Friday, June 19, 2009

Braidwood Inquiry : It ain't over yet

Justice Thomas Braidwood is "appalled", RCMP lawyer Helen Roberts is "tearful", and the Braidwood Inquiry into Robert Dziekanski's death has been put on hold until September pending further investigation into an incriminating November 2007 email which was only turned over to the Braidwood Inquiry this week.

The email from Chief Supt. Dick Bent to RCMP Assistant Commissioner Al McIntyre :

"Finally spoke to Wayne [Supt. Wayne Rideout, head of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team investigating Dziekanski's death] and he indicated that the members did not articulate that they saw the symptoms of excited delirium, but instead had discussed the response en route and decided that he did not comply that they would go to CEW [conducted energy weapon]."
Rideout's lawyer read a statement from his client saying the email was "simply a misunderstanding" and that that "Rideout doesn't remember saying such a thing and Bent must have been mistaken".
A tearful Roberts stated the email "was simply overlooked" and that "Bent was mistaken in his e-mail and that the officers did not formulate a plan to use the Taser as soon as possible."

I would think 25 seconds is about as "as soon as possible" as is humanly possible, plan or no plan.
All four mounties testified under oath that they did not discuss anything amongst themselves prior to taking down Robert Dziekanski with five TASER™ shots.

When the Inquiry resumes September 22 , Rideout, Bent and McIntyre will likely be required to testify. Will Bent just say : Yeah, I was mistaken ?

Does this make you any happier about the sweeping new powers the Cons propose to give the RCMP to "collect information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant, and activate tracking devices in their cellphones and cars"?
Sources : CBC, Natty Post, CP.


Anonymous said...

This email is just hearsay evidence - what Bent thinks he heard Rideout say. I don't get the big flap about it - CBC calls it a 'bombshell' - what we saw is what we saw and that's what matters. Let's not get side-tracked into he said he saids here.

Hope you're going to follow up on the Canadian equivalent of the US warantless wiretapping bill.


Alison said...

Ian : I agree the bombshelliness is questionable.

Further possible machinations : What I wonder is whether this sudden release of an 18 month old document is an RCMP stalling tactic. Are the RCMP hoping to use the next three months to mount an attack on the BC Supreme Court decision that denied their suit to have the Braidwood Inquiry muzzled?

Re the new Canadian Patriot Acts.
I will attempt something but Michael Geist will be better.

West End Bob said...

Does this make you any happier about the sweeping new powers the Cons propose to give the RCMP to "collect information about Canadian Internet users without a warrant, and activate tracking devices in their cellphones and cars"?

Nope, not at all. Warrantless wiretapping here we come. Works for the US, might as well initiate it here, right?

crapola . . . .

Anonymous said...

More than 1,000 e-mails were exchanged by RCMP officers discussing Robert Dziekanski's death and working out a communications strategy in the month following the airport Tasering, according to an internal report obtained by the Vancouver Sun

Keep up the good work!

Oemissions said...

Justice Braidwood was appalled. That warrants calling it somewhat of a bombshell.
And Dziekanski's mom felt some relief from this weary journey.

Q said...

The Romans would have loved the taser, The Greeks would have been appalled...there's little difference between the organized lying to protect taser use and rigging elections in Iran, we're such a lazy nation :(

Dr.Dawg said...

Thanks to your reminder at my place--that an exchange is audible on the Pritchard tape before the Gang of Four even sights Dziekanski: "May I Taser him?" "Yes"--it occurs to me that the email and that exchange reinforce each other. The cops were just itching to use their toy on someone, and now was their chance...

Anonymous said...

there's always a timeline involved when new evidence is introduced...the courts are backlogged and it would be the same delay if you or i were in court proceedings. HOWEVER, that does not mean the new evidence is any less shocking , it just took bodies this long to wade through the thousands of documents related to the case.

will it be fodder for the internet police? don't know....may be it will help , maybe not......there's obviously a shortage of humanpower with the recruiting departments suffering , just like the lack of skilled workers.

what it may (hopeufully) inspire is BC rcmp to go the route of the quebec force and refuse to use tasers. the clamps must be on here because after an incident like this and others , and the consequences of it reaching a commission, you'd think the cops themselves would follow quebec's suit.

makes me think then the emails could be bogus (the hearsay component), to take the heat off the brass and scapegoat the officers involved. that would be more in keeping with past rcmp blunders.

starlight ride, anyone?

Alison said...

The circumstances under which this 11th hour doc came to light may be important. Was it Elliott?

"...Elliott said, pointing out that the RCMP brought the Bent email to the attention of the commission. “Commissioner Braidwood was informed that a specific document was not provided and he himself accepted the Government of Canada’s sincere apologies for this oversight,” Elliott’s statement said.

This Elliott :

On February 12, 2009, RCMP Commissioner William Elliott assured the public safety committee :

"The RCMP’s revised CEW policy restricts the use of CEWs and specifically warns of the hazards of multiple deployment or continuous cycling of the CEW."

On March 25, the CBC reported that instead Elliott had actually relaxed the 2005 restrictions on multiple zappings, removing the following rule from the RCMP operational manual on conducted energy weapons :

3. 1. 3. Multiple deployment or continuous cycling of the CEW may be hazardous to a subject. Unless situational factors dictate otherwise (see IM/IM), do not cycle the CEW repeatedly, nor more than 15-20 seconds at a time against a subject.

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