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Dziekanski killers face perjury charges

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Perjury charges? I don’t recall that it was perjury that killed Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver Airport three and a half years ago. I thought it was because he was tasered five times by four RCMP some thirty seconds after they arrived on the scene and then held facedown with a knee in his upper back and his hands cuffed behind him until he stopped breathing and turned blue - after which the RCMP made no attempt at all to revive him.

I would imagine Constables Kwesi Millington, Bill Bentley, Gerry Rundel and Corporal Monty Robinson, however, are somewhat surprised to be charged with anything, having already 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 four Mounties they were not legally required to attend the Braidwood Inquiry anyway.

But ok, perjury charges it is then - perjury charges only possible because the officers involved didn’t know about Paul Pritchard’s video of the whole hideous business contradicting their sworn statements on how Dziekanski was “swinging the stapler up high…in an attempt to hit us”, or that he “grabbed a stapler and came at the police screaming”. Or that he had to be wrestled to the ground after the first shock for being “non-compliant”, prompting Justice Thomas Braidwood to point out that in the vid after the first shock, Dziekanski “was already on the ground howling with his legs in the air.”

Well, they said finally, they were “afraid for their safety”.

A month ago in Prince George BC RCMP tasered an 11 year old boy with a heart condition because he allegedly stabbed one of his three caretakers. The boy was hiding from police in a vacant house, was coaxed out, and then tasered. Doubtless the “heavy police presence” reported on the scene were once again afraid for their safety. No word yet on whether the kid had a stapler but police are still investigating.

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This page contains a single entry by published on May 7, 2011 4:39 AM.

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