Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Mounties who got their man

Cracks are appearing in the conspiracy of silence surrounding the identities of the four Horsemen involved in the death of Robert Dziekanski.

The first RCMP officer to be outed was Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson, the supervisor of the other three Mounties during the killing of Dziekanski, who is presently facing new problems of his own, also involving the death of a civilian.

The goon who wielded the Taser no less than five times, for a total of 31 seconds of high-voltage electric shock--administered twice while Dziekanski was on the ground convulsing--is Constable Kwesi Millington, who has since been transferred to the Toronto West detachment of the RCMP in Milton, Ontario.

The two other Mounties involved are at present known only by their last names. Constable Rundel is believed to have been reassigned to the RCMP's Nanimo detachment (303 Prideaux St., Nanaimo, V9R 2N3 [250] 754-2345), and has been taken off front-line duties. Constable Bentley has been transferred east, but his current detachment is not presently known.

Meanwhile the RCMP and their friends in the Crown's office claim that the Tasering had nothing to do with Dziekanski's death, why, nothing at all, no siree. They continue to spin their fantastic fables about the contributing factors:
  • Dziekanski was suffering, they say, from alcohol withdrawal. With him on his carry-on luggage was an unopened bottle of vodka that he was bringing for a friend of the family. His lawyer quite reasonably points out that, were this allegation true, the bottle would not have remained unopened. Dziekanski's mother says that he had a problem with alcohol twenty years ago. The Polish Embassy says that the Crown's allegation is "factually baseless."

  • Dziekanski was hysterically afraid of flying, we are told. No doubt this unproven allegation arose from the Mounties' oh-so-objective "fact-finding" tour of Dziekanski's home town this past April. Recall that Dziekanski had been on terra firma for half a day before he was killed: is this a case, as I noted earlier, of "retroactive aviophobia?"

  • Dziekanski threatened the officers with a stapler, says the BC Criminal Justice Branch mouthpiece Stan Lowe. I have reviewed the video a number of times, and can find no frame in which a stapler can be seen. I am reproducing the video below: if anyone spots a stapler in the man's hand, please leave a comment. Given the other lies we have been told, I see no reason to take the RCMP at their word on this. But even if there had been such an object in his hand at the time, I agree with commenter Mike Steenhuus over at the CBC thread on this:

    "My conclusion is: If it takes 4 RCMP with tasers to take down one tired, thirsty, delirious man with a stapler, perhaps the RCMP should look into replacing their tasers with staplers.
    " [H/t Alison at Creekside]

  • The physical restraint used by the four officers, piling onto a man who has received five Taser shocks, was held to be a contributing factor in Dziekanski's death--one officer even knelt on Dziekanski's neck. Incredibly, some unnamed police"expert" found that "the officers' actions were consistent with RCMP policy and training."(Think about that one for a moment, and be very afraid.)

  • The official apologists have even managed to slip in a reference to "delirium," that dubious medical alibi for deaths after Tasering. One "forensic pathologist" managed to make the obvious sound like a scientific finding: he referred to the event as "sudden death following restraint." We knew that.
In any case, here they are, folks: Canada's finest, on the job.


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