Use of Force by Law Enforcement: How Much is Appropriate?


January 16, 2014 :: Vaughan Hembroff
Moderated by Terry Shillington

Recent shooting incidents by the Toronto police have highlighted concerns about how our Canadian police use force. Was it for example good judgment when a cop fired multiple shots into a streetcar killing a sole occupant last July and was it an isolated incident or a sign of a disturbing pattern when RCMP officers tasered an unarmed Robert Dziekanski, who later died, in the Vancouver Airport a few year earlier?

The speaker will rely on his decades of experience as a lawyer and judge to explore this issue. What are the guidelines for police in the use of force? Should the Lethbridge and Canadian public be concerned about police using force casually and inappropriately? What background should we be aware of in these incidents? What are the long term trends concerning police and law enforcement use of force?

Speaker: Vaughan Hembroff LL.B.

Vaughan Hembroff has been a justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench in Alberta since 1991 after practicing law for 28 years prior. He graduated from the Lethbridge Collegiate Institute high school in 1955 and received his B.A. in political science and English at University of British Columbia before completing his law degree there also.

Among his many law related volunteer positions, Hembroff has been President of the Lethbridge Bar Association and the Legal Aid Society of Alberta. He also served the Lethbridge community as an Alderman on City Council for three terms and was board member and President of the Lethbridge YMCA. Since 1963, he has been a member of Lethbridge Y’s Men Club. In 2003, Hembroff was presented with the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal commemorating Elizabeth’s 50th year as Queen of Great Britain.


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