BC court hears about senior’s Tasering

Keith Booker 73, says that he was tasered by RCMP officers Mitchell Spears and Ken Jansen.



VANCOUVER -- Retired salesman Keith Booker was grabbed by the neck, thrown to the floor, tasered and kneed by two police officers who were charged with assault following an incident at Surrey Memorial Hospital, a Crown lawyer told court Monday.

RCMP Const. Mitchell Spears and Transit Police Const. Ken Jansen are both charged with assault. Spears is also charged with assault with a weapon.

On April 22, 2010, Spears arrested Booker after receiving a call from the latter's landlord about a knife, court heard. Booker, 77, was arrested under the Mental Health Act and taken to the hospital.
But the Crown considers him too "unreliable" to give witness testimony.

Crown attorney Janet Dickie told the judge a nurse had just taken a blood sample from his patient when he heard a commotion in an interview room and found Spears, Jansen and Booker inside.

"Amongst the things he sees is that Mr. Booker now has an injury to his head, which ultimately required stitches. The other officer, who we say is Const. Jansen, was knee-striking Mr. Booker several times," she told court, adding Spears zapped the man shortly afterward.

There was also video of the scuffle, though its quality - since it records at slow frames and only when there's motion - is in question.

Defence lawyer David Butcher, representing Jansen, applied for the charges to be stayed as the case took too long to come to trial. The application will be heard through Tuesday.

Butcher also questioned whether Booker fully recalls that day.

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