Wednesday, November 14, 2007

All RCMP officers involved in Vancouver's taser killing should be fired and prosecuted

After seeing the RCMP Taser Video I can only conclude the following:

1. This teaser death was completely unnecessary.
The video shows pure police brutality resulting in death. These officers are not our friends; these guys act like coldblooded beasts out to taser the hell out of somebody, nothing more, nothing less. Where is the compassion? Why can't these officers handle this confused man in a humane way?

If these officers felt threatened (which is extremely hard to believe after watching this video), they could have used other means of force such as the baton to defend themselves. The use of a taser in this killing should be considered torture resulting in death.
2. The officer in charge and the officer who applied the taser should be fired and prosecuted for the use of excessive force (torture) resulting in death.
Again, there really was no reason to use the taser, and definitely not twice. Whoever (most likely an officer) yelled "[taser] him again, [taser] him again" should also been charged for encouraging violent behaviour.
3. All officers who were trained to assist with CPR but neglected to do so should be charged with gross neglect.
There was a living being, dying right in front of all officers eyes and not a single RCMP officer had the decency to give CPR? WTF!
4. Sergeant Pierre Lemaitre should be fired for purposely misrepresenting the facts and suppressing the video on a false premise.
From the BCCLA complaint:
"Shortly after the incident, Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre publicly stated that the officers present at the incident attempted to calm Mr. Dziekanski down verbally and with hand gestures. It was stated that Mr. Dziekanski ignored the officers, prompting them to use the taser. [...]"

Anyone who has seen the video can clearly see with their own eyes that is assessment is false. Why Mr. Lemaitre appears to be lying is less clear, although the BCCLA gives some more insight into Sgt. Lemaitres spin:

"Sgt. Lemaitre repeatedly made statements implying if not alleging that Mr. Dziekanski was under the influence of alcohol or drugs or had a medical condition that caused his death. Sgt. Lemaitre spoke without specific evidence to support his position. [...] Mr. Dziekanski's autopsy and toxicology results refute Sgt. Lemaitre's position. [...]

Sgt. Lemaitre appears to have misled the public while casting aspersion on the character of Mr. Dziekanski. Either the intent or effect of the characterizations of the events and of Mr. Dziekanski appear designed to provide a favourable account of the RCMP’s role in this death.

This is inappropriate especially given the fact that the RCMP members are under investigation and the RCMP has a lead role in undertaking that investigation.

With respect to the video, an unnamed officer spoke with Paul Pritchard and obtained his recording of the incident under the promise it would be returned immediately. The officer quickly informed Mr. Pritchard that the available equipment would not allow a copy to be made, and an agreement was reached to return the recording within 48 hours. Once in possession of the recording, the RCMP first informed Mr. Pritchard that previous agreements would have to be retracted and the recording would not be returned until a coroner's inquest concluded, some 1.5 to 2.5 years in the future.

According to public statements by Cpl. Dale Carr of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, the video had to be withheld because it would contaminate witnesses' memories (see also this YouTube video). Yet, by the time these statements were made, the RCMP had already
established and publicized their version of the story in great detail. If there were witnesses that had not been interviewed, contamination had already occurred. [...]

Read the whole letter here: Complaint against the RCMP over public statements and actions in the investigation of the in-custody death of Robert Dziekanski

Other progressive views on Vancouver RCMP Taser electrocution:
-- Dr. Dawg: "Deadly Dudley"
-- Unrepentant Old Hippie: "Vancouver Airport taser death"
-- The Galloping Beaver: "Your State Police"
-- Creekside: "Another RCMP Murder"
-- Sean in Saskatchewan: Taser Video: RCMP fail to cover it up

- there's now a support site named "Justice for Robert Dziekanski" that includes a call for contacting "your MP, the minister for Transport Canada - Lawrence Cannon and the minister for Public Safety - Stockwell Day". This site also shows YouTube footage of the killing.

YouTube and Google videos

some sources used:
- CKNW News Talk 980: Taser Video Now Released
- wikipedia: police brutality
- BCCLA: Jason Gratl's complaint againts the RCMP (pdf)
- Taser video
- CBC: Taser video shows RCMP shocked immigrant within 25 seconds of their arrival
- CBC The National: video of RCMP Vancouver Tasering (.mov)
- CBC: download complete taser video (.wmv)
- wikipedia: CPR
- wikipedia: Taser Incident Vancouver


Anonymous said...

Your totally right here the police involved should be charged with manslaughter, criminal negligance etc.

leftdog said...

Erik! Great post! I agree with you totally. Not only did the 4 RCMP officers act like little boys with a new toy to play with - their superiors LIED! RCMP officials said that pepper spray was not used because there were too many civilians in the immediate vicinity (A LIE!)- they said that the man was acting agressively to the officers (A LIE!)

I am still angry over the incident this past summer where an RCMP officer pepper sprayed an mother and her 6 month old infant!

We have serious problems with our RCMP!

Erik said...

Thanks leftdog, for reminding me about the police's rationale to not use pepper spray, which we can find here: CBC:Man died after 4 Taser jolts, witness alleges

Lemaitre said in an earlier interview that police considered using pepper spray but it would have affected other people in the airport.

