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Three years after taser death, Nova Scotia still developing guidelines

The tasering death of Howard Hyde prompted an inquiry in Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Press

The Nova Scotia government is still working on guidelines for taser use more than three years after the jail-cell death of a mentally ill man.

Howard Hyde died on Nov. 22, 2007, after a struggle with guards at a Halifax-area jail.

His story attracted national attention because Halifax police tasered him multiple times about 30 hours before he died.

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In December of last year, Provincial Court Justice Anne Derrick released a report that concluded the tasering did not cause Mr. Hyde's death.

But she did recommend that stun guns not be used to immobilize emotionally disturbed people unless crisis-intervention techniques have failed.

In its formal response to Judge Derrick's report, the government said Thursday that the use of tasers has declined significantly since Mr. Hyde's death, but provincial guidelines on Taser use are still being finalized.

As well, the province's response has little to say about some of Judge Derrick's other key recommendations, including her call to appoint a director of mental-health strategies.

The government said it is waiting for a previously appointed committee to complete its work in the fall.

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