More tasers for cops: coroner on police shooting death of mentally-ill homeless man

A Quebec coroner is recommending more Montreal police carry tasers to help deal with homeless people who could have mental health issues.

His report comes more than two years after a mentally-ill homeless man was shot dead by police at the Bonaventure metro.

Things degenerated in January 2012 at the Bonaventure metro when Montreal police told Farshad Mohammadi to move along, prompting the man to stab an officer with an exacto knife, which led to a chase ending with police fatally shooting Mohammadi.

Coroner Dr. Jean Brochu said more police patrollers should be armed with stun guns and similar weapons.

"There is less harm to be done with a taser gun than with a .45 or a 9 mm," Brochu told CJAD 800 News.

"The detractors of tasers say that, 'Well, it can kill people.' Well, a 9 mm too."

The same recommendation was made after similar police shooting deaths in June 2011 of Mario Hamel, another homeless man with mental health issues and bystander Patrick Limoges who was killed by a stray bullet.

Montreal police said they won't comment until they've gone over the report.

Brochu also wants to see more mobile units of mental and social health workers and increased services.

"The services have to be there way before all this happens," Brochu said.

"I don't know how realistic or expensive it is. One thing is sure, by all (accounts of)  the people who work in that field, is that intervention before is worth it."

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