Braidwood

Kelly McParland does an admirable job of summing up the testimony of RCMP officers at the Braidwood Inquiry:

Whatever conclusion is ultimately reached at the Braidwood inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski, one conclusion now seems inevitable: the original tale peddled by the RCMP about that day at Vancouver airport was overwhelmingly bogus.

The 40-year-old Mr. Dziekanski did not grab a killer stapler and wave it threateningly over his head, as the police claimed. He did not advance on four officers with threatening gestures. He did not stay on his feet after the first jolt of the Taser they fired at him. He did not have to be wrestled to the ground. He did not, it appears from the testimony of the officers who were there that day, represent any kind of threat at all. Continue reading

Beyond the Pale

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The RCMP murdered Robert Dziekanski.  That’s what I think.  Of course, no charges will be laid against the officers.  The more that is revealed at the Braidwood Inquiry, the more firm I become in my view.  I can hardly bear to read it.

The RCMP tasered Dziekanski twice though he had done nothing more than wave his arms at them and walk away when they didn’t want him to walk away.  That’s my take on the video.  Help yourself – go watch it, as I have, again and again and again – mesmerized by the brutality, stupidity and inhumanity.  Watch while a passenger in the terminal chats with Dziekanski and calms him down.  Watch while four macho RCMP officers move in, don’t talk to him and behave in a way that would threaten anyone, never mind a non-English speaking person who’d been on a plane for hours and hours and hanging around the terminal looking for his mother for hours and hours and who hadn’t hurt a goddamned flea.

They tasered him twice and then noticed, while he was face down and cuffed, that he wasn’t moving.  They stood around for a bit and then called paramedics (never did call the on-site Emergency Response Team) and then wouldn’t let the medics treat him – wouldn’t remove his handcuffs so that he could be properly examined.  Robert Dziekanski died face down on the floor with his hands cuffed behind his back.  But that’s okay.  The paramilitary RCMP were just doing their jobs, as defined by them.  No one will hold them to account.

In the ’60s, we had a word for cops like these.  As I always told my sons, respect the police.  They kill people.