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Taser use by B.C. police down 87 per cent since Dziekanski incident

Mounties approach the scene where Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski was waiting before stunning him with a taser in October 2007.

Paul Pritchard/Handout

Taser use by police in British Columbia is down 87 per cent since Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver's airport in October 2007 after repeated taser shocks by RCMP officers.

A provincial all-party government committee examining taser policy since the Polish immigrant's death heard police used their tasers 640 times in 2007, compared with 85 taser deployments last year.

Assistant deputy justice minister Clayton Pecknold says it's obvious police are limiting their use of tasers when it comes to incidents when police resort to force.

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Justice Ministry officials told the committee police appear to be relying more heavily on their verbal skills and physical tools other than tasers when dealing with potentially dangerous situations.

Ministry officials say police shootings haven't increased since the downturn in taser use.

The committee is meeting to assess the status of recommendations from retired judge Thomas Braidwood's two-pronged public inquiry looking into Dziekanski's death

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