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Tasering 11-year-old boy was justified, says B.C. police chief in open letter

The Chief of the West Vancouver police says a Mountie was justified in tasering an 11-year-old boy in a stand-off near Prince George because of the boy's violent past and the danger he presented to himself and others.

Chief Pete Lepine, who was asked to conduct an independent review of the case, has released an open letter explaining why he decided not to recommend charges against the officer, who was among several Mounties called to a residence on April 7.

Chief Lepine says the boy fled into an empty building on the property, was armed with a knife, had a history of violent outbursts against adults and had been drinking wine.

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He says police tried to negotiate with the boy to surrender and when that failed they decided the safest way to bring the stand-off to an end was to use the Taser the next time the boy stepped outside.

After the tasering the boy was taken to hospital for observation and released the next day.

Chief Lepine says after reviewing all of the evidence and consulting a use of force expert, he concluded the officers involved acted in a measured and professional manner and their use of force was appropriate for the situation.

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