Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Deadly Dudley: the Mounties get their man

"Our national police force looks like a gang of thugs." The video of the RCMP killing of Robert Dziekanski in the Vancouver Airport on October 14 is now public, despite a clumsy attempt shortly afterwards to deep-six the tape.

is the 267th person (no misprint) to die in the custody of, or while being pursued by, police in BC (municipal and RCMP) since 1992. That's about 18 people a year.

The video will be posted by the Vancouver Sun at 6:00 pm local time. I'll update with it then. In the meanwhile we have a gathering flood of reports. The main point is that there is no apparent reason for the Tasering, as the victim appears quite docile, and indeed, says the witness who filmed the event, was surrendering himself to police. But four cops confronted him and almost immediately piled on. Full body pressure was applied by one officer to the victim's neck, which may offer a clue as to why he died.

Fresh from putting away young Ian Bush, and clearing themselves of any wrongdoing, the Horsemen have claimed another victim, and cleared themselves yet again. When will this out-of-control organization be disbanded--and, in the meantime, kicked out of BC? Will this cold-blooded, fatal act of violence be the straw that finally breaks the camel's back?

UPDATE: (November 14)

Here's the video, in three parts (click on the segments to the right). Decide for yourselves.

UPDATE: (November 15)

There's now a support site: Justice for Robert Dziekanski (h/t a commenter here). Write your MP, send letters to the editor--you know what to do. Rule of law, yes; rule by unaccountable thugs, no.

Other links on this: Aaron, Hippie, Galloping Beaver, Paladiea, John, Sean ("manslaughter caught on video") and Erik, who makes an excellent point about RCMP Sergeant Pierre Lemaitre's lies to the public before the video was released. And more good comment and links at Matt's.

UPDATE: (November 15)

And here, as a welcome surprise, is a post over at the Western Standard's Shotgun blog. H/t Mark Collins in the comments.

UPDATE: (November 16)

Dziekanski's last words, by way of the New Zealand Herald--he was pleading with the cops for help. (H/t Pale and Erik.) And the Globe and Mail is calling his death a "summary execution."

UPDATE: (November 16) Well, shoot. The Shotgun is not remotely unanimous. Read why Dziekanski deserved to die. It was his fault. Those of us who give a damn are guilty, it seems, of "multicultural naiveté."

UPDATE: (November 16) Dziekanski's killers are still on the loose active duty. If anyone can provide their names, please email me, in the public interest.

UPDATE: (November 18): More on the unrestrained use of Tasers by the RCMP. (H/t Pale.)

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