Complete BS. Anyone who watched the video (I'm sure most people have by now) will conclude there was nobody around.

I found this quite "funny" too:
He also said officers decided against using batons to subdue the man because of how it would have looked to the public.

Since when does the RCMP consider the looks of the RCMP more important than preventing death? This "incident" shows how fucked up (pardon my dutch) the RCMP is.

These officers feel the need to act like pigs (tasering an confused man), but, more importantly, it's their job (and that of Lemaitre, obviously) to not come off as pigs.

Lemaitre feels the need to give it some "positive" spin, telling us that tasering is favoured over the baton? And all because tasering makes the RCMP looks better? What a "nice" set of principled priorities.

In the following article:Man dies after Taser incident at Vancouver airport we can quote Lemaitre:

"In this case, based on all the behaviour that (our officers saw), they needed to subdue this individual in a non-lethal manner, and that's what the conducted energy weapon is (for)."

I've seen the video. When the officers came in, Mr. Dziekanski was calm.

The article continues: Police, said Lemaitre, spoke to several witnesses that were at the international arrival gate, and "the story so far is very consistent that this guy was just out of control."

Lies, lies, lies.

When will this jerk be fired?

Erik said...

Just another lie I caught after watching the video again: there are FOUR officers in the video, not THREE

Anonymous said...

I've watched only the beginning of the video. It was too painful. It seems to me that Mr. Dziekanski was acting as if he was going through an epileptic spell. I know someone who suffers from that condition. I've seen him walk around just like the victim here. He hears people talking to him but he responds weirdly as if in a world of his own.

Dr.Dawg said...

One officer did use what very much looks like a baton. Check out 5:36 on the second video segment over at the Van Sun:

[Over to the right--click on it.]

Sullivan said...

Not only should they be charged with manslaughter, but they should be given a taste of their own medicine. If it kills them too, then would be just... tough.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is one of the most upsetting things i've seen. I can only imagine how terrified he must have been, Just think if you were in a place where nobody spoke the same language as you. Being confused as to why you're being stopped by security. Not being able to enter the country. My heart just breaks. I believe that if they had contacted someone who spoke russian (and I'm sure that there's a Russian Society Association in the city) The situation could/would have been resolved peacefully, and safely.

Anonymous said...

People are always so quick to critizize police and their work. These are human beings, not pigs, who put their life on the line for society. The video simply shows officers doing their job, with a decision they thought appropriate, judging by the fact that THEY were involved and threatened directly. Whatever language you speak im sure you can recognize what an armed officer is, and try to cooperate. Or the comment about finding someone who speaks russian, so the officers should of followed the man around the airport, angry as he was and threatening, while they try to find someone who speaks russian. The language is not an issue here, this man was angry and out of control. As for pepper spray, its an option which officers on the scene ruled out because of their judgement, and it does not always work, especially with an intoxicated individual. If the man did have a heart condition, it is not written on his forehead, officers could not of known. What if this man did manage to hurt an officer, im sure nobody would mind.Why wait before this man does hurt someone. the stapler in the mans hand makes as good a weapon as any. So before people critizize police, they should try to understand their job, or better yet solve the problem before you call them if you seem to have all the answers. To the officers, thank you for doing your job and hang in there as everyone now points the finger at you. You acted in good faith. And for those who think cop should get the same medicine, well how about a little respect for officers whove lost their lives for jerks in society like you.
signed, a fellow officer.

Anonymous said...

This is addressed to "The Officer" who left the long winded and totally predictable comments, supporting those thugs who killed Mr. Dziekanski.

There can be NO EXCUSE for the actions of those 4 officers who acted with callous disregard, make that criminal negligence with respect to Mr. Dziekanski's well being.

There can be NO EXCUSE for the actions of Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre who sacrificed his integrity for all the world to see. This man is nothing more than a pathetic bold faced LIAR. Even worse, a woman's only son is killed and what does he do? Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre attempts to promote an erroneous recount of what happened to Mrs. Dziekanski, a grieving mother; he even crosses the line and slanders a dead man in an attempt to tarnish his reputation thereby proving a convenient excuse as to why the police acted as they did.

If that isn't one of the most despicable examples of how low a human being in a position of authority can sink... Sgt. Lemaitre should lose his job over this one. Regardless on a positive note his career as a spokesperson for the RCMP is probably over - I mean who would believe this guy?!?

Prediction: The RCMP will attempt to whitewash this entire incident, they will attempt to do what they have done in the past - get away with murder.

As far as I'm concerned the RCMP should change their name to the Royally Dishonorable Canadian Mounted Police or RDCMP for short.

If the RDCMP do manage to keep control of the investigation within their own ranks then the public should stage peaceful protests (complete with signs) outside of the Richmond detachment - and I for one would participate.

Anonymous said...

Very Good post.

