Mounties apologize – and fork it over for stun gun death


The memorial held for Robert in B.C. right after his death

The mother of Robert Dziekanski admitted she was exhausted after trying for 2 ½ years to hold the RCMP accountable for their role in the taser-related death of her son at the Vancouver airport.

“My health is getting worse and I cannot sleep at night. I am very tired,” Mr. Dziekanski’s mother, Zofia Cisowski, told reporters after announcing that she had accepted an apology from the Mounties and an out-of-court settlement with the RCMP, the Canadian Border Services Agency and the Vancouver Airport Authority.

“I have to close this chapter,” she said. “I think I will sleep better, from today.”

Ms. Cisowski said she was not upset with authorities for prolonging the process and not apologizing earlier. “I am not angry, but now it is over and I feel much better, from today,” Ms. Cisowski said.

In a horrifying incident caught on video by another traveler, Mr. Dziekanski died on Oct. 14, 2007, after police tasered him five times. The Mounties were responding to a 911 call. Mr. Dziekanski was agitated after being in the airport for 11 hours after spending 20 hours in transit from Poland. He did not know his mother was waiting for him outside the airport arrivals area and did not figure out how to leave the area he was in. He was 40 years old. Ms. Cisowski filed a lawsuit last fall against the RCMP, the border services and airport authority…

Deputy Commissioner Bass said he hoped that public confidence in the RCMP would be restored following the settlement of Ms. Cisowski’s civil lawsuit and changes in RCMP policies, practices, training and reporting requirements related to the use of tasers…

I’ll bet he does.

The RCMP could have done things better, he said, but he refused to acknowledge mistakes were made. He declined to comment on the actions of police officers involved in the incident before the release of the report of retired B.C. judge Thomas Braidwood, who held a public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the tasering of Mr. Dziekanski. The report is expected to be completed in June.

Ms. Cisowski said she accepted the apology, which she felt was more personal than the first one issued by the RCMP in May, 2009, in Ottawa. She was not looking for an apology from the officers who used the taser on her son, although she would like them to face consequences at their workplace. “That’s all. I do not want them charged criminally. That’s no help to me at all,” she said…

The report is coming out in June. What? Are they writing in big block letters with a soft pencil? They’ve had 2½ years to roll this out.

One thought on “Mounties apologize – and fork it over for stun gun death

  1. Cinaedh says:

    If that had been a report by some other news organizations, they would have shown the man dying over and over and over again; basically a snuff film for ratings. Well done, Global News!

    As for the public inquiry, which will cost millions and millions of dollars, the purpose isn’t “public inquiry” at all.

    The purpose is actually to delay any potentially negative findings until the Conservatives either have a majority government or have been voted out of power entirely.

    Two and a half years may well be a “conservative” estimate of when they’ll actually, eventually publish a report.

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