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Friday, November 16, 2007

Robert Dziekanski and the RCMP

Once again, of course, we see in the case of the RCMP and Robert Dziekanski an example of how, when taken out of context, a short video can have a galvanizing effect upon public opinion.  I’m not a law enforcement officers – nor have I received law enforcement training.  But I do have common sense and, unlike many people, I believe that I have the ability to separate logic from emotion.

Is it a tragedy that Robert Dziekanski died?  Of course it is.  Should we blame the RCMP members in question for what happened?  I believe that we should not.

Watch the whole YouTube video – not the short bits that have been played elsewhere.  In this case, a clip without context – and without careful viewing – is meaningless.

In this case, the facts are these: the RCMP was called to respond to a case of a man who appeared to be dangerously out of control.  Again, watch the whole video.   The man is behaving in an extremely erratic fashion, waving what appears to be a table around and throwing items – presumably other people’s property, I might add – to the ground.

Airport security is called to respond.  They quickly conclude that the situation is beyond their pay grade and call for further help.

The RCMP members arrive at the scene.  They are confronted by a violent and obviously out-of-control man.  When confronted by them, he remains confrontational.  According to the RCMP – and there seems to be no reason to disbelieve them on this point – he initially responded and the grabbed a stapler.  That’s consistent with what is seen on the video.

At that point – in that split second – the police officers made the decision to use their Tasers.  Some question that decision, which is their right.  But I think that, frankly, it is simply beyond dispute that – at the point the RCMP arrived and confronted the man – that the use of force to subdue him was necessary.

Now, of course, some might ask why actual physical force was not used.  And, within the context of this discussion, two words should obviously be called to mind: Rodney King.  The police are, quite understandably, hesitant to use their batons to administer beatings to people – even abundantly necessary beatings – for the obvious reason that someone may be filming and that fifteen out-of-context seconds might then be endlessly replayed on the news.   Of course, the risk to the members involved might also be added to that mix – but I personally have little doubt that the move towards the extensive use of Tasers, pepper spray, and so forth by law enforcement is directly related to the desire to avoid the highly unphotogenic results of the traditional beating.

And anyways, based upon his actions, there is little reason to believe that a single blow would have been enough to subdue this man.  Based on what I’ve seen, the only way to subdue him through the route described would have been either to wrestle him to the ground and hold him there – something which could have been equally fatal and potentially injurious to the RCMP members – or to beat him unconscious.  Or perhaps both.

I’m no shill for the police.  Anyone who knows me knows that.  I’m not blind.  I know that those who enforce the laws are merely human.  As it happens, I disagree with a great number of the laws of the land and, in general, feel that the police would be better off finding other things to do than much of what they do on a day-to-day basis (I’m talking, mostly, about various forms of annoying traffic enforcement here and the like). 

But, at the same time I believe that it is vitally necessary for us to defend the guardians of society when they require it.  These RCMP members responded appropriately to a split-second problem that confronted them.  They did their jobs.  To demand that they be punished now, to salve the public conscience, is frankly obscene.

No, what blame there is to be laid here must be apportioned elsewhere.

Perhaps some rests with Customs.  Maybe some with the airport.  Though, I might add, that those whose knees might jerk at the airport for not being able to instantly translate this fellow’s words ought to contemplate the cost of keeping translators for every conceivable language on staff.

While we’re at it, we might also ask some other hard questions.  For example – I would be curious to know why, exactly, a forty year-old man who didn’t speak a single word of English was immigrating to Canada to live with his mother.  While Mr. Dziekanski may well have been a kind and good man, he doesn’t exactly seem to fit the profile of someone who would be high up the list of people this country’s economy required.  Perhaps it might be that some special circumstances underlay his arrival here.   But I have no knowledge of any.

I would also add that, as hard as it is for some to hear, a great deal of the blame for what happened must fall upon Mr. Dziekanski.  It is taking multicultural naiveté to the absolute extreme to argue that, simply because this man found himself in a foreign airport in a frustrating situation, he was thereby excused from all norms of civilized behaviour. 

We have reason to be sad when someone dies in circumstances such as these.  But we should not rush to judgement against the police nor should we take leave of our own senses in an orgy of compassion.

Posted by Adam T. Yoshida on November 16, 2007 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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What happened to mere use of personal physical force or talking to help or calm someone? Its been shown that female officers are much more adept at calming situations than males. Why? They dont have balls. How is it that police in other countries who dont carry weapons get by? You talk about obscenity - where do you get off blaming the victim because he's Polish and doesnt speak English?
I find the whole thing a disgusting series of failures on behalf of the airport authority and the police. Welcome to Canada!

