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article imageThe Dziekanski inquiry denounce RCMP officers as BC reconsiders charges

By KJ Mullins     Jun 18, 2010 in Crime
British Columbia has announced that a special prosecutor will be appointed to review discrepancies in testimony at the Braidwood inquiry.
The provincial government has begun to work on the recommendations from the Braidwood Commission's report “Why? The Robert Dziekanski Tragedy.”
Attorney General and Solicitor General Michael de Jong, QC announced that British Columbia will create a new civilian-led unit to investigate all independent municipal police- and RCMP-related deaths and serious incidents across B.C. within the next year.
"This tragic case is, at its heart, a story of shameful conduct by a few officers," Thomas Braidwood, a retired B.C. Court of Appeal judge, said as he summarized his findings.
“Mr. Braidwood has done a tremendous job of unravelling and probing all the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of Robert Dziekanski,” said de Jong. “B.C. agrees with the intent, principle and purpose of each of the report’s recommendations.”
The Independent Investigation Office (IIO) will be accountable to the Ministry of Attorney General. The IIO will be lead by a civilian who has never served as a police officer in Canada. They will have powers entrenched in legislation. The IIO will have a mandate to conduct criminal investigations into police-related incidents involving death or serious harm, with discretion to do other investigations.
The report details the facts surrounding the death of Robert Dziekanski. He died as a result of being tasered by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) at Vancouver International Airport on October 14, 2007. At the time of his death Robert Dziekański was emigrating from Poland to live with his mother in Kamloops, B.C. He was having trouble communicating because of language barriers at customs when he was tasered after becoming agitated. He is said to have thrown things on the floor in the Customs clearing area and a public lounge prior to police arriving on the scene.
Four RCMP officers, Constables Gerry Rundel, Bill Bently, Kwesi Millington, and supervisor Corporal Benjamin Robinson reported to the scene. After Corporal Robinson ordered the Taser to be used Constable Millington did so. The suspect then begun to convulse and was tasered numerous times while he was falling to the ground. It is reported that he was cuffed and continued to have the taser used on him. At which point he stopped breathing. The police did not perform CPR and he was pronounced dead 15 minutes later when paramedics arrived.
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