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Saskatoon police chief calls for stronger knife laws

Saskatoon's police chief is renewing his call for stronger knife laws after officers were called out on the weekend to deal with a suspect wielding a blade.


April 29, 2014
By The Canadian Press

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Clive Weighill says several recent high-profile stabbings make it clear that better laws are needed for certain types of edged weapons.

He told a Saskatoon radio talk show that he was mainly referring to  machetes, swords and long double-edged knives.

A 20-year-old man faces at least a dozen charges after a police patrol car was stolen in Saskatoon on Friday night.

Officers say they got a call about someone threatening two people with a knife, were themselves confronted at the scene and unsuccessfully tried using a Taser on him.

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Weighill asked people to put themselves in the shoes of the responding officers.

“Your adrenaline starts to spike. You’re focusing on that knife,” he said Monday.

He said he can’t understand why anybody should be allowed to carry a knife manufactured solely to intimidate and hurt people.

“For the life of me, I can’t fathom why somebody has to carry a machete in downtown Saskatoon,” Weighill said. “You’re not cutting cane or anything, yet you need to carry a machete?”

There have been a number of cases involving knives in the last couple of months.

Five young people at a Calgary house party to celebrate the end of classes were stabbed to death April 15. A fellow party-goer has been charged with first-degree murder.

A man in Edmonton faces first-degree murder and attempted murder charges after a multiple stabbing at an Edmonton grocery warehouse in February left two men dead and several others injured.

In the U.S., a 16-year-old was charged with murder last week after a fellow student at a Connecticut high school was stabbed on the day of their junior prom. Another student at the school said she was killed after she refused to go to grad with the suspect, but police have not confirmed a motive.

And another 16-year-old was arrested at a high school in Pittsburgh earlier this month after an attacker armed with two knives stabbed  21 students and a security guard. Several students were seriously injured, but no one was killed.