Posted by: observer | 2007-11-16 3:53:55 AM

It's really a disgusting piece you wrote... 'Let's not fall into an orgy of compassion. The man should have spoken English, was not very good for the economy, and did not obbey any civilized behaviour.' So sadly the blame is his... It makes me sick to read it. Does it matter why he arrived in Canada? Yes, the police did their job, but obviously they did not do it properly and a man died in pain. He may have been shubby, crazy, stupid, whatever, but he certainly did not deserve to die this way. especially that he was not aggressive towards the policeman, who I recon did not have to even use their battons to beat him...

Posted by: Mike | 2007-11-16 4:19:35 AM

The man was violent before being taken down. Do not forget that. Also do not forget that TWO mounties have been murdered in the past couple of months amswering 'routine' calls. Shall we put a panel of psychiatrists and defense lawyers in every squad car?

Posted by: wallyj | 2007-11-16 6:45:18 AM

Like I said in an earlier thread on this subject, the comments made by right-wingers/conservatives on this affair have really disillusioned me.

This post is no exception.

I used to think that the right-leaning side of the political spectrum was where more sensible thought could be found, but after hearing people in that camp defend the police in this incident I am flabbergasted.

My father has always refused to be lumped into a particular political/ideological bucket, and I think I can see why!

What this incident has done for me, in a rather profound way, is made me realize that even conservatives cannot be counted on to debate using truth and the facts, i.e. they are behaving no better than socialists, Marxists, etc.

Posted by: TJ | 2007-11-16 8:10:10 AM

And let me add that the fact that Mr. Dziekanski couldn't speak English, should have known better how to navigate airports, should/shouldn't have been immigrating to Canada, is a separate discussion altogether.

We all know that air travel stinks, and even the most sane amongst has have sometimes nearly lost our minds while flying.

I remember seeing an incident recently in which a group passengers were so upset over how they had been treated that a police offer ended up coming over to see what was going on.

Next time maybe he'll pull out his taser and take a few shots, do you suppose?

Posted by: TJ | 2007-11-16 8:20:03 AM


When your done your sniveling and crying over the horrors of the Canadian "police state", and us evil right wingers, why don't you wipe up your big old crocodile tears and book a trip to a real police state, say Iran, act like a deranged lunatic, throwing stuff around and see what happens there?

Or better yet, why don't you set an example, join the police force, and show us the proper technique for arresting a lunatic.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-11-16 8:34:28 AM


I know what you mean. However, most of the people in my circle are moderate to slavering conservatives, and not one among them, so far at least, have expressed anything but revulsion at the behaviour of the RCMP officers. None has found any conceivable justification for killing the man There is none. Yoshi's apology for the officers' actions is revolting and, I don't believe, representative of conservative thought in general.


Nobody I know of has suggested the officers should not have used extreme caution in approaching Dziekanski, or that force was not required to subdue him. But there was no reason to kill him.

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 8:54:56 AM

"...book a trip to a real police state, say Iran, act like a deranged lunatic, throwing stuff around and see what happens there?"

I would expect Iranian police to behave much as these officers did.

Do you think Dziekanski deserved to die for throwing stuff around?

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 8:59:26 AM


Do you truly think the police intended to kill him by using the tazer?

Or was it just unfortunate?

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-11-16 9:09:28 AM


That's a good question. I doubt that their intent was to kill the man.

But they didn't even try anything else first. I'm no peace officer, but I have to think that there were other options available to four burly police officers before deadly force was required.

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 9:18:39 AM

An attempt at basic rudimentary -routine Police work could have resolved the problem in dealing with a frustrated Polish National. I quick check of his Identity papers,airline ticket stub and Boarding pass should have resulted in the common sense decision of finding someone in the vast Vancouver Airport Authority who could speak Polish for god's sake. The RCMP minions tasked to work in our privatized national airport system are not chosen because they made top marks in Regina. They may not have had any formal Regina training. The tiny pristine City of Moncton turned over all it's municipal policing to the RCMP who promptly recruited the slovenly Moncton Police Force few of whose members could pass the basic RCMP selection tests, in current use. MacLeod not in the least surprised at this West Coast debacle -so typical of Lotus Land. Macleod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-11-16 9:23:24 AM


If you go to 5:10 of the video, the officers are entering the enclosed area. The man is certainly not behaving violently at that point, and is just standing there. He's obscured briefly but appears -- I say appears -- to be relieved that they officers are there.

At 5:18 he puts his hands up and moves away from the officers. At 5:30, when he gets tazed, he appears to have his back at a glass wall.

I just don't see any behaviour from him, from the time the RCMP officers arrived, till the time he was tazed, that warranted the use of lethal force.

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 9:31:28 AM

"before deadly force was required."

