Up, Down, In This Thread.
Latest activity at the Braidwood Inquiry, complete transcripts available there - the Mountie goons will testify beginning Monday February 23.
Paul Pritchard's Video, YouTube have made this video hard to reach, probably at the behest of the RCMP, but if you bear with it and create an account you can see it.
The pictures are of Stan Lowe, mouthpiece for "The Crown." I would rather have had pictures of the four mountie goons but they are being "protected." This Stan Lowe fellow does not look too happy in the last one - knows he is dealing down and dirty maybe, not lying exactly ... dealing in provisional truths. In the first picture you can see his wedding ring, and in the second he looks a bit like a dancer - maybe they have a good life.
Third picture reminds me of Psalm 12: "They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak."
In announcing that no charges will be laid against the RCMP, Crown concludes officers were 'lawfully engaged in their duties.'
Constable Kwesi Millington (with Taser),
Constable Bill Bentley,
Constable Gerry Rundel, and
Corporal Benjamin Monty Robinson.
B.C. Ministry of the Attorney-General.
Wally Oppal, Attorney-General of BC.
Crown spokesman Stan Lowe
Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.
Mounties will not be charged in B.C. taser death (text below).
Airport death not caused by tasers, B.C. says (text below).
Letters to the Editor of the Globe:
Dan Fraser, and
Mountie involved in Taser incident reassigned to Toronto (text below).
Mounties will not be charged in B.C. taser death, Ian Bailey & Caroline Alphonso, December 11, 2008.
VANCOUVER/TORONTO - Four Mounties who used a taser to subdue Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski moments before he died of undisclosed injuries at Vancouver International Airport last year will not face criminal charges for their conduct, B.C.'s criminal justice branch will announce Friday.
CTV News is reporting that the Crown concluded there is insufficient evidence to warrant a prosecution in the case, which raised a furious debate over the police use of tasers that still continues.
The Crown's decision caps a far-flung investigation by members of B.C.'s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team that took officers as far away as Poland.
Zofia Cisowski, Mr. Dziekanski's mother, said from her home in Kamloops Thursday night that she had been informed of the Crown's decision by her lawyer, but that she could not comment on the matter before a news conference Friday.
The criminal justice branch of the B.C. Ministry of the Attorney-General has convened a media briefing Friday.
Premier Gordon Campbell said Thursday he was not aware of any decision on the matter, but that the whole affair had clearly been gruelling for all parties.
"It's obviously a very serious matter. There are four RCMP officers that I am sure have been wondering about what they did and what the consequences are."
Mr. Campbell, who last year phoned Ms. Cisowski to apologize for what happened to her son, also acknowledged her suffering.
"Unfortunately, the mother never gets to retrieve her son and those are very, very tough things for all of us to think about. What's important is we thoroughly review those and fairly review them to see what exactly the circumstances are."
Four Mounties were summoned to the international arrivals section of the airport after Mr. Dziekanski, 40, who did not speak English, began acting in an erratic manner after wandering for hours in the customs area of the complex. He was supposed to meet his mother, who was sponsoring his move to Canada, but he became confused after a 14-hour flight and 10-hour wait to find her.
Now that charges are not being laid, the officers can testify at an inquiry headed by commissioner Thomas Braidwood into police use of tasers. The RCMP said it wouldn't participate or provide the commission with access to its files until a decision had been made on charges.
The four officers have been under a great deal of pressure awaiting the outcome of the investigation and "are looking forward to getting it behind them," said RCMP Sergeant Mike Ingles, who covers officers in the South Fraser area.
Airport death not caused by tasers, B.C. says, Ian Bailey & Caroline Alphonso, December 13, 2008.
In announcing that no charges will be laid against the RCMP, Crown concludes officers were 'lawfully engaged in their duties.'
VANCOUVER, TORONTO -- The use of a taser did not cause the cardiac arrest that killed Robert Dziekanski during a confrontation with four Mounties at Vancouver International Airport last year, B.C.'s Crown office said yesterday as it ruled out charges against the officers.
"There is a substantial body of independent evidence which supports that the officers in question were lawfully engaged in their duties when they encountered Mr. Dziekanski," Crown spokesman Stan Lowe told a news conference that offered new details about the case.
"The force they used to subdue and restrain him was reasonable and necessary in the circumstances," said Mr. Lowe, noting there was no "substantial likelihood of conviction" for assault, assault with a weapon or manslaughter. "In fact, the available evidence falls markedly short of this standard."
Autopsy results outlined for the first time yesterday suggest various factors could have led to the heart attack that killed the 40-year-old Polish immigrant, including heart disease associated with chronic alcohol abuse, an agitated state of delirium and an inability to breathe while being restrained.
One forensic pathologist on the case noted that what happened to Mr. Dziekanski was "sudden death following restraint," a syndrome that predates the use of tasers. It took officers 30 seconds to restrain and subdue Mr. Dziekanski after he was tasered, and one officer pushed his knee into Mr. Dziekanski's shoulder and neck area during the effort.
The Crown, relying on an investigation by the regional Integrated Homicide Investigation Team that took officers to Poland for four days, noted that Mr. Dziekanski was "in a highly fearful and panicked state, bordering on hysterical" on the morning of Oct. 13, 2007, about his first-ever flight to Canada to join his mother in Kamloops, suggesting that may have contributed to anxiety that prompted the fatal confrontation with officers early on Oct. 14.
The Polish embassy in Ottawa expressed disappointment that no one was held accountable for Mr. Dziekanski's death.
"Reading the [Crown's] statement, it appears that the main reason for Mr. Dziekanski's death was his fear of flying, tiredness and lack of ability to communicate in English. Particularly disconcerting, though factually baseless, are repeated insinuations of alcohol abuse," a statement said.
"Because of the great interest ... in the case we believe that a public inquiry led by an independent court would have been even more transparent and convincing."
The Crown also disclosed yesterday that Mr. Dziekanski was jolted three times in a so-called "probe mode" where wires projected from the weapon apply electrical current, and twice in a "push stun mode" where the device causes localized pain. At one point, the device was not properly operating. The stun gun was used for a total of 31 seconds.
The embassy questioned why the stun gun was used five times, "including twice towards a person who is already lying on the ground convulsing."
For the first time yesterday, the officers were identified by surname as Constables Millington, Bentley, Rundel and Robinson. The Crown office did not respond to requests for their first names. Two of the officers have been reassigned to Eastern Canada. One has other duties. None now use tasers.
One officer has been suspended with pay. Constable Benjamin Robinson has been accused of impaired driving in connection with a traffic accident, while off duty, that killed a 21-year-old man in October. He has not been charged.
Choking back tears, Mr. Dziekanski's mother said yesterday that the Crown was blaming her son. Zofia Cisowski said she is considering civil action.
"It sounds to me like they are looking for any excuses to find a good reason to blame Robert and justify their action," she said.
She said that her son had a drinking problem 20 years ago. "It has nothing to do with what they did [at Vancouver International airport]. ... He wasn't an alcoholic," she said.
Her lawyer, Walter Kosteckyj, said the Crown failed to reveal yesterday that Mr. Dziekanski had an unopened bottle of vodka in his carry-on luggage that he was bringing for his mother's friend.
The Crown said that a contributing factors to Mr. Dziekanski's death was alcohol withdrawal. "Had he wanted to have a drink, he had that on his person for the entire time in his carry-on bag. And no one seems to mention that," Mr. Kosteckyj said.
Taser International welcomed news that its device did not directly cause the cardiac arrest that led to Mr. Dziekanski's death.
"The Crown has overturned the Canadian court of public opinion which for over a year has laid blame on the RCMP officers and the use of a taser device for the unfortunate death of Mr. Dziekanski," said Peter Holran, spokesman for the Arizona-based company.
The case is subject to an investigation by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, a commission of inquiry on police taser use and a planned B.C. Coroner's Inquest.
Medicine Hat, Alta. -- It has been obvious from the start there was no criminal intent in the unfortunate death of Robert Dziekanski. The issue is the use of tasers.
Over and over, these devices are part of an equation that makes people die. Jolt someone with a blast of power to immobilize their muscles, and the heart seems to stop working, especially if the person is in an agitated state. Why can't all law enforcement agencies suspend the use of tasers until someone figures out what is really happening? Too many people have died where there was never a reason for them to die. Robert Dziekanski was just one of them.
Toronto -- I have not decided which is more appalling: that an unarmed, unilingual Polish visitor to Canada, lost in a secured area of Vancouver International Airport for hours, is tasered and dies in an encounter with four RCMP officers or, that after months of investigation, the criminal justice branch of the B.C. Ministry of the Attorney-General has decided not to press charges against the officers who killed the man, an act that was captured on video for the world to see (Mounties Will Not Be Charged in B.C. Taser Death - Dec. 12).
Woodbridge, Ont. -- Robert Dziekanski didn't speak English. The Mounties were told this. It appears the officers wanted to get the situation with him under their control as soon as possible, rather than to understand the situation.
Moreover, simple math says that when four Mounties deal with one man, using a taser more than once is obviously unacceptable. My heart goes out to the Dziekanski family.
Edmonton -- I suppose it's only practical the Mounties won't face criminal charges for being such bumbling fools they inadvertently killed someone. But they sure as heck should face some kind of discipline and censure for clearly being incompetent.
Toronto -- A valuable lesson has been taught with the death of Robert Dziekanski. Never ever become confused, angry, frustrated or unable to effectively communicate with authorities at the Vancouver International Airport.
Saltspring Island, B.C. -- This is absurd. We all saw the video.
Mountie involved in Taser incident reassigned to Toronto, Kelly Sinoski, Vancouver Sun, Friday, December 12, 2008.
The Richmond Mountie who Tasered Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski five times in an altercation at Vancouver International Airport last year has been reassigned to the Toronto West detachment.
Const. Kwesi Millington deployed his Taser five times - the last two in "push stun mode" during the incident on Oct. 14, 2007, according to the Attorney-General's Ministry's Criminal Justice Branch. Dziekanski died shortly after.
Millington had worked at the Richmond RCMP detachment for less than five years before the incident. He did not return The Vancouver Sun's phone calls Friday.
The three other Mounties involved in the Tasering were identified Friday by Crown counsel as Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson, who had worked in Richmond for about 10 years, and constables Bentley and Rundel.
Police refused to release the first names of the two constables, who had also worked out of the Richmond detachment for less than five years. Both have been reassigned. Rundel is believed to be in Nanaimo now, and it was not know where Bentley has been transferred.
A message left for Rundel at the Nanaimo detachment was not returned.
Sgt. Tim Shields said the officers' names shouldn't be released because no charges were laid against them.
Meanwhile, Robinson was reassigned to the 2010 Integrated Security Unit, but was suspended with pay after motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson, 21, was fatally struck by a Jeep in Delta.
Delta police said Hutchinson was thrown from his motorcycle after it collided with the Jeep. Robinson faces charges of impaired driving causing death and exceeding .08 blood-alcohol content.
Before moving to Metro Vancouver, Robinson worked for several years in Merritt and Chase. In 2002, he won a provincial bravery award along with two other officers after confronting and arresting a man armed with an axe and a bat at the Adams Lake Indian band office.