Canadian Prosecutors Consider Criminal Charges Against Four Officers in Taser Death

A special Canadian prosecutor will consider criminal charges against four officers after an investigation found that they were not justified in tasering a Polish immigrant who later died. Robert Dziekanski was tasered five times at Vancouver airport in 2007.

Mr Dziekanski, 40, did not speak English and was emigrating to Canada to join his mother. He was held for 10 hours and eventually threw a computer and a chair in a rage over his treatment.
The episode was filming by a bystander which triggered both international outcry and the eventual investigation. Once again, while police in the United States and England are arresting people for videotaping them in public, these cases show that the film record is the driving force behind such investigations.

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6 thoughts on “Canadian Prosecutors Consider Criminal Charges Against Four Officers in Taser Death”

  1. The original police-investigating-police review (inexplicably, not really…) concluded that the four RCMP members did nothing wrong. The Braidwood Inquiry came to a very different conclusion.

    One might wonder how the original review was conducted. Perhaps that question should also be investigated and followed to the conclusion.

    For those keeping score, the original Dziekanski autopsy findings were also turned on their head, from taser not mentioned to the taser being “the more prominent” direct cause of death. [LINK]

    It’s not really a fair system when it costs millions of dollars and takes years to get past all the… – how can I word this? – …all the layers of “inaccuracies”. And without a mobilephone video, the starting gate is glued shut.

    The impact of Braidwood is double-barreled. In addition to all the obvious direct conclusions about the death of Robert Dziekanski, there’s also an obvious indirect implication on all previous decisions made and conclusions drawn (in relation to other incidents) by a fundamentally-flawed system.

    Fixing the system going forward is nice.

    But what about the past? Is it reasonable to assume that the Dziekanski incident was the first and only time that the system ‘failed’ (*).

    (* The word ‘failed’ is a very gentle word choice. I have suspicions that a much stronger word would be more appropriate…)

    When a police-investigating-police investigation “fails”, there should be consequences on those leading and supervising the whitewash investigation.

    Plain logic and fundamental justice indicates that certain other incidents should also be revisited. Especially in those cases where someone was tasered_and_died, and the taser was given a free pass “because”, after all, “tasers-R-safe”, right? (sic)

  2. It took three years to figure out what you can see in a few minutes of video!?!??!

    Well still better that the USA, which ain’t saying much.

  3. Blouise,

    Don’t forget the real meaning of most LEO’s description of Justice: Just US against them.

    I am not sure if the RCMP will be prosecuted for this egregious act.

  4. Canada seems to have the intestinal fortitude to at least consider criminal charges against their overzealous officers, unlike the U.S. which just rationalizes away such actions in the name of law enforcement.

  5. The guards clearly saw this fellow filming and made no effort to stop him. Maybe things are different in Canada?

    The passenger was clearly in physical as well as mental distress. Tasers are notoriouly dangerous when combined with physical problems of the tasee. More training is definitely needed about the use of these weapons.

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