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Family launches lawsuit against Peel officers who Tasered woman, 80

Iole Pasquale, who was Tasered by police, uses a walker on Nov. 2, 2013. CITYNEWS.

The family of a Peel woman who was Tasered by police this summer has launched a lawsuit against three officers.

Iole Pasquale fell to the ground and was rushed to Credit Valley Hospital for treatment of a fractured hip after the Aug. 28 incident. She was carrying a knife with an eight-inch blade and appeared disoriented at the time.

Pasquale and her daughter Angela are now suing the Peel Regional Police Services Board and three officers. Angela questions whether the officers should have been able to subdue her 80-year-old mother.

“You’re kidding, right?” Angela responded, when asked if her mother could have taken on a few officers.

“If you’re to ask her, she says, ‘the man made me fall down.'”

The province’s Special Investigations Unit cleared the officer who used the Taser, but said a Taser or conducted energy weapon (CEW) may not have been the best option.

Angela alleges police concealed information about what happened. That allegation has not been proven in court. She is seeking $250,000 in damages for herself, and $1.1 million in damages for her mother.

The SIU cleared the officers of any criminal charges in October. Peel police declined to comment on Saturday, but have about 20 days to present a statement of defense.

At the time, SIU director Ian Scott said “the attending officers had the lawful authority to apprehend Pasquale under the Mental Health Act by refusing to drop a large knife when it was being demanded of her by uniformed police officers when walking in a public area, and by not providing any reason for refusing to disarm herself.”

However, he said, “this decision does not mean that it was the preferred option, particularly in light of Peel Police’s internal directive that CEWs are to be avoided on elderly persons where possible; it simply means that the decision to use a CEW in these circumstances should not engage the criminal law.”