Monday, November 04, 2013

To serve protect and taser ..... Zap! Zap! Why is once never enough?

Peel police sued over tasering 80-year-old woman

Iole Pasquale broke her hip after being tasered twice when she was found wandering with a knife in her hand. Her daughter Angela is suing on her behalf.

By Jane Gerster, Staff Reporter
Saturday, November 2, 2013
Iole Pasquale
An 80-year-old Mississauga woman with dementia and her daughter are suing three police officers and the Peel Regional Police Services Board after the woman was Tasered twice, causing her to fall and break her hip.
Police found Iole Pasquale wandering around Thomas St. and Erin Mills Parkway with a knife in her hand on Aug. 28 at 3:30 a.m., according to the Special Investigations Unit, and — after attempts to get her to release the knife failed — Tasered her twice.
In the weeks since, Angela Pasquale has had to move her once-independent mother into a retirement home, help remind Iole about doing her physiotherapy, and fields daily questions about when the senior will be allowed to go home.
“She still has the presence of mind to ask: When am I going home? How’s the house? Am I going to die here? Have you brought me here to die?” 
Sitting in her lawyer’s downtown Toronto office Thursday, Pasquale — who is on stress leave from her job as a parole officer — said she hasn’t told her mother she sold her house or that she’s filed a lawsuit. In fact, the two haven’t really discussed the night of Aug. 28, nor does Pasquale intend to.
At first — in the hospital, fresh off surgery for a broken hip that needed 17 staples — Pasquale said her mother didn’t seem to remember being Tasered, only saying “the man made me fall.” 
And they’ve left it at that: “Why do I need to stress her further?”
But she’s still just as upset about what happened as she was when she first learned — from the hospital, not police — that her mother had been Tasered.
In the lawsuit filed Thursday to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Pasquale claims police concealed information about what happened that morning from her, and the police board “utterly failed” in its duty to ensure all officers were properly trained to deal with mental health and seniors’ issues.
Pasquale is seeking $250,000 in damages for herself and $1.1 million in damages for Iole.
None of Pasquale’s accusations have been proven in court and police have yet to file a statement of defence. A Peel police spokesperson said police won’t comment on the allegations since it’s their practice not to speak about any ongoing civil action.
Police officers, whose names haven’t been released to the public, were cleared of any criminal charges relating to the incident by the SIU earlier this month, although then-SIU director Ian Scott said the officers should have considered waiting it out.
And Pasquale believes they should have.
“There needs to be justice … this is an 80-year-old woman at 3:30 in the morning, who obviously was in a state of confusion. I don’t understand the rationale behind Tasering her,” she said. “Since it happened … she’s fearful of falling, she doesn’t trust her surroundings and she’s always looking for something to grab.” 
Now she’s looking for the officers’ names to be released publicly and for them to face repercussions. She is also asking for a declaration that Iole’s constitutional rights have been violated. 
Her lawyer, Clayton Ruby, is confident they’ll be successful.
“Is there any justification for shooting this elderly woman with a Taser? Clearly no. She’s 80, fragile and she must seem confused,” Ruby said. “What makes it even more ridiculous is that there’s a second Taser shot … the second one makes it crystal clear: unnecessary force and unjustified by law.”
Angela Pasquale says police violated her mother's constitutional rights.


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