Once again, do you consider a tazer to be deadly force? I know the police sure don't.

"I doubt that their intent was to kill the man"

Really? It seems to me you and your "friends" have already tried, convicted, and have reached the conclusion these officers killed this guy on purpose.

All the author of this thread was trying to point out was there is two sides to every story, and perhaps some benefit of doubt should be afforded these officers.

And for actually having the nerve of entertaining the notion of open mindedness, the loons are on here shrieking and calling down anyone who may have a different opinion, calling us fascists, socialists, or in other words, accusing others of being what they so obviously are, close minded.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-11-16 9:34:03 AM

Let's examine what happened after the death and how the police reported it to the public. RCMP lied about what took place and would have continued if the video of the event hadn't existed...THAT SAYS IT ALL. Do any of you think the RCMP should be investigating themselves in light of their FALSE STATEMENTS?

Posted by: badbeta | 2007-11-16 9:35:14 AM

"For example – I would be curious to know why, exactly, a forty year-old man who didn’t speak a single word of English was immigrating to Canada to live with his mother."

Yoshi, what the hell does that have to do with anything? What a nauseating, stupid thing to say.

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 9:38:03 AM

How long was his flight. Did no one one that plane know he could not speak english. The cabin crew must have known. Perhaps one of the stewardesses should have helped him thru the airport. Did he go to immigration, and if so, why did no one help him.
I expect the answer is, it wasn't in my job description. Somebody else would help him.
There is lots of blame on everyones part.
I am sure he was/is not the only person getting off a plane that doesn't speak english or french.
Heaven help all those people coming to vancouver for the olympics, that don't speak our languages.
Have any changes been made at this airport, to avoid another tasering. The PR people really goofed up.

Posted by: MaryT | 2007-11-16 9:40:16 AM

Someone correct me but I think there have been 14 cases of death by Taser in Canada.

If this isn't deadly force than I don't know what is.

I can see a lot of short tempered men, after 10 hours of frustration conduct themselves in a manner far more threatening than this guy.

This is a BLACK mark on the RCMP. I see a trend developing here and I don't like it at all. I think it is slimy residue from Zacardelli's toxic leadership.

Notwithstanding the above, I support and trust the RCMP. But I cannot say tht trust has not been eroded as a result of this and other recent events


Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-11-16 9:52:51 AM

I cannot believe that some people actually think that the officers involved wanted to kill that man. If the fellow was not considered dangerous why, tell me, didn't the fellow (our national heroe yeck) try to communicate with him instead of sitting there using his camera to record everything like he was at a bullfight...

Most of people who are so quick to condemn the RCMP on the basis of a poorly shot video are the same who condemn our soldiers who dare transfer terrorists to the authorities of Afghanistan where they may be (gasp) tortured...

Let them put on a uniform and try to enforce the law with their sickening notions of universal peace and love "we are the world" bullshit.

This is not an issue of left vs right it is an issue of common sense vs anti-police prejudice

Posted by: andré | 2007-11-16 10:00:22 AM

After Ian Bush was killed by an RCMP officer up in Houston B.C. and then covered up by the force during the investigation, my support and trust of the RCMP is near zero.

Posted by: badbeta | 2007-11-16 10:02:34 AM

Of course this situation could have been avoided if the man, while waiting for his mother to save for many months to buy his ticket to Canada had learned a few words of English ... but he didn't.

That is no reason for him to be murdered at the airport by four policemen.

I am a supporter of the police since they usually face a dangerous horrible job every day, but they are supposed to be well trained for all situations. That is why they spend so much time and money training them.

The victim had been in an Airport Limbo for about ten hours after a very long flight. Perhaps if the police had approached him with coffee and donuts instead of violent behavior, they might have found a relieved man instead of a rattled, frightened, confused stranger in a strange land.

This many died of stupidity on his own part, but more-so on the part of the police, and even more-so on the part of Airport security and airport management generally.

I cannot imagine how I would feel if the had happened to my son. My sympathies go to the mother. I hope she becomes a multi millionaire when all is said and done.

Posted by: John | 2007-11-16 10:04:21 AM

Zacardelli commanded the RCMP in New Brunswick where his tenure was and is considered very controversial
-he would have been what Veteran RCMP officers call
(a political -in other words politically friendly to
the Chretien PMO crowd, whose finacial wheeling and dealing still require a detailed due diligence -in the current issue of Frank Magazine Halifax NS -the Dingwall financial debacle has been refocused, which will eventually hit the MSM -Frank Halifax and Ottawa cannot be avoided or ignored in political circles in the Atlantic region. Senior RCMP Officers are quoted in Ottawa today stating that the Vancouver debacle was an
apprehension activity which was improperly handled
-what a surprise! they are protecting their saddle sore asses and attempting to mend the ruptured fences. MacLeod

Posted by: Jack Macleod | 2007-11-16 10:05:47 AM

Very nicely said John. Thank you!

Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-11-16 10:06:55 AM

"Once again, do you consider a tazer to be deadly force? I know the police sure don't."

A quick Google shows otherwise. Since 2003, 16 people in Canada have died after getting tazed. The police are well aware that it is a potentially lethal weapon, although the likelihood of dying as a result of being tazed is admittedly very low. In any event, a reasonable person would acknowledge that there is a possibility of not surviving 50,000 volts being discharged into one's body.

"It seems to me you and your 'friends' have already tried, convicted, and have reached the conclusion these officers killed this guy on purpose."

I have reached the conclusion that the police used potentially lethal force -- the guy is dead, after all -- when, in my opinion, it was not warranted. Perhaps facts will emerge to convince me otherwise, but until then, based on what I see, there is no reason that the man should have been tazed in the first place. They certainly didn't make any other attempt to subdue him first.

"...And for actually having the nerve of entertaining the notion of open mindedness, the loons are on here shrieking and calling down anyone who may have a different opinion, calling us fascists, socialists, or in other words, accusing others of being what they so obviously are, close minded."

I can't speak for them, but I haven't suggested anything like that, have I? Calm down.

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 10:08:40 AM


I believe you have hit upon the greater truth.

These people always believe in the "evil state" conspiracy.

Even worse, these same people are the first to run out and vote for who they feel are the "open minded" government (libs), whose first priority is to institute even more statism, bureaucracy and bungling.

It simply lends credence to the old saying, common sense simply is not common anymore.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-11-16 10:14:05 AM

"That is no reason for him to be murdered at the airport by four policemen"

What an incredibly stupid and irresponsible statement.

Posted by: deepblue | 2007-11-16 10:17:39 AM

It is not murder.

But it is negligence.

And these officers are probably going to be sued if not charged with it.

You can bet the RCMP and every municipal and provincial police force are as I write this, reviewing their Tasering policy.


Posted by: Epsilon | 2007-11-16 10:22:00 AM

Three things:
1. Again, I ask: Why didn't at least one of the Mounties attempt to administer some CPR?
2. I also draw your attention to this Vancouver Province story, which clearly shows how the Mounties failed to abide by rules for Taser use: http://www.canada.com/theprovince/news/story.html?id=10f829df-068f-45bb-ae4b-99f5a4f5b99f.
3. Finally, investigative reporter and author Paul Palango told CBC radio today that he believes the RCMP is the poorest trained police force in Canada, and that the worst of them always end up in airport detachments. (This might explain their actions at the Vancouver Airport -- explain, but not excuse.) Moreover, Palango says the force has been weakened, physically, by affirmative action, which requires the hiring of 130-pound weaklings who tend to rely on dangerous devices like Tasers rather than their own brawn to control unruly persons.
On this point, there's a good letter to the editor in today's Vancouver Sun, written by a fellow who remembers the good old days when two Mounties were able to control and arrest a drunken mob of just-out-of-the-bush loggers--without resorting even to nightsticks.

Posted by: Terry O'Neill | 2007-11-16 10:27:09 AM

Of course, sincere sympathy to the Mother of this unfortunate man.

There can be no excuses made for RCMP Officers in this case. Tasers are the stuff of science fiction we read about not that long ago, now they're used instead of physical force and in this case instead of common horse sense. Tasers have been proven to be lethal for some people, far too many to this point.

The RCMP has a lot to answer for, including the sad death of a young officer in the North this past week. Their training and their judgment,
which should go hand in hand, leaves a lot of unanswered questions.

The RCMP have been doing a good job of scuttling their good reputation in this Country and around the world in recent years and it appears they need an overhaul if they're going to remain Canada's Police Force.
This recent killing by tasers will be impossible to explain to anyone's satisfaction. It's all on video for anyone who has the stomach to watch it.

Those Officers should be relieved of duty for good, they acted like they were filming a movie, it looked so unbelievable, except the "victim" doesn't die in the movies.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-11-16 11:08:22 AM


You want to discuss facts--let us do that.

You will agree that the man destroyed public property.

You will agree that the man behaved in an unreasonable manner.

You will agree that reasonable people do not behave like that.

You will agree that no one wanted to get within ten feet of the man.

You will agree that the man appeared to pose a threat--as he was acting irate.

The man was not sitting still.

The man was not crying--nor did he appear merely frustrated.

You will agree that police officers have many responsibilities--one of which is to keep themselves safe as well as protect the piblic.

