Robert Dziekanski

I have been following the Robert Dziekanski saga for a while now.

Right from the start, RCMP has been on the back foot and tried to play defense until a few days ago. It’s quite obvious what the lawyers of the RCMP officers are doing, painting the victim as a person of dubious character.

My question is not if this guy was of dubious character? Or he was drunk? Or what if he was mentally unstable? My question is why the fuck did 4 police officers have to taser a guy armed with a stapler?

If the best defense that the officers have to offer is to attack the victim’s “character”, then they have already lost.

Updated and pointed analysis can be found at Dr. Dawg’s.

Taser

In my book tasering is one of the worst tools given to the authorities, especially the police. Sure it is effective in controlling unruly and potentially dangerous behaviour but the exponential abuse of this tool renders it ineffective. I mean we have had incidents where people have died after being tasered by trigger happy police who respond by saying tasering was necessary for the their and otherès safety. I mean why call it “non-lethal” when one – third of tasered persons have required medical attention? Or does non-lethal now mean that the person did not die? In that case what about this :

Robert Dziekanski

Robert Knipstrom

Michael Langan

Quilem Registre

And then you have incidents like this :

Parents of a 16-year-old boy in intensive care with a broken back want to know why police Tasered their son 19 times rather than calling an ambulance for help.

Citizens noticed Branson, Mo., teenager Mace Hutchinson walking alongside the road and, fearing for his safety, called 9-1-1.

“We called the police. My wife was afraid he was going to get ran over or hit,” said witness Doug Messersmith. “He looked a little agitated but, other than that, he didn’t look to be falling down drunk or anything like that.”

When police arrived, they found Hutchinson under an overpass on U.S. 65 Saturday morning, Springfield’s KY3 News reported. The boy had fallen 30 feet off the overpass and was lying on the shoulder.

When the boy didn’t respond to police, they Tasered him, repeatedly.

“I’m not an officer, but I don’t see the reason for Tasering somebody lying there with a broken back. I don’t consider that a threat,” his aunt Samantha said.

Hutchinson was later admitted to the hospital, where he was put under intensive care for his injuries and is listed in fair condition. His family believes police added to the trauma after he fell from the overpass.

“According to the doctors, all injuries are consistent with a fall,” Samantha said.

I have the utmost respect for the police but incidents like this just make me wonder if power actually makes the authority figure trigger happy?

Tasered man’s last moments (Updated)

Stole the title from Globe and Mail.

I saw the video and believe me that there was nothing 4 professional mounties with flak jackets could do to restrain an out of shape man who clearly looked like he was mounting an attack….well it was mostly a verbal attack and using chairs and stools to create a fort around him. None the less it seemed really, really dangerous and the 4 professional police officers had to taser this rambling man twice with 50,000 volts.

Great work RCMP, great work. Now let’s all tune into Globe and Mail and see our police force in action.

The footage, shot by Victoria resident Paul Pritchard, was released to the news media yesterday and widely broadcast, providing a raw look at events that have prompted a furious debate in B.C. about the police use of tasers.

The release comes exactly a month after the incident that ended in the death of 40-year-old Mr. Dziekanski, who had come to Canada on his first-ever airplane flight to begin a new life here with his mother, who lives in Kamloops and had been eagerly awaiting his arrival.

He began acting erratically after more than 10 hours being processed — the footage picks up as he was positioning chairs and a table in a manner that caused the automatic doors to remain open. Security guards look on.

When four Mounties arrive, they briskly move up to Mr. Dziekanski. He calls out “policia, policia” as they approach. One bystander is recorded saying that he is speaking Russian.

He appears to turn and move away from officers, putting up his hands in frustration. He appears to pick up a stapler on a counter. He is then tasered with a 50,000-volt shock, and jittering he drops, screaming in pain.

Someone yells “hit him again.” He was tasered twice. Police pile on, seeking to restrain him. One officer places his knee on Mr. Dziekanski’s neck.

Mr. Dziekanski went into medical distress and died there. The footage shows officers attending to him. One man in a suit checks for a pulse. It is impossible to tell from the footage whether he is dead at that point, although he appears non-responsive.

An autopsy later found no sign of drugs or alcohol in Mr. Dziekanski’s system, but failed to come up with any specific cause of death.

Updated : Every Canadian needs to go here and check the links to their perspective MPs and let them know what you think. After all, MPs work for us.

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!

From A Creative Revolution :

A few weeks ago a man was tasered at the Vancouver airport, and passed away as a result.

But this story has gotten bigger and hasn’t gone away as i am sure the RCMP would like it to. So many different accounts and conflicts, mostly with the RCMP version.

The footage taken on a cell phone by a Paul Pritchard, is (maybe) going to be released by the RCMP in the next couple of days. He is going through with his court appearance to ensure that they follow through with their promise.

I have the greatest of respect for the police. In fact I am going through a phase with my daughter who has been taught (I will not name the person(s)) that police is someone to be scared of.

In India that is true. Police in India are pure bastards. But here in Canada they are there to help us. And that’s what I am trying to teach my kid. When in trouble, get help from police. But when you read something like this and the Maher Arar case. You really begin to doubt the police’s credibility.

I mean, I have been pulled over a couple of times and have been told it’s a random check authorised by the city for drunk driving but I wonder what would happen if I say “nope I refuse to be subjected to these random checks”?

Noooooo, I am not going to try a stunt like that. But I was just wondering. Here is a list (from the above post from A Creative Revolution (highly recommended site)) of a few fuck ups by the RCMP with the help of a taser :

TASER-RELATED DEATHS IN B.C. AND POLICE FORCE INVOLVED:

– April 19, 2003: Terry Hanna, 51, Burnaby RCMP.

– July 22, 2003: Clayton Willey, 33, Prince George RCMP.

– May 1, 2004: Roman Andreichikov, 25, Vancouver police.

– June 23, 2004: Robert Bagnell, 44, Vancouver police.

– June 30, 2005: Gurmeet Sandhu, 41, Surrey RCMP.

– Oct. 14, 2007: Man in his 40s, Richmond RCMP.