Thursday, November 15, 2007

Another RCMP murder

Four thugs in RCMP uniforms tasered an unresisting man at least twice with 50,000 volts before handcuffing him and then kneeling on his back and his neck until he was dead. They made no attempt to revive him.

On Oct 14, Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski cleared Customs and then spent the next ten hours waiting at the baggage carousel for his mother Zophia to pick him up as they had previously arranged. Neither of them were aware when they made this arrangement that the baggage carousel was now in a secure area that she would not be allowed to enter.

Zophia made three attempts to get help from airport authorities to contact her son over nine hours before being told he was not there and that she should go home. No one at airport authority was apparently willing to walk the hundred yards to where an increasingly frantic Robert who spoke no English had now gone those nine hours without food or drink. He began to crack, yelling in Polish. A woman passenger tried to use the airport translating phone for him but discovered it did not work. Robert picked it up and smashed it to the floor and began throwing his luggage around. Airport Security called in the police.

As other passengers yelled out to them that Robert did not speak English, the four RCMP entered the room and demanded in English that Robert stand against a wall. He complied and they tasered him. And then they tasered him again. Twenty five seconds elapsed between when the RCMP arrived and when they tasered and piled on top of him. "Hit him again, hit him again," an officer called out. And then he was dead.

We have airline passenger Paul Pritchard from Victoria to thank for making this video , this very ugly and shocking video, public. He gave it to the RCMP to help them with their investigation and they promised to return it in 48 hours. When they later told him it would probably be several years before he got it back, he sued and they returned it. Presumably it did not back up their earlier bullshit cover-up stories planted in the press last month that their victim was possibly insane or a drug mule or had some rare medical condition.

Shame on you, RCMP.

Justice for Robert Dziekanski
There's some links there to people you should be writing letters to.

See also Welcome to Canada : We speak English, French, and Taser


Anonymous said...

I don't know if you've been watching or listening to CBC on this today, Alison, but their coverage has been really good.
Mansbridge on the news last night looked hurt and ashamed by the whole thing.

Anonymous said...

"Amnesty points to over 150 cases in the US between 2001 and 2006 where individuals have died in custody after receiving a Taser shock." New Scientist

Did you know there's also a consumer taser now made by the same company, Taser International, that makes the law enforcement ones?
It comes in pink.

Anonymous said...

It's gone global - New York Times

Alison said...

Here is the meatallic pink taser Tina mentions, made by the same fine company that makes the ones for our murdering thugs in red surge. Thanks, girl.

Yes, Anon, it's gone global - I'm getting hits from China!

and yes, CBC excellent on this today.

Anonymous said...

Your article is titled "Another RCMP murder" I'd like to know some stats on RCMP related deaths in Canada, particularly B.C. I'm planning to write an article for my college paper and am interested in taser but more importantly handgun related deaths caused by RCMP, as well as info on the deaths of RCMP officers, number, cause etc. I thought you might have some insight as to where I can get some legitimate info.


Alison said...

Hello Chance
Manslaughter would have been a more accurate term than murder - I was just pissed at the RCMP's repeated references to it as an "incident" and an "accident".

I'd call the RCMP directly - they have an entire media/PR division just to deal with public inquiries and unless I'm mistaken, in BC it's still Ann Drennnan's office. Besides, your article will have more credibility if you start with them.
Then you can branch out.
8 RCMP have been shot in 31 months. Article includes circumstances. A related article on the RCMP's very bad year gives some context.

Amnesty International on Excessive use of tasers in Canada

Ideally you should be able to get this info from StatsCan and/or Justice but a real hash has been made of the research at those sites in the last year. Back in a mo if I can find anything, otherwise - good luck.

Alison said...

Chance :
"Since 1992, 267 people have died while in the custody of or while being pursued by the police in British Columbia, an average of almost 18 each year."
~ Vancouver Sun Oct 30, 2007

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