If you think that police officers--by the nature of the job--are there to place themselves in harms way in order to be harmed--you have missed the boat. No one else wanted to be harmed by this man--that is clear--so why would you assume that we should permit the officers to be harmed by this man? Was there a cause for concern? Any reasonable person--after viewing that video--would have to agree. To assume otherwise, is to assume that police officers are people who civilians can waste--just because they are upset. Being upset does not give a person the right to harm public property--any property (even their own) or present themselves in a threatening manner--or be threatening--to other people.

You will agree also that the man did not deserve to die--yet that was the outcome of the interaction.

An autopsy will settle whether the death was a result of the tazer--or whether it was a result of some other factor that was not apparent. We don't know that--so we cannot assume that the tazer was the direct cause of death. Was the man on drugs? Had the man stopped taking drugs in order to get into Canada? We don't know that--but any reasonable person could see that this man was not behaving in a normal, reasonable manner.

It does not matter that a person is offended by authorities--it really doesn't matter. Authorities are who they are--and they have a clearly defined role in relaiton to our borders--and their role is getting even clearer all the time. We--the rest of Canadians and residents and visitors to Canada, have expectations of authorities at customs and locations where people enter Canada. It is no secret that certain behaviours are frowned upon--while others are illegal. The man was breaking the law--disturbing the peace, and being a threat to others. You cannot assume that after having acted in a criminal manner that he would have behaved in a civilized manner. There was no evidence that this is so.

Having said this--could there have been improvements? Are there other ways in which situations like this could be handled? Yes--there are--and yet the way in which it was handled was still, by what was observed, within the normal ways of handling similar situations.

Having said all this--there is no doubt in my mind, that the loss of this man's life is tragic enough. Yet the man also had a reasonable amount of responsibility to others--and himself--to which he strayed as soon as he started acting like an unreasonable person. Even when you do not speak a language--there are ways to communicate. His inability to communicate in an apprpriate way, in a manner to which people are expected, and to which is considered peaceful cannot be waved after the fact that he died.

Is he still a victim? Of course he is...yet his victim status is not a result of criminal actions by the police. He is, in as much a victim of circumstance, a victim of his own horrid behaviour. Hundreds of thousands of people--millions if you will, enter Canada each and every year. All these people--perhaps not every single one--but pretty much all these people could tell you how it is expected that people should behave, what they should and should not do, when entering Canada. It is simply not a long shot to say that the behaviour was unreasonable, not normal, not expected, and a literal cause for factual concern. There was no reason why we should expect our law enforcement officers to place themselves in a situation of more harm than necessary.

People who are already behaving badly--are a greater threat to police officers--than drunks, because irrational people do unusual things--things that are unpredictable. Oftentimes, they exhibit much more strength, and the cause for concern in regards to harm to others, is greater than others. Had the police officers actually grabbed him, the effects would have still been violent. The police officers may have been harmed--and there is no proof at this point that the man would not still have died--because we do not really know what material fact lead to the tazer having that effect. It may not have even been the tazer. So, until all the facts are analyzed, to merely assume that the police acted in a manner that they ought not to have done, without really doing a proper analysis of the facts, ALL the facts, and to assume all conservatives are whatever negative connotation that you impose, is unreasonable.

of course, if you think that the average person can behave like that without getting controlled by the police, with force as necessary, then you have much lower standards and expectations of literally billions of people around the world--because the same expectations of customs here is not so very different of customs everywhere else.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-16 11:35:06 AM

"While Mr. Dziekanski may well have been a kind and good man, he doesn’t exactly seem ato fit the profile of someone who would be high up the list of people this country’s economy required. "

Disgusting, so you think he is worthless, less slaugther him ... Canadian values sort of example ...

Posted by: qq | 2007-11-16 11:36:08 AM

During the Prohibition era,Federal RCMP cutters were tasked with chasing the Rum Runners operating out of Atlantic Canada and headed for the land of the free and home of the brave -the "Runners" had faster boats and were much better armed -if RCMP vessels got lucky,one of two Constables and a Corporal could
apprehend the "Runners" who were like many of them, native Maritimers with years of sea going experience
-"Running" to make extra money in a depressed economy.Most RCMP Marine Divion constables came from the Nova Scotia Preventative Service a Provincial Agency with limited authority, which was taken over by the Federal police force. Use of deadly force was rarely considered. The same men in World War Two used deadly force with great success hunting the equally fast and wily German
Submarines who did not hesitate to fight when caught on the surface. The Tragic Tazer incident is an overt example of sloppy police work, and lack of proper training. There will be much more fallout from this incident. Especially when the Socialist Horde and the lying Liberals attempt to
make the incident a major political issue. MacLeod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-11-16 11:39:03 AM


Police work is based on law and policies--and it does not appear that the police behaved outside their authorization. And, "sloppy" is a term I would ascribe to clerical work, rather than in the dealing of someone who is behaveing in a manner that is--for all to see--a manner which is easily interpretable as violent.

