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Brandon police use taser on 14-year-old brandishing piece of glass

Police in western Manitoba used a taser to subdue a 14-year-old boy they say was causing a disturbance and posing a threat to himself.

Constable Ron Burgess of the Brandon police said officers responded to a call Wednesday about a teenager damaging property. They found the teen in a nearby laneway, he said.

"The suspect was in possession of a large piece of glass shaped like a knife and refused to drop the weapon when ordered to do so," Constable Burgess said.

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"A conducted energy device was deployed to prevent the suspect from harming himself or others and he was taken into custody without further incident."

The teen was not harmed but was taken to hospital to have the taser probes removed "as per policy," Constable Burgess said.

The policy doesn't restrict officers from using the device on a teenager, he added.

The use of tasers on younger suspects has been questioned recently.

A report released last year by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP identified 194 cases between 2002 and 2009 in which the force deployed electronic stun guns on young people between 13 and 17. In April, an 11-year-old boy was stunned with an RCMP taser in Prince George, B.C.

Former appeal court judge Thomas Braidwood, who oversaw public hearings after the death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport in 2007, suggested children could be at an elevated risk from a taser jolt due to their smaller size.

While Constable Burgess noted it's not rare for city police to use tasers, he said the circumstances of this case are unusual given the suspect's age and the fact that the device was used to prevent the teen from harming himself rather than the threat he posed to others.

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The 14-year-old is facing charges of mischief to property and possession of a dangerous weapon.

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