I wish people would go through some Canadian immigration agents to realize how arrogant they have become. I am a Canadian, but I am now seriously reconsidering my country as a caring place to accept new immigrants. The behavior of these officers is the tip of the iceberg. It shows in plain daily light, their mentality: brutality, total lack of common sense, act of over controlling. Then the RCMP itself trying to cover up after the facts, lying, etc. I had to deal with an immigration officer recently. He was so arrogant that I could not believe what I was hearing. It is time to fight back this kind of right wing behavior in Canada. Only the fact that the RCMP will argue that the officers behave according to some "rules" makes you shiver. They obviously have lost common sense.

carlo said...

this is for the fellow officer who posted a comment. I understand that you're a loyal officer. Ask yourself if you will. Would you have done the samething? Is that something you would be proud of? A man so confused, frustrated, seeking for help and didnt know a single reason why he was not allowed to leave the airport deserved to be put to death like this?

I strongly Agree to Stephen. There are no EXCUSES in this case. The point is Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre and his fellow officers have caused this man's death by acting so cruel and not humanely. Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre and his men should've atleast investigated. For those who keep defending Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre and his men.... Be ashamed of yourseves and shake your crooked minds.

Anonymous said...

RCMP proved many times that they are insane! Also, the airports in Canada are strange. Country build of immigrants and they don't have no translators. I am emigrant too. I cam e from Italy 15 years ago. When I was crossing a boarder one official was asking me something that I could not understand. Then he typed something into some of my immigration documents. A month later when I applied to sponsor my wife it turned out that I am not married because I said on the airport "not married". That's how Canada visits immigrants!


kindheartedcitizen said...

what happened was murderous and barbarous. it's DNA,they planned to kill RDziekanski without knowing the situation. when they arrived, you will hear that one of the murderers was too eager to use his taser asking can i taser him, and the other murderer replied w/a very proud tone yesss! they didn't even smile,talk or solve Robert's needs. they murdered him, no need to do a taser investigation. those murderers must be incarcerated for the rest of their lives.i insist they must be incarcerated. any person/officer who will try to defend what the murderers did is a murderer too. they should've use their common sense/good judjement before they follow the rules. we know that tasers are for dangerous/violent person..or for self-defense..but there's no need to use any weapon..he surrendered and cooperated..and then suddenly these trigger happy murderers tasered is the murderers are shouldn't be punished in canada but outside canada..coz here if u kill/murder someone expect to be released in less than 10 years..some laws in canada are too legalizing marijuana,giving drug sites & brothels to prostitute that totally encourage people to do bad things. what's wrong with the gov't. wake up. we all need a better place. back to those murderers...i like to think u're all dead...canadian gangsters...drug addicts...murderers...!!!

Erik said...

Okay, some people really go to far.

Especially "kindhearted citizen", did you really need to bypass me and demonise the officers?

I agree that we all witnessed horrible, inhumane acts of police brutality, but "you murderers are shouldn't be punished in canada but outside canada.."

I don't wish to anyone what was done to (for example) Mahar Arar. In many ways there are similarities between the Arar case and this case.

Both cases involved the RCMP, in both cases the RCMP assessed the situation completely wrong, and in both cases it resulted in the victims being tortured.

The use of electroshock (50.000 volts) to someone who's only crime was not able to speak the English language IS torture.

Nobody should have to go through the pain of a taser, or the torture of repulsive regime. Period.

Anonymous said...

No Doubt a major tragedy.

Stephen said...

Prior to the damning video footage of the final moments of Robert Dziekanski's life, his grieving mother would have been understandably desperate to find out what were her son Robert’s final actions.

Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre’s initial statement was in reality quite cruel in nature. What mother, faced with the death of her only son, would like to hear that he acted like a drugged up wild animal?

Put yourself in the shoes of Mrs. Dziekanski at the moment she heard Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre’s statement for all the world to hear.

And what if there had been no video footage?

Mrs. Dziekanski would then have not only lost her son, she would have never known the truth, and her final memory of her son would have been one of a guilt and shame at his actions.

Despicable and dishonorable are the only 2 words that I can think of to describe the RCMP right now.

In my opinion the RCMP, after four of their officers acted in a manner that can only be described as the very definition of criminal negligence, sought to protect their own at any cost - even if it meant destroying this woman in every sense.

Add to this another slap in the face to Mrs. Dziekanski - the 4 men directly responsible for the death of her son are still on active duty - armed with Tasers.

This is an indication that the RCMP are going to attempt to whitewash the entire incident, since if they had taken these 4 officers off active duty this would have amounted to the first stage of an acceptance of guilt – something I am confident the RCMP will never admit to.

Erik said...

Hi Stephen, Thanks for your post. Well written and I agree with all of your assessments.

I won't be able to respond to everything but I do have some ideas on some of what you brought up.

And what if there had been no video footage?

That's a good question, but also one that gives me hope. Hope that the RCMP will have to change in order to become/remain a valid institution that we can trust.

Camera's and the internet are not going away, on the contrary. This is the new reality the RCMP has to deal with. Spin (or some cases pure lies) as their answer does not suffice when videos like the last one show up and go all around the world.

[..] the 4 men directly responsible for the death of her son are still on active duty - armed with Tasers.

This is an indication that the RCMP are going to attempt to whitewash the entire incident, since if they had taken these 4 officers off active duty this would have amounted to the first stage of an acceptance of guilt – something I am confident the RCMP will never admit to.