OK, so he did not speak English, and he entered a country that has two official languages--neither of which he spoke. You would think that most people, on entering another country--would at least have a travel dictionary?

Although Canada is a member of the UN, we are not the UN. We do not have the money to have hundreds of tranlators sitting in the wings--waiting for people who come to Canada, who do not speak either French or English.

And when it comes to Gliberals or NDippers, they would be more inclined to permit people who are terrorists free entry and reign in Canada--so when it comes to politics--they have much more to be worried about than the use of tazers.

No matter what controlled force police use--whether tazers or hand to hand, interaction with police that is violent in nature will result in people dieing accidentally. If you could come up with a legal way in which all the situations in which police determine that tazers are necessary could be performed in a manner which is less, "sloppy" as you suggest--then please discuss these methods--as witholding is a disservice to all.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-16 11:48:31 AM

Here is a piece of news for you bleeding hearts. CTV news reports that Paul Pritchard, the fellow who shot the Robert Dziekanski video, says that his life has changed after the police taser incident. Pritchard, who says that until now he had been content to travel, now wants to start making long-term plans. And guess what? Mr. Pritchard who has appeared on US television is now considering a career in journalism. After all the fellow is not stupid enough to consider a career in policing.

“Something good is going to come out of it.” says Pritchard the philosopher.

The young RCMP officers who were just doing their job should be so lucky.

Posted by: andré | 2007-11-16 12:23:05 PM

Lady - according to this man's mother, her son smoked tobacco. Having been to Poland myself, I know that if you smoke in that country you can smoke almost anywhere! The man had been deprived of nicotine for 12 or 13 hours - could the idiots in PC Health nazis in Canada be to blame for this death? If this man had been given a smoke he would have probably calmed down - why didn't someone show him the smoking room at Vancouver airport?

Posted by: jema54j | 2007-11-16 12:39:52 PM

Well thank you...nice to know SOME people are smart enough to realize what is right. I am in law enforcement and I have been trained and I know exactly what the RCMP officers were going through...and I will call a spade a spade...the whiners and lefties that seem to have taken over the Standard blogs are just apologists and left wing no minds...live a day or two in REALITY lefties. The idea that cops are trained like ninjas that can take a guy out with a blow to the head is a stupid statement and reflects the intellect of the morons that say them.
Try to tell that to the officers that have been on anti aids/hep c drugs for months at a time because in a fight they were exposed to blood and bodily fluids...not to mention the psychological trauma of not knowing if you contract the disease and if you family is safe...This guy brought this upon himself, so all your candle light vigils are terrific, and I am sure next week you will be doing the same thing for the Officer that was killed last week as well...oh wait you scum bags wont be doing that, I forgot, you only like to serve up dissonance and anarchy and then leave it to real men and women to clean up your messes...

Posted by: SW | 2007-11-16 12:42:04 PM

U.S. experts question RCMP Taser tactics
Doug Ward, CanWest News Service; Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER -- The decision by the police to subdue Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport with a Taser was "inappropriate" because the four officers present should have been able to physically control him, says an American policing expert.

After watching the video of Dziekanski's death, Michael Lyman said that the police should have been able to restrain the Polish visitor using their hands.

"I don't even think batons or mace would have been necessary given that there were four officers on the scene."

Lyman, a criminal justice professor at Columbia College in Missouri, said that the police "appeared to take the path of least resistance by deploying the Taser . . . when they could have controlled this gentleman through physical force techniques that would not have been harmful."


Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 12:44:39 PM

"I don't even think batons or mace would have been necessary given that there were four officers on the scene."

Yep, I will just do my triple back flip head strike combo that everyone learns in the first week at Depot.

Posted by: SW | 2007-11-16 12:48:19 PM

American and Canadian use of force policy differs just as you differ from other people. No two are similar.

Posted by: SW | 2007-11-16 12:52:46 PM

When dealing with someone who is disturbed. The first line of attack should be to talk or reason with them. The RCMP used the taser within 30 seconds of arriving. I just don't see how they showed ANY restraint at using a weapon that has the potential to be lethal. Tasers should be used when people pose a violent threat to other people. Someone died needlessly.

Just like the cops that dropped natives off in the subzero weather outside Saskatoon and froze to death. These people excercised poor judgement, shouldn't they be held criminally responsible for their actions?

