Misleading. Unbelievable. Untrue.

Robert Dziekanski deplaned in Vancouver and expected to meet his mother.  Somehow, he “disappeared” within the secure customs area.  He spoke Polish.  He didn’t understand the formalities.  His mother wasn’t there at the baggage carousel to meet him as he expected, though she was unable to get there because it was a secure area.  After all this, he was disoriented.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) came to help this disoriented Polish traveler.  Within 30 seconds, he was tased five times.  Then he died. 

But there’s a slight twist, perhaps because this happened in Canada. Perhaps because of the outrage at this death. Perhaps because it was caught on video by another traveler.  An independent commission led by Thomas Braidwood was created to investigate how and why this fellow from Poland ended up dead in the Vancouver Airport. 

“Deliberate misrepresentations made for the purpose of justifying their actions.” 

How many time have you wanted to hear that come out of the investigation, as opposed to “We find that the officers did nothing wrong and acted in accordance with police policy.”

Braidwood’s conclusions are quite remarkable for their candor and strength.  Yet three things continue to bother me:

1.  Robert Dziekanski is still dead.
2.  Taser use is still pervasive
3.  Had there been no video, the RCMP story would have been conclusive.

So we have a truly critical investigation of this truly horrific conduct.  Does it change anything?

H/T Ed at Blawg Review

8 thoughts on “Misleading. Unbelievable. Untrue.

  1. Blind Guy

    And where were the prosecutors during the investigation? A criminal investigation will be re opened. What happened to the first one?

  2. Stephen

    Horribly chirpy inflection on “minutes before he lost his life” at end of that video.

    On the other hand, I’m surprised that the tourist would be the only video evidence of the police interaction – wasn’t there CCTV?

  3. Lurking Reader 4008

    The event was in 2007, and I distinctly remember reports of Canadians protesting the use of force afterward. It was the closest I’ve ever been to becoming a Canadian.

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