I'm afraid I have to agree with you here. It's appalling but telling that these four are still not fired; a whitewash WILL follow, unless national politics is able to pull of a Canadian miracle.

Given the status of current Canadian politics (corruption is rampant, mostly due to the use of an antiquated FPTP system) I won't be holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

Listening to the cameraman's comments throughout the incident, I didn't hear anything about the apparent "injustice" people are crying about here. Everyone seemed to be in agreement that the cops were needed and they were doing the right thing.

The guy's behavior clearly justified the police response. The pepper spray concern was valid in spite of what you conspiracy theorists believe and spray could have made it harder to control the man as it affects the officers as well who would have had to go hands on anyway.

Anonymous said...

According to the article at , the Taser maker suggests that the man's death was not caused by the Taser, since he continued to struggle after being shot.

I think that's a very stupid statement and that guy must have no idea what he's talking about. First of all, I don't think it's a coincidence that he died after being tasered!! Even though he didn't die immediately, he died moments after, and it's preposterous to think that his death was caused by "other factors".

Secondly, it's not always that someone dies immediately....for example someone could be involved in a fatal car crash and dies hours later. Just because he doesn't die immediately, that doesn't mean that the accident didn't cause the death.
Robert could've had a heart problem, but it was the application of the Taser that worsened the heart condition and caused death!

I wish this didn't happen =(.

Anonymous said...

we the canadian people have given thepolice have too much power.its time to vote against the taser

Anonymous said...

The use of that level of force within 25 seconds leaves me with impression the Police are Monsters. I do not want them to ever "protect and serve me." I know the US is becoming a Police State. I am saddened to see that Canada is also becoming a Police State. The RCMP officers should be prosecuted; but time will show that they will not be prosecuted. A US Lawyer.

Anonymous said...

If they don't get prosecuted, they should at least be FIRED!

Anonymous said...

I am disgusted after watching the video of Robert Dziekonski's death.
RCMP acts as they are on drugs. This is insane! Why the police in
Canada is acting like that? Can we have better educated police forces?
Also, can we have airports connected to a translator phone? After all, we have so many immigrants coming to Canada and we don't even know how to greet them or help them but send on them psycho police forces with
tasers! Welcome to Canada!

Shame on RCMP! Shame on Canada Immigration! Shame on Canada!

Stephen said...


It appears to me that not only is Dr. Steve Tuttle the Vice-President of Communications for Taser International he is also the world’s first and only Video-Doctor. Dr. Tuttle is able to diagnose medical conditions without even seeing the patient, all he has to do is observe grainy low-resolution video footage for an accurate diagnosis – AMAZING.

In light of Dr. Tuttle’s video-diagnosis*, it will not be necessary to proceed with the Coroner’s Inquest into Robert Dziekanski’s death - that by sheer coincidence just happened to take place within seconds/minutes of being hit twice with 50,000 volts of electricity.

* After reviewing the Vancouver Airport video footage, Dr. Tuttle’s diagnosis was that his company’s Taser did not cause the death of Mr. Dziekanski.

And now all the shareholders that hold stock in Taser International can breathe a collective sigh of relief since the rest of the world will most certainly buy into Dr. Tuttle’s video-diagnosis.

Or is it possible that Dr. Tuttle is in reality the world’s first Video-Doctor-Charlatan and is it possible that all Dr. err… Mr. Tuttle really cares about is preserving the projected sales forecast for his company’s (in my humble opinion) dubious product? But then for someone to attempt to sway the public’s opinion on their product at such an untimely moment such as this; at a time when a mother is forced to lay to rest her only son. For someone to slander a dead man with comments such as: “symptoms of mania” would take the balls of a real err… sleaze-ball, something I am confident a man of Dr. Tuttle's caliber would never stoop to.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with everyone on this site. First of all, if you watch the video very closely, you will see that he was calm when the RCMP officers first entered. After they tried to talk to him, he became agitated again, and was classed as "actively resistive" In the Use of Force continuum that all Police agencies must follow, the level with intermediate weapons, which would be OC spray, ASP batons and Tasers. If anyone here has ever actually used these weapons in a situation like this, OC spray is statistically proven to only work on about 65% of the general population. When someone is agitated such as Mr. Dziekanski the effectiveness of OC spray is greatly decreased.
The use of an ASP baton is at the hands of the officer themselves. If they feel that it will not be effective, or someone (another officer) may get in the way, then the use of the taser is the last resort.
From a medical perspective, a taser does not have enough energy in it to 'reset' a person's heart, such as a defibrillator does. Thus, this would lead to believe if someone had a weak heart, a medical condition, or a previous MI, then the heart would be weakened and the conductivity circuit of the cardiac system would be more prone to stopping with an electrical current.
Also, if anyone watched the video close enough at 5:36, when the baton was supposedly used, they would see that the officer had dropped it on the floor earlier and was collapsing it so he could put it away, at no time was it used.

Erik said...

Looks like I've got a police troll on my site. I'll keep it concise.