Posted by: DJ | 2007-11-16 12:57:08 PM

Any act can be lethal...and im sure that they would have called time out to the guy if they thought it would have worked. "WHOA TIME OUT - TIME OUT!!!!"

Posted by: SW | 2007-11-16 1:01:05 PM

My Oxford Dictionary Oxford University Press Published in 2002 does not define the word "sloppy"
but it does define "stupidity" which defines the actions of what appears to me to be ill trained and
incompetent members of the controversial National Police Force. Experts in appprehension techniques
in North America are commenting on the Vancouver Tazer incident. Senior RCMP officers must decide if they will proceed with disciplinary action against the RCMP personnel responsible.These individuals will face a local (Divisional and Detachment) hearing which will result in certain recommendations to the Commissioner and Solicitor General of Canada. We have a family history with the RCMP going back to 1920. My opinion is that the careers these individuals have chosen in the National Police Force are over. We remember the fools who burned down Barns in Quebec which resulted in their termination and led to the creation of CSIS
(another great Canadian success story) -insert laughter here.) Macleod

Posted by: Jack MacLeod | 2007-11-16 1:01:15 PM

Wow you are off...nothing will happen to these guys. Nothing. I would bet that these guys will still(if they choose) be on the job 2 years from now.

Posted by: SW | 2007-11-16 1:07:56 PM

As usual everyone is putting their own spin on this sad situation. Even the video is open to interpretation - no one knows what was going on in the minds of the RCMP(what information were they given when they responded - maybe that a violent man was ripping apart the customs area??) or what was going on in the mind of the victim (yes he was distressed, but let's remember that his actions prior to contact with the RCMP were violent).
But a bigger question for me - rather than focusing on the last 5 or 10 mintues of this man's life and his interaction with the RCMP - what happened in the previous 10 hours???? Why is Customs and Border Services not being held accountable? Why is the airport authority not being held accountable? Why is the airline not being held accountable? His mother was trying to find him and yet no one in the airport system could help her?? What gives there?? They all had some sort of interaction with him - by the time the RCMP were called on to the scene things were really out of control and yet we are prepared to blame the RCMP for the outcome. Yes the RCMP has responsibility but there are obviously a lot of problems with the 'systems' operating.

Posted by: MJM | 2007-11-16 1:16:01 PM

This man had never been in an airplane before; let alone an international airport.

Confused? The damn things are confusing to literate, English speaking residents of the same country.

No-one would help him? No surprise there. No one ever gets any real help in any Airport. If they did, they would never be able to process the thousands of harried, confused, travelers that use them every day. Airport are deliberately understaffed in "Help" because experience tells Airport Administrators that, oh, about 110% of all passengers in the damn place, need help of some kind. You won't move any passengers through the system that way.

So, hide the help and if you work there, you will soon learn to ignore every confused and angry person you see, or you will never get any work done (whatever your job is --- we've already established it won't be offering any kind of help, so don't bother with that objection).

I don't find it at all surprising that confusion on the part of the passenger and his mother, as well as a complete lack of any meaningful help to either, happened here on this day.

It happens there every day. Business as usual.

That such a tragedy would, eventually, be the result is obvious, but apparently unavoidable. If you doubt me, just make a trip to your local Airport and try to get some simple thing done. Allow hours.

Posted by: Johnny2Bad | 2007-11-16 1:45:45 PM


which of these four murder suspects are you?

Posted by: ds | 2007-11-16 2:02:53 PM

That the US wants to question them is understandable. Perhaps that's just a start and other Countries will want answers too.

The whole thing is so sad and regrettable on all fronts.

The work of our police forces is increasingly dangerous and they sure don't need this type of grief.
They can't hang this one on anyone but their own judgment and ultimate actions.

Posted by: LizJ | 2007-11-16 2:11:51 PM

Very well said DJ.

The RCMP were also placing bombs in the FLQ era an numerous cheap shots across modern history.
They're in for a lot of wrong doings in there curiculum for people who are payed by us - sometimes close to take themselves as operating in a police state.

But, I'm fully in favor of having a police that operates across the Country because of it's positive aspects. I also understand that any police force can't be "our friend" and pefect. After all, it's a humans' product.

The problem is that there's a mentality today that I can't understand. Where's the Dukes of Hazard's days are gone ?

ex: If a guy dosent carry a gun of a knife...how can 3-4 policemen arent able to stop this one with their both hands ciboière ?
Is it for their security...fuck that! - they have a gun, a stick or their both hands - not so bad already.
Who said it's easy to be a cop anyway ?

Yes, you have to go out of your cars and chase the bad guy by yourselves - Big moustaches.

Now imagine the policeman in your favorite hockey teams comes out on ice with a teaser - what would you call him...?

