mr. Smith's appearance, were in large part prompted by the case of Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died last October after RCMP officers tasered him at Vancouver International Airport.

Mr. Dosanjh asked Mr. Smith whether he was suggesting that tasers played absolutely no role in the 300 or so North American deaths that occurred after the [use of one or more Tasers] in the past few years. Mr. Smith said the use of tasers was deemed a contributing factor in [the deaths of] about 30 cases.
Victoria Police Darren Laur paid with TASER stock
Here's another reason why the police love their Taser so much:
It was during subsequent questioning about Taser International's financial relationship with Canadian police officers that Mr. Smith revealed TASER International had paid two Canadian officers for services.

One of those officers, Darren Laur of the Victoria B.C police, was compensated with Taser stock after designing a holster for the device. However, it was not publicly known that a second officer was paid until yesterday's hearing. After the session, Mr. Smith said he believes the second officer was from a Montreal police force and was paid to provide taser training in Europe because he could speak French.

- Wikipedia: Taser International
- Globe and Mail: Taser CEO grilled by public safety committee
- Getting it Right: Why the Police love their Tasers so much


leftdog said...

Great post on this topic. How convienient to 'pay' people in stock which provides immediate 'buy in' to the product. Amazing.

Erik said...

"Convenient" indeed. These Taser people are sooooooo smart.

The CBC had some good video on the issue too:
The Truth about Taser safety; bottom of the page.

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