1. I find outrageous that there are still people out there that, after seeing the same video we all saw, would still “class” Robert Dziekanski as “actively resistive”. He was confused and didn't understand English, what's actively resistive about that?

2.Using the Taser as a last resort is not at issue here; if the taser was only used “as a last resort” (the next weapon would be a handgun), then we would not have this tragedy.

3.Even many policemen agree that this was an excessive use of force. If four policemen are not able to arrest a man without the use of a torturous and risky Taser, then why are these wimps being hired in the first place?

4.None of the RCMP officers resuscitated Robert Dziekanski. Gross neglect if you ask me.

There's a reason for Mr. Anonymous to “disagree with everyone one the site”, and he himself knows it too.

I'm disappointed in the fact that I have seen some police-trolls on blogs that have defended the RCMP, but none that have disapproved of actions of the four policemen, which eventually led to the death of Robert Dziekanski.

Does the rot go that deep?

notacop said...

for those of you who have posted your diatribes against the four police officers here, I can only say that I hope you are never in a position where your actions, regardless of your intentions, are judged without benefit of all the facts, considered only within the context of ONE point of view, and that you are never tried in a court of public opinion, convicted and sentenced for ANYTHING you have done, no matter how wrong or right your actions may have been. I don't expect you to be able to understand what this might be like; you have clearly demonstrated your inability to put yourself in someone else's position. But if you could imagine yourself being convicted of something without a trial, I'd be willing to bet you wouldn't like it, and you'd think that your were being treated unjustly.
Automatic condemnation of anyone, under any circumstances, is symptomatic of a bigoted, prejudiced and fasscist, yes facist, ill-informed and unintelligent brute. You are free to express your opinion, of course; but the opinions which have been expressed condemning police in this case are simply another example of treating someone unfairly.
Let those whom we have elected/appointed to look after our society do their job, and leave it to them to condemn or acquit.
You probably call yourselves "liberal" thinkers...WRONG.

Stephen said...

Dear notacop,

Well then if I'm going to put myself in someone else's shoes I think I will walk a few steps in Mrs. Dziekanski's shoes, the Mother whose son died after the RCMP needlessly tasered him. The Mother whose son that RCMP spokesperson with the forked tongue, that imaginative snake - Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre - who only a short while after Mr. Dziekanski was dead was hard at work spreading a highly distorted recount of what transpired, causing further (unimaginable) grief for this poor woman who had saved for years so that she could bring her son to Canada.

I have no sympathy for those 4 RCMP (cough) Officers, in my opinion their supreme incompetence caused 2 innocent people to suffer immensely - all my sympathy is reserved for Mrs. Dziekanski.

Those 4 officers need to be prosecuted and if this is not the outcome of the RCMP investigation (cough - whitewash) then I would like to be part of a peaceful protest outside the RCMP detachment in Richmond.

P.S. And I do mean peaceful protest, as I have no desire to also be tasered by some trigger happy RCMP officer.

Erik said...

This will me the last reply to idiots like Mr. Notacop. Other posting that include complete nonsense will be removed, without the use of a taser. You're warned.

1. My opinion (and that of most other people) is NOT based on ONE view. We all have had many pieces of information, including valuable interviews with witnesses, footage of a lying police officer, independent experts who saw some of the video and so on. Therefore calling this ONE point of view is WRONG.

2. Apply this to yourself, bigot; Automatic condemnation of anyone, under any circumstances, is symptomatic of a bigoted, prejudiced and fascist, yes fascist, ill-informed and unintelligent brute. You are free to express your opinion, of course; but the opinions which have been expressed condemning BLOGGERS AND COMMENTERS in this case are simply another example of treating someone unfairly.

3. It's clear to anyone (with more brains than you, mister not-a-cop) that some of the elected/appointed are NOT doing there job. The RCMP started their whitewashing campaign at day one; without the video there would have been no case. Now that's an appalling thought.

In order the prevent another whitewash we need independent oversight to ensure accountability.

Only then we can be assured that RCMP will be held accountable.

Stephen said...

Interesting read on the current state of the RCMP:

“There is no mercy in the RCMP” (no s**t Sherlock)

“The Mounties Give Up”

“What's really killing the Mounties”

Normally I’m not a big fan of Macleans. I find their stories to be biased - however these 3 articles are right on the mark.

Erik said...

Thanks Steve,

your (what not-a-cop calls "prejudiced and fascist, ill-informed and unintelligent") comments are appreciated by me :)

Stephen said...

Notacop wrote:

“Let those whom we have elected/appointed to look after our society do their job, and leave it to them to condemn or acquit.”

Currently in the Banana Republic of Canada the RCMP is able to act with impunity.

Please Canada, do not allow another whitewash to take place , do not allow the RCMP to investigate the actions of its members without a truly independent (civilian) body standing watch to oversee the proceedings, an independent institution that will have the power to force the RCMP to act honorably.

In almost every case I have known when the RCMP investigated itself (akin to leaving an unrepentant alcoholic in charge of the keys to the liquor cabinet) the outcome was a forgone conclusion.


Erik said...

Just to let everyone know, I've the deleted the latest troll.

Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I encourage a healthy debate that includes a wide spectrum of viewpoints.

But I will not condone trolling; there are lots of other channels (think corporate mainstream media) where the CREATION of controversy is appreciated; but not on this blog.

planner said...

I think that vandalizing public property or doing anything violent is not acceptable. Also, I am usually on the side of police officers when it comes to matters involving their safety since they're putting their lives in danger by doing their job.

Nevertheless, even to me, this taser incident is completely outrageous! Those officers walked up to the victim and tasered him almost right away. I thought they were gonna try to talk to him or something. Guess they couldn't since he was too "threatening". If something like this happened on the street, I might have sympathized with the officers slightly better, but it happened in an area within airport where the chance of that man carrying a weapon was extremely low. And the first thing four officers do to a single weapon-less man is electrocuting him?

And I cannot believe that some people are saying a taser is not a lethal weapon. Well, it may kill you, or it may not. But what do you think would happen when 50,000 volts of electricity goes through your body? And I certainly don't want to be zapped with 50,000 volts whether it kills me or not.

Maybe I'm sympathizing with Mr. Dziekanski because I know how frustrating it is when some people treat you like an idiot or savage just because you don't speak English. But in any case, I am still sure that this loss of life was completely unnecessary.

Erik I completely agree with you that those officers plus other RCMPs who tried to cover up this incident --through blatant lying-- must be punished. If they don't, I would be really, really disappointed in this country. Sure, all countries have some screwed-up officers, but if people like those can get away without justice, it means that there is a very serious problem at the core of the system.

Thanks for a good post! :D

Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember this artical from years ago?

The RCMP problem/brutality has been going on for far to long and the last one at the Vancouver Airport will sure not be the final one.

Police chief says drop-offs happened 'more than once'

CBC 09 Jun 2003

SASKATOON - Saskatoon's police chief says officers may have been dumping native people outside the city for years, an admission that comes as new information emerges about a 13-year-old case.

A CBC News investigation has uncovered new details about the activities of the police the night a Cree teenager from Saskatchewan vanished.

Seventeen-year-old Neil Stonechild's frozen body was found in a field on the outskirts of Saskatoon in November 1990.

Electronic records confirm that police were looking for Stonechild the night he disappeared, CBC has learned.

The teen's body was found five days after a witness says he saw him in the back of a police cruiser.

Stonechild's case was all but forgotten for 10 years until the RCMP reopened it after two other aboriginal men were found frozen outside the city within one week three years ago.

Anonymous said...

I think we should all wait for all of the facts to come out before passing our final judgment...oh wait, I forgot, no one cares about facts on this blog!

So much for free thought, say goodbye to this post, as the author of this free google blog is going to delete it as fast as he reads it.

Do you have to hate cops to get a post accepted around here??

Erik said...

I think we should all wait for all of the facts to come out before passing our final judgment

I agree with you here anonymous. Our final judgement WILL be when all facts are in; in the meantime we will have to judge with the facts that we have.

And there are plenty of facts; a digital video, witnesses, lying police officers, facts on number of people who died after being tasered, facts on abusive RCMP officers, and so on. All these facts create context for healthy dialogue and debate.

And to those right-wingers who think they have "the right" to share THEIR right-wing rants, fallacies and ad-hominem attacks on MY blog: Nobody is holding you back to start your own blog.

I wish you well. :)

Anonymous said...

RCMP officers were more violent than Robert Dziekanski. They looked like disturbed from eating their lunch coming to solve quickly the situation. They did not need the taser for him.
It is a shame for 4 trained officers, able to fight by themselves with a grizzly, to use weapon against only one guy who was just expecting help from them.
This is an abuse of force and violence.

Officers!!! Do not forget that you are paid from our money to help and protect people.

Anonymous said...


Oh Planner, very typical, you present a strong opinion and great outrage about the 50,000 volts that pass through the body.....typical, in that you have this strong moral opinion that is based on false facts.

It is the amps that are dangerous to the human body, not the volts.

A million volts passing through a person wouldn't kill them.

Please read up on it, and form your future opinions on fact....

Stephen said...

Dear Anonymous,

Yes we should wait and see how the RCMP rule on their own people. Of course they'll act in an unbiased manner, I mean it’s not like they would let one of their own get away with shooting a defenseless person in the back of the head…

As for me I’m a firm believer in that old cliché, a picture is worth a thousand words (Paul Pritchard’s video footage will suffice) and the RCMP spin doctors are going to need 1000 x 1000 words to try and pull this one off.

And I think I speak for everyone here, we don't hate all cops, just cops who are criminally negligent, the result of which is people dying for no good reason (& throwing a laptop and a chair in frustration after a 10 hour wait is not reason enough to taser someone).

Anonymous said...

A very sad day and a painful video to watch. A choice was made to subdue this man, possibly made before arrival on scene and acted upon when the stapler? is picked up.

In the RCMP use of force guideline, the baton is listed at a higher level then the intermediate weapons, OC spray and the Taser - OC spray/taser are on the same level and can be used against resistant people (though at the high end of the resistance scale) - baton use is only for combative subjects. The reason I mention this is for the comments I have seen suggesting that the officers could have piled in and taken him down by beating him with batons - if you didn't think the taser was justified then the baton is even less so.

As for why police like the taser (as I have seen posted on here) it is due to the effectiveness. OC spray effects are inconsistent, many people (especially under the influence of drugs or alcohol or highly motivated) are extremely resistant. As well the OC spray has a tendency to coat the officers, the mist hangs around in a persistent manner and should never be used indoors where it can be avoided. It also can induce vomiting and allergic reactions.

As for the baton, police are trained to swing for less lethal areas such as the legs, chest etc, so the baton normally takes multiple strikes to be effective which can cause severe long-term injury. It, and not the taser, is the last resort weapon before firearm.

The taser completely paralyses the individual but causes no lasting harm - and by that I mean the taser effects. Every police officer trained to use the taser has been shocked with it multiple times as part of training (including extensive testing done on RCMP volunteers with pacemakers and heart conditions) and while the shock is uncomfortable and disturbing, very few find it severely painful - touch stun mode (not the darts) can cause burns and is more like hitting someone with a cattle prod, is pure pain compliance.

The taser has been endorsed by many mental health and public safety organisations as it allows an officer to take down a subject, at a distance, with the least amount of potential harm to both parties - as opposed to firearms, beatings etc.

As a note, the flashlight is historically the most effective tool as officers have no training to use it as such and so tend to swing for the head - will put a subject down but also causes severe injury.

As someone who has been tased and sprayed, I would take the taser any day. The OC spray was disgusting, had lasting effects for over 8 hours even after decomm but could not put me down. The taser dropped me like a rock but the effects ended immediately upon release of current. This is actually the greatest risk of injury/death - the tased person can injure themself in the fall (striking head, falling from a high point etc) as you can not use your arms to catch your fall. And in the training provided to the RCMP, they are instructed to shock the suspect multiple times if needed until they stop resisting.

The main items that should be looked at for taser use are as follows:

1) Is the initial training sufficient and is any ongoing training provided?

2) Is it at the appropriate place in the use of force guideline? i.e. should if be moved up from resistant to combative due to the higher risk of falling injury and be placed on par with baton?

3) Should the weapon (and it is a weapon, a less lethal, not non-lethal one) be utilised against someone who is unable to respond to voice commands? They were told he only spoke Russian, it truly would be terrifying for anyone to be shocked and even more so for someone who could not hear commands.

4) The original intent of the taser, as explained to me aprx 5 years ago, was for more of the standoff situaion i.e. disturbed person w/knife, where the officer could take them down at a distance rather then shooting the weapon wielder - trying to reduce suicide by cop. But, voice warnings and commands are normally applied:

"Taser on scene. Taser will be used, you will be struck with 50,000 volts of electrity (don't recall the exact wording)" Then, prior to depolyment, "Taser, taser, taser"

Not as a fast response weapon.

And no, I am not nor have I ever been a police officer but I did see all of these tools used first hand and been on the receiving end as well. I would not want to see the taser removed from police use but a review certainly needs to be made as to whether it should be a general use weapon or for very specific applications (as listed above). It is certainly a better alternative to shooting someone.

Thanks, I hope this adds to your discussion.

Anonymous said...

If it can be shown that the officers were aware that tasers can be deadly, and that they decided on taser use before contact with the victim, then this is 1st Degree Homicide. By law, all four officers and any officer who attempted to conceal the evidence, or lied about the facts, is implicated. If the culpable are not prosecuted as such, I will be happy to join in the riots on parliament.

Imagine if four young men walked up to a confused, unarmed person and beat him to death, on video! You can be sure they would at least be in remand awaiting trial right now. These RCMP thugs are still collecting a taxpayer funded paycheque and walking the streets.

To the officer(s) who defend this brutality: may you take a vacation and get shot to death because you are confused and tired and can't speak the local language.

Anonymous said...

I understand that Canada has as it's Minister of National Security one Stockwell Day, a man that proclaims a Jewish carpenter who purportedly lived some 2000 years ago is in complete and total control of the universe and all it contains. Scary stuff...

Stephen said...

Why is it that all those who have adopted the: "Gee, there's nothing wrong with the cops zapping a guy with 50,000 volts" motto also feel it necessary to draw attention to the fact that they are "indeed" (supposedly) not cops...

I have noted only one person on this blog who has owned up to the fact that they are a police officer.

Does the opinion of someone who supports what the RCMP did to Mr. Dziekanski carry more weight if this person is not a police officer?

What a strange way to bolster a position.

Anonymous said...

Hi Erik,
Great post! I think, that a problem with RCMP is more profound than latest incident on YVR. Starting with speed traps on the bottom of the hill at the end of passing lane, through their arrogance on so-called holiday road blocks, low ability of fighting real crime and inhumane treatment of people like Mr. Dziekanski. It became obvious: IS NOT TO "SERVE AND PROTECT" ANYMORE. Those four police officers, as guilty as they are in my eyes, are only part of the broader picture. Someone who trained them is also as guilty. Try to imagine what would happen if video wasn't available....
If police act like this right in front of public, what they do if nobody sees them?

notacop said...

bah, you're all just bashing the cops cuz it's ez. think you could do the job better? Go ahead.

Erik said...

Hey not-a-cop, it's easy for you to armchair how ez blogging and commenting is. Think you could do a job better? Go ahead and start your own blog. We'll all be better off.

Anonymous said...

4 fully equipped guys on one- that is no fair chance, especially when after the first zap they ganged on a man writhing in pain on the floor. They had to zap him more- probably watched too many cop movies...
And whatever their excuse- they led to a man's death for which they should answer.
BTW I wonder if their superiors would have been so lax and cover up if it were the other way around the victim was a cop?

Anonymous said...

First of all I have marched in protest against excessive force by police. I wonder why there seem to be no incentives for police in the United States to learn the ten words necessary to control an individual even if a large percentage of the population speak english as a second language. The use of Tasers should be restricted to armed individuals only. This being said, I think people have a tendency to demonize the people involved and not concentrate on the failure of the system or it's policies.

Anonymous said...

Heart failure is typically caused by the heart itself being overworked. The poor man's heart was probably racing way before the police even showed up. This exact situation needs to be adressed in training and testing as most test are done to people who are at rest. All police Taser's should have cameras and microphones for incident review. Finally, calling police names and isolating them from the discussion serves no one. I realize people feel angry and disgusted but instead **PLEASE** use that energy to make a positive change. Even if those officers were executed that would not make any real difference.

Excited said...

Worth a careful read from top to bottom, or perhaps from bottom to top.

Not just a rant (although some of it is), but contains some interesting analysis and technical investigation).

Anonymous said...

And I am training to be an Officer? I am not speaking to all RCMP officers but that was the most gruesome thing I have ever seen. How are we supposed to respect officers who are "protecting us", if they are going around pretty much MURDERING individuals.

And officers are apparently trained to handle criminals. FOUR officers should have been able to take down ONE unarmed man. By the looks of the video, the man was not initiating anything violent at the time he was murdered.

Yes, officers do put their life on the line for us and I do respect that but this tape shows their laziness and ignorance towards an immigrant man.

As a future officer..I have to say, if you are putting your life on the line, Thank You. But using that as an excuse to slaughter an individual is a little something called Murder.

Completely Obscene.

Anonymous said...

Here's what I need to say - RCMP officers are doing their job, and I can't believe no one backs them up.

If you dont want to be tasered, don't be involved in acts that would get you tasered. They use those things because they have to keep us safe and themselves safe.

As far as I am concerned, they have no laws to back them up in the eyes of the criminals, our laws are there to back up the criminals, not the innocent/residents of the city.

I just don't get it. They are doing their job with people that are breaking the law, or not listening, and then they get prosecuted because of the actions they take in the split second judgement call to keep us safe and themselves safe. What if the guy at the airport HAD been a criminal, and they had let him go, and he had done something to innocent people in the airport after gettting through the police, then what would have happened? The officers would have gotten in trouble as well. Man, I just don't get it.

Coffeecowboy said...

The indecent, facist act of 6 RCMP "Officers" tasering an obviously confused man at the "World Classless" Vancouver Airport strenghtens my concern Canadian Authorities (read RCMP) are taking our (once) proud country down the toilet for the whole global community to see.

Has anyone reading this comment ever had the pleasure of going through Customs and Immigration at the "World Classless" Vancouver Airport? If so, we would probably be in agreement, the confusion of entering this country would be the beginning of this terrible failure to provide deserving safety and service to the victim.

Add 6 Thugs (RCMP Officers), intent on "protecting and serving" and we have a recipe for disaster only surpassed by RCMP "Commanders" attempting to cover up the crime.

I can only hope justice is served to all the RCMP thugs and their commanders responsible for this national embarrassment and I can only hope the victim's mother and family find peace for themselves.

Eric said...

Has anyone reading this comment ever had the pleasure of going through Customs and Immigration at the "World Classless" Vancouver Airport? If so, we would probably be in agreement, the confusion of entering this country would be the beginning of this terrible failure to provide deserving safety and service to the victim.

In fact, I did, and I didn't have any trouble, but I can see how someone from Poland (and who has never traveled by air before) would have trouble at Vancouver. I've been to Poland and there were very few signs that I would understand (Polish is not the easiest decipher) and very few people who could talk English. I remember buying train tickets with hand and feet....

Add 6 Thugs (RCMP Officers), intent on "protecting and serving" and we have a recipe for disaster only surpassed by RCMP "Commanders" attempting to cover up the crime.

Although we shouldn't ignore the fact that there are plenty of well-meaning RCMP officers, I do agree with the main part of your assessment: the cover up is the worst part of what happened here.

Most people would agree that these officers "overreacted" (by lack of a better understatement), but by trying to cover this killing up the RCMP only made things worse.

What they should have done (right from the start) is NOT taking sides with their own officers but have this incident investigated by an independent commission.

The bigger question is this:
The killing of Robert Dziekanski in combination with the video release gave us an excellent insight into the corrupt culture of the RCMP; can it be still be fixed?

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