Thank you.


What do you think the cop is saying deepdown himself righ now..."not a stong move, eh ?".
He already knows what discussions are gonna take place in his Christmas parties.

The sad news is that he's not that one we have to judge but ourselves.

Afterall, we're the clowns paying these dangerous toys like "yes men" do. Having to put your lives in the hands of people who do not always have the better judgment capabilities - is already not a bullet proof solution at first so - since when people we're paying have the right to judge if THEIR "security" pass before the one of common citizens" - aka their boss ?


I understand it's not easy to be a cop with the general opinion and the dangers related to the profession but, if the policemen would not act cheap shots each years or, like in this case, like sisis - maybe the general opinion would be better.

Just play fair please - you'd be the firsts to benefit from it.

Posted by: Marc | 2007-11-16 2:20:59 PM

"Yep, I will just do my triple back flip head strike combo that everyone learns in the first week at Depot."

I see. So the only chance four big cops have of arresting/subduing somebody is to:

a) tase/shoot him
b) use Ninja Circus Karate

If I can point to some instances where somebody was taken into custody, alive, by police officers who didn't use a gun, taser, or spinning crescent kicks, will you consider the possibility -- just the possibility, mind you -- that the RCMP officers acted hastily?

Posted by: Darrell | 2007-11-16 2:27:45 PM


So, a person who is addicted to nicotine you say--it never occurred to him that he would become an irrational maniac and start tearing apart Canadian customs, until police have to physically stop him?

You telling me--an ex-smoker, and one who has also flown long distances on plane's requireing you to not smoke--that nicotine cravings are an excuse for bad behaviour? You nuts? You think smokers do not think about other ways of getting their nicotine fix without liteing up? You ever heard about smokeless tobacco, the nicotine patch, nicotine gum--why if it was really that bad he could have eaten a cigarette (sure, sounds disgusting, but then again so is smoking)--and you know that as well as I bet you would probably chew on tobaccy if you could not lite up.

There are millions of smokers who resist smoking and who use other mechanisms to get nicotine into their systems without resorting to tearing up other nations' computers and whatnot. We are not a baby-sitting nation--I know, I know, you are accustomed to the welfare state, but that does not include a right to be babysat--REDICULOUS! There is a limit to the kind of pandering a nation has to do at borders--enough said, people's smoking bad-habits are not the business of customs--unless the smokers are in the business of importing tobacco products.

Although one might be able to explain a very very small part of his behaviour on nicotine--one cannot explain away ALL of his behaviour on nicotine.

As for Pritchard--he's like a one shot not-so-hotty--Andy Warhol's fifteen minutes of fame--the guy on the side of the road who happenned to record something--whoopty-poo.

Others, with their fifteen minutes have been lucky to become anything like yellow-journalists working as poparzzi or worse, for the Toronto Star. Fifteen minutes inside the office of a real news agency and folks oh so similar (not the same) are swept off their feet and right out the door, and sent on down the street.

As for PC health--you smoke--I have a right not to pay for the bad health you create and cause me--as a tax-payer, to pay. That's like stealing money out of my pocket! If anyone is fascist here--it is smokers--with their whinning and pinning about their rights to smoke. You want to smoke--right--in your own house, and at your own expense, but not on mine! It is advertised that you cannot smoke on International Canadian flights. So, he did not know--he should have thought of that before he came to our good country.

His mother is probably looking for a handout. She probably heard about Arar and decided that if he could get money out of Canada--that anyone could.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-16 2:30:48 PM


"We have a family history with the RCMP going back to 1920."

That's nice.

Yes, but step by step--blow by blow--what did they do outside what the policies said and the standards expect? A proper analysis that is a real analysis is based on what was really observed, and not qualified as "stupid" or "sloppy". Common Jack, you can do much better than that.

Never mind the fact that there is nothing intelligent or pretty about the actions that police officers have to take--at times. There is nothing intelligent about having to be violent in order to stop someone else from being violent. What were their real life options? What were they tasked to do? What were they responding to? What were their legitimate choices? If they erred outside their ligitimate choices and their training, what in fact was that and what did they do that was outside their authority?

You can't just make that up--or say that just because what they did looked like violence--which it was--means it was not according to their training. Training is only training, and real life is something else--there in no such thing as training that can take in all the possibilities that life throws at the police--to expect that is unreasonable. If that were so graduates would be ready to retire by the time they left their basic training period.

Just because you have family that are or have been RCMP, does not mean that you are RCMP or have been trained as RCMP, to deal with these kinds of situations. If you are retired, then you are retired and you will know how to at least break the material down.

Fact is, there was damaged federal property and the guy had to be apprehended. Had he not died on