At Home: Two deaths result from RCMP Taser use
In the space of one week, two people have died in Canada from injuries sustained from RCMP use of Taser guns.
The first victim was a Polish man who was Tasered by police officers after they attempted to subdue him at the Vancouver International Airport. Witnesses say that the man, who was in his 40s, began throwing computer equipment and chairs and pounding on windows before the police arrived and tried to calm him down.
After failing to convince the man to put his hands down on a desk, police shocked him with the Taser gun and moments later it appeared he was having a heart attack; he died while still at the airport.
The second incident occurred in Montreal on the same day and involved 38-year-old Quilem Registre.
Registre was pulled over by police for a traffic violation when it was discovered that he was intoxicated. Police took him to the station for questioning and say that after he became ?aggressive? they were forced to stun him with a Taser. The incident led to Registre’s admission to hospital in critical condition, where he died three days later.
These deaths have human rights groups and independent Canadians calling for further studies on Taser usage and in many cases people want to see police without the stun guns.
Tasers were implemented into the RCMP uniform as a means to curb the numbers of criminals and other citizens whose deaths were caused by police; it was widely accepted that stunning criminals, suspects, and people displaying disorderly conduct would help police officers to subdue such individuals without causing them any real harm.
The CBC says that ?according to some counts, as many as 17 people have died in Canada following Taser incidents since 2003.?
These deaths simply show that police cannot predict the outcome of their use of Tasers, and because of this many people are calling for the discontinuation of Taser use until more is understood about the risks involved.
In Foreign News: Stolen Ptolemy map turns up in Sydney’s Gowrie Galleries
The Ptolemy World Map was lost to Madrid’s National Library along with another precious map, but to the delight of the library’s administrators it has turned up in Sydney’s Gowrie Galleries.
The map is a piece created in 1482 not by the astronomer Ptolemy himself (who died in the 2nd century AD), but was based on his mathematical calculations in the book Geographia. Ptolemy revolutionized mapmaking because of his incorporation of mathematics into the plotting of points and the connection of continents; prior to this innovation, mapmakers would distort their documents to enlarge the more influential countries.
The Ptolemy World Map is not only a triumph for its achievements in global geographic understanding but is also treasured as a beautiful piece of work.
It seems that the map made its way into the United States after being stolen from the National Library and got into the hands of someone who Gowrie Galleries owner Simon Dewez claims is a trustworthy professional, although he declined to name the dealer.
Dewez was understandably upset to learn that his prized purchase was stolen. However, he has graciously allowed Sydney police to confiscate the map and no arguments are expected from him as Spanish authorities make arrangements to have it returned to Madrid.
The main suspect in the theft is a man who had previous access to the area of the National Library where the map and other documents were kept; he has since left Spain and his current whereabouts are uncertain. Simon Dewez was refunded his money for the purchase of the map but regrets its loss.