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article imageMountie breaks down in tears at perjury trial

By Arthur Weinreb     Jun 11, 2013 in Crime
Vancouver - Giving evidence on a motion, Const. Bill Bentley had tears flowing down his face as he recounted the day Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died after being Tasered.
As Digital Journal reported, Bentley's trial started in Vancouver yesterday. The RCMP officer is charged with perjury arising from his testimony given before the Braidwood Inquiry.
Prior to the beginning of the trial, Bentley testified on a pre-trial motion to determine the admissibility of statements he made to investigators. Bentley said he was taking a statement from a witness when his superior officer, Cpl. Benjamin Robinson, told him Dziekanski had died. He and the other officers were told to go to the airport sub-detachment and wait for homicide investigators to arrive.
Bentley testified that while at the sub-detachment, he was never told he could get a lawyer and he was never read his rights including to remain silent.
Before Bentley took the stand, court heard evidence from Staff Sgt. Michael Ingles. Ingles testified he arrived at the sub-detachment where the four officers were. He told them homicide investigators did not consider them "suspects" and they had a "duty to account," that is, tell the investigators what happened during their encounter with the deceased.
Bentley told the court, "I was a mess, I was just really upset about the whole incident. I describe it as basically the most traumatic event in my life." At that stage, the court had to pause while Bentley choked up and tears streamed down his face.
On Oct. 14, 2007, Dziekanski arrived at Vancouver International Airport from Poland. He came to Canada as a landed immigrant to join his mother who was already here. Due to confusion and an inability to speak English, Dziekanski ended up spending over 10 hours in the arrivals area of the airport. He became frustrated and began throwing furniture around the room.
Police were called and Bentley and three other officers arrived. They confronted Dziekanski, during which time, the man was Tasered several times. He fell to the floor and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
A public inquiry was convened to examine both the use of conducted energy weapons and the circumstances surrounding Dziekanski's death. The perjury charge results from Bentley's testimony at the inquiry that Dziekanski had come at the officers with a stapler in his hand, causing them to be concerned for their safety. At that point, a Taser was deployed.
Unknown to officers at the time, a civilian, Paul Pritchard, began filming Dziekanski after he threw the first piece of furniture. The video, later uploaded on YouTube, continued until Dziekanski lay motionless in the floor. The video shows the man did not have a stapler, did not come at the officers in a menacing way, and in fact had nothing in his hands when the Mounties entered the arrivals area. As a result of his testimony and the video, Bentley and the three other officers were charged with perjury.
Bentley was the most junior officer of the four. He had been on the force only two years before the encounter with Dziekanski.
More about Perjury, Robert dziekanski, const bill bentley, Rcmp
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