Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mounties aim to block Braidwood Inquiry

The four RCMP officers who killed Robert Dziekanski with a TASER™ are asking the B.C. Supreme Court to prevent the Braidwood Inquiry from "making findings of misconduct against them" on the grounds "that a provincial inquiry doesn't have the power to make findings against federal police officers".

Justice Thomas Braidwood has warned that he may consider finding that the four RCMP "acted improperly and then tried to cover up their actions" in his final report.
The RCMP are hoping to use the excuse that they are a federal department not accountable to BC to pre-empt the BC Crown from possibly reopening their case. Not that there's been any indication that that's likely.

So far, Constables Kwesi Millington, Bill Bentley, Gerry Rundel and Corporal Monty Robinson have been exonerated by :
  • the Criminal Justice Branch of BC, which, despite having watched the same Paul Pritchard video the rest of us saw, determined the officers were "acting lawfully and responded with reasonable force".
  • the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, who also watched the vid and were so certain no charges would be laid that they didn't even bother to warn the officers first of their rights under the Charter that anything they said could be held in evidence against them or that they had a right to have their lawyers present.
  • the federal Department of Justice, which advised the Mounties they were not legally required to attend the Braidwood Inquiry anyway.
Additionally, the official federal RCMP watchdog Paul Kennedy has already said he is not given sufficient access to RCMP files to enable him to perform his job.

For the RCMP's lawyers to ask the BC Supreme Court to prevent a BC public inquiry from delivering on its purpose ... well that smells like shear flopsweat desperation.
But who is left who has the will to hold the renegade officers of this federal paramilitary organization to account?
Update : RCMP distances itself from officers' lawsuit over Dziekanski inquiry

Sgt. Tim Shields, the RCMP's official spokesman in B.C. :
"The position of the RCMP is that the RCMP will co-operate fully with the inquiry and is also recognizing the jurisdiction of the inquiry as having authority.
These lawyers are representing the four officers; they're not representing the RCMP."
While Shields acknowledged the lawyers are paid for by taxpayers, he said the force itself has no power to stop them from contradicting RCMP policy.

UPDATE : BC Supreme Court rules Taser inquiry can find Mounties at fault



Anonymous said...

This attempt to muzzle the inquiry after all the evidence has already been made public is the worst possible response they could have made in the circumstances.
When is their contract with the BC government up?
Is this move just on the part of the individual lawyers for the four officers or does the RCMP stand behind it?


Oemissions said...

Who is left?
Just us.?

Alison said...

Tim : 2012 and I've just updated in answer to your second question.
Good question - thanks.

Zero : Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass could yet come through, or StoneWally's successor.

thwap said...

I don't know. I'm getting the idea that the RCMP leadership is demonstrating the same miserable, incoherent incompetence that they have through this whole debacle, only this time the four officers are now on the receiving end of it.

They had a bullshit inquiry that cleared their boys, they agreed to a provincial inquiry brought about by the citizen's video because they believed in their own bs and thought they'd skate away, the truth is biting them savagely on the ass so now they might leave the 4 horsemen out to hang, prompting the panicky fellows to get lawyered-up to protect themselves.

There just might be consequences for this.

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