Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Welcome to Canada

I saw the Robert Dziekanski taser video a few nights ago. I must admit to FUMING afterwards but thought it best to cool down a bit before I blogged about it.

I want to first say that I have friends who are members of the RCMP, VPD, DPD. I would trust those individuals with my life. My comments regarding the video are directed only to the members that were involved that night.

I was actually terrified after I saw that video. I could hear the relief in Mr. Dziekanski's voice when he said 'Polizia'. I almost cried when he was crying out 'Why' after the first taser. I was red with rage when I heard that they had tasered him 5 times. And left the handcuffs on while he suffered a heart attack and did not render assistance. My heart broke for his mother who has had to see this video time and time again.

Remind me again how 4 RCMP officers have the ability to judge a situation with only 10 seconds to assess? That must be some wicked ESP they have... but wait. It wasn't ESP. They were caught being lazy police officers. They were caught on tape being bullies. That's right, you read me right. The RCMP officers that night at YVR were using lazy police practices when they used their tasers on Mr. Dziekanski. 5 TIMES.

So who is to blame? Unfortunately I have little respect for the CBSA and expect nothing less than subpar behaviour from them. It is criminal that not one member of the CBSA thought to get a polish interpreter at all costs after Mr. Dziekanski had been in the terminal for a few hours. Criminally negligent given the outcome. I hope someone lost their job.

And YVR - where is your shame for running a third rate International airport that does not provide translation services? Haven't we all paid enough 'airport' improvement fees to allow you to have translators on hand?? That does not confirm for waiting family on the other side the fact that their relative is only feet away at Immigration? Again I hope someone lost their job. I hope that they are all sued for wrongful death. Maybe you could work on not participating / being implicit through neglect to the death of any more new Canadians? The world is watching for 2010 you know.

My problem is that I expected more from the RCMP. I TRUSTED the RCMP to show some compassion. I have worked with many competent police officers who would have been appalled by the behaviour of those officers that night. 10 seconds to assess? From what I could see Mr. Dziekanski was upset. He was pissed off. As ALL of us would be if we were detained by CBSA for 10 hours after a long flight from Europe. In fact if one of us were stuck there we would have raised a holy stink. And for 10 hours of not getting anywhere with the stars of CBSA I think most of us would be throwing chairs (if not leaping across the counter and shaking the living lights out of the CBSA agent).

We no longer have the death penalty in Canada. But I am starting to think that the Taser is now the poor man's executioner. Mr. Dziekanski's tragic circumstances not withstanding - I believe that too many police officers (both RCMP & city police forces) are relying on the Taser. Honestly when you are Tasering senior citizens for parking infractions and teenagers while they are in locked cells, maybe it is time to review the use of these weapons.

So now along with all the other things I have to teach my children I will need to test them on their capacity to explain themselves in 10 seconds or less in the event they are confronted by the police or RCMP under any circumstances. Thanks a lot.

The RCMP needs to clean house. After the Ian Bush incident and several other high profile screw ups I no longer have unconditional trust in our boys and girls in blue. Work on your training and get rid of the Taser. Too many people have given their lives to this 'non lethal' police tool.

10 hours at Immigration without food or water.
10 seconds for RCMP to assess situation.
5 tasers to kill.
1 video camera - priceless.