Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Braidwood Chronicles: Kwesi explanations

Contrary to an earlier report, the deadly stapler that Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski has been accused of "brandishing" had indeed been recovered from the scene. Constable Kwesi Millington, the Taserman who seems to have more stories in his repertoire than Sheherezade, demonstrated yesterday how Dziekanski used it "combatively," prompting so many scoffing noises and derisive snorts from the audience that Thomas Braidwood had to call for order.

The constable didn't fare much better today.

Despite admitting that he knew from his training that multiple Taserings were dangerous, Millington didn't see fit to alert arriving medical personel to his repeated shocking of Dziekanski.

He couldn't explain why he failed to give the standard warning to his victim: "Police, stop, or you'll be hit with 50,000 volts." In a perhaps telling phrase, he stated, "I didn't believe we had the time. I wanted to get to Mr. Dziekanski."

That much appears to be obvious. As I noted earlier, the video suggests (@3:42) that he came through the door with his Taser already drawn and pointed at Dziekanski.* Nine seconds later (@3:51) he blasted him while Dziekanski was stationary, with his back to a counter, his hands perhaps slightly above waist level. Contrary to his earlier testimony, there was no advance, no stapler-brandishing, nothing in the video that indicates that force was necessary.

But Kwesi Millington, in his own words, "wanted to get to Mr. Dziekanski." And indeed he did.

*Readers are asked to check this for themselves. More than one pair of eyes is always helpful. Is what appears on the video @3:42 a hand-signal (Millington stated that he had made them to Dziekanski) or a Taser? Comments welcome.

UPDATE: Having reviewed this tape a number of times by now, I no longer believe that Millington had deployed his Taser. What we are seeing, I believe, is simply a finger being pointed.

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