Ontario’s Deputy Chief Coroner Linked to Taser International
The Globe and Mail is reporting today on close ties between James Cairns, Deputy Chief Coroner for Ontario, and Taser International.
Cairns has become one of Canada’s top Taser “experts,” and questions from Canadian media directed to Taser International are passed on to Cairns for a response. Over the past two years Cairns has attended two conferences hosted by Taser International, as well as spoken at a closely affiliated organization. Cairns was also scheduled to give a talk at another event yesterday, but withdrew.
Taser International has both times paid for Cairns hotel and travel expenses. While this in itself is not unusual, this whole relationship becomes suspect when one considers that Cairns has been a vocal supporter of the use of Tasers in Canada.
Furthermore, Cairns has supported the concept of ” ‘excited delirium, a medically unrecognized term that the company often cites as a reason people die after being tasered.”
Taken together, one begins to question the objectivity of someone with such obvious ties to the Taser Corporation. And if Taser is involved with Ontario’s Deputy Chief Coroner, who else might they be “hosting” at conferences? The researchers who claim there is no link between Tasers and deaths? The police forces who purchase Tasers?
As an aside, Cairns also raised this “Taser or gun” concept, in that the only viable option to a Taser for police is their gun: “I am absolutely convinced tasers will save lives instead of taking lives. And I hope some day, if I am in the position, please taser me before you shoot me.”
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