While yanking the RCMP’s contract for the entire province may seem drastic, it would devolve and decentralize power from the federal police force – an institution which, perhaps, should find its calling in investigations of organized crime rather than bringing the weight of the national government to bear on community policing. The history of the RCMP, musical rides and red serge aside, has been a chequered one to say the least – as the Macdonald Commission exposed in the 1970s, they’ve engaged in provocation, perjury, and of course now there is ‘pain compliance’ to worry about – so it may well be in everyone’s best interest to throw up that additional firewall or institutional barricade to the exercise of centralized law enforcement by giving BC its own police force.
Flashback: Braidwood inquiry reopens, RCMP bickers over preplanned TASER use | TASER files court motion to quash Braidwood probe’s findings | Mounties have no choice but to comply with TASER ruling | Justice says changes needed in Taser use | Mounties discussed Tasing Dziekanski prior to altercation | Judge: B.C. taser probe can rule on Mountie misconduct issue | Mounties want to bar Taser inquiry from finding misconduct | RCMP spokesman told to hold off correcting false details of Dziekanski incident, inquiry hears | RCMP supervising officer contradicts earlier testimony in Dziekanski inquiry | RCMP to face no charges in case of TASERed Polish immigrant: Report | Mountie involved in fatal crash was supervisor at time of airport Taser death | Perjury: Is it different for cops? | Mounties censor Taser report
October 5, 2009
Final arguments began Monday at the public inquiry in Vancouver into the death of a man who was stunned several times by an RCMP Taser at the Vancouver airport almost two years ago.
The inquiry, led by retired justice Thomas Braidwood, is examining how Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski succumbed after being shot with an electronic stun gun five times by RCMP officers and left handcuffed face down on the floor of the arrivals lounge of the airport.
In his final submission to the inquiry Monday, the lawyer for Dziekanski’s mother, Walter Kosteckyj, said the police failed to take the time to do their job properly. He said it took the RCMP officers less than 30 seconds after first meeting Dziekanski before they fired the Taser at him.
“The tasering of Mr. Dziekanski, at its best, would be characterized as premature, hurried and panicked response. And at the worst was a premeditated and planned attack,” Kosteckyj said.
It was clear that Dziekanski went down, writhing in pain, after being hit by the stun gun just once. Using the weapon on the man repeatedly after that initial shot was stepping over the line, Kosteckyj said.
“The third, fourth and fifth deployments were gratuitous, unnecessary and were violent,” the lawyer said.
Kostekyj also told the inquiry the RCMP in B.C. should be replaced with a provincial police force.
He said the RCMP already act as the provincial police force in B.C., but doesn’t want to be held accountable to the provincial legislature.
The RCMP officers involved in Dziekanski’s death, Const. Bill Bentley, Const. Gerry Rundel, Const. Kwesi Millington and Cpl. Benjamin Robinson, have already claimed the provincial inquiry has no jurisdiction over them, and Kosteckyj expects the federal government will make the same argument in its final submissions.
Final statements were expected to continue through Thursday.
The final report by commissioner Thomas Braidwood is expected early next year.
Source | See also under Tasers: RCMP tests Tasers that record video | Braidwood inquiry reopens, RCMP bickers over preplanned TASER use | Merced police used TASER on unarmed, legless man in a wheelchair | UK: Police may be issued with new high-power Taser | TASER files court motion to quash Braidwood probe’s findings | Pregnant mother tasered at baptism party | TASER introduces 3-shot semiauto | Mounties have no choice but to comply with TASER ruling | Justice says changes needed in Taser use | US Lawsuit: Cops tasered 3 kids in shelter, threatened one with sodomy | Officer denies uttering sexual threat before lethal TASERing | Latest TASER victim looked ’scared’ as officer approached with knife | Safety Tests MIA for Taser’s Shocking New Shotgun | Mounties discussed Tasing Dziekanski prior to altercation | UK Police watchdog to investigate Taser arrest, beating posted on YouTube | Judge: B.C. taser probe can rule on Mountie misconduct issue | New video shows officer shove, then taser 72-year-old great grandmother | Mounties want to bar Taser inquiry from finding misconduct | US: Ruling allowing Taser use to get DNA may be nation’s first | RCMP halts use of malfunctioning Tasers after B.C. decision | Taser inquiry into Dziekanski’s death hears last witness | Dziekanski’s death following Taser jolts no coincidence: expert | Dziekanski ‘would not have died’ if spared Taser, expert tells inquiry | TASER’s medical expert says weapon didn’t cause Dziekanski’s death | RCMP didn’t tell pathologist Dziekanski suffered multiple TASER stuns, inquiry hears | RCMP spokesman told to hold off correcting false details of Dziekanski incident, inquiry hears | RCMP ’sorry’ for errors in taser briefings | MPs grill top Mountie on tasers | RCMP shocked 16 people five times or more last year | RCMP still uses Tasers too often, watchdog finds | RCMP credibility battered by TASER inquiry | Quebec orders police to turn in Tasers | RCMP softened Taser-use restrictions | RCMP supervising officer contradicts earlier testimony in Dziekanski inquiry | Boys, 15, Tasered by police, stats show | Toronto police used Tasers 367 times in 2008: statistics | Stun gun shock to head may cause seizures, doctors warn | TASER launches new headcam for police – with ‘privacy mode’ | TASERed immigrant ‘had the stapler open… he was in a combative stance’ | Dziekanski’s ‘combative behaviour’ justified Taser jolt: Mountie | Witness alters story but maintains Dziekanski attempted to staple RCMP | Airport refused help from Polish-speaking employee before Taser death | Dziekanski didn’t wield stapler before RCMP fired Taser, inquiry hears | Selkirk teen sues RCMP over stun gun allegations | Ban stun gun use on young people, Ontario child advocate urges | Emergency call taken out of context: airport Taser death witness | RCMP destroyed evidence, charges dismissed in second torture case for officers | U.S. study raises more questions about TASER safety | Second phase of Taser inquiry begins in Vancouver | RCMP watchdog launches new Taser probe around deaths | Police forces withhold information on Taser use from public: audit | US police could get ‘pain beam’ weapons | No charges to be laid against RCMP officers in airport Taser death | RCMP to face no charges in case of TASERed Polish immigrant: Report | Taser International disputes CBC/Radio-Canada testing as ‘flawed’ | Red Deer man shot by Taser had pre-existing heart condition: doctor | Cops Taser Drowned Dad’s Distraught Son | Amnesty urges moratorium on Taser use after CBC/Radio-Canada probe | Some tested Tasers fire stronger current than company says: CBC/Radio-Canada probe | RCMP Investigates, Clears Self of Wrongdoing in Case of TASERed Inuvik Girl | US Cops Tase 54 Year Old Woman For Sitting In Wrong Seat At Football Game | Prison service ices TASER pilot project | B.C. man dies after Taser used during Calgary arrest | Mountie involved in fatal crash was supervisor at time of airport Taser death | Drug abuser executed by TASER blasts – TASER toll stands at 25 | Mountie arrested in fatal crash present at airport Taser death | Inquiry into Vancouver airport Taser death put off 2nd time | Tasers being used for pain compliance during interrogation, suit alleges | Family sues police claiming Taser raid on autistic son in own bedroom | Naked Langley, B.C., robbery suspect dies after Taser jolt | Tasering of mom with baby ‘necessary’ in order to take child, police say | Brampton man is 23rd Canadian TASER death; police duly investigate themselves | RCMP didn’t study Taser use enough: Report | Probe into tasering of teenaged girl reopened | Police Taser and abuse suspect, lie on stand, man still convicted | RCMP should end use of Tasers: Zaccardelli | Police delay report on Taser until 2009 | Mounties pinned me down in cell and tasered me, Manitoba girl says | 21st Canadian TASER death occurs in Winnipeg alleyway | RCMP e-mails throw Dziekanski Taser probe into question, critics say | TASER bracelets considered for airline passengers | Taser use could put police under fire | Inquiry says ‘insidious’ TASERs being used as tool of convenience, should be reclassified, restricted under criminal code | Man dies in custody after Taser incident involving Ontario police | Ban Tasers if RCMP doesn’t curb use by year’s end: Commons committee | One-third of people shot by Taser need medical attention: probe | RCMP firing Tasers multiple times at subjects, probe reveals | U.S. jury shocks Taser, investors, with rare loss in court | Youth Worker Subjected to Warrantless Raid on Secret Evidence | Tasering violated suspect’s rights, judge rules | RCMP willing to change Taser policy, inquiry told | Tasers pose risk to heart, MDs testify | ‘Peel and Stick’ Tasers Electrify Riot Control | Canadian police have been brainwashed, Taser inquiry told | Mounties censor Taser report | Taser group’s chair to defend stun guns at public inquiry | RCMP release heavily censored incident report about Dziekanski | Inquiry examining Taser use, Dziekanski’s death begins Monday | Chicago study calls Taser’s safety claims into question | Tasers: the next generation | Witness blames RCMP, Vancouver airport for death of Tasered man | Officer injured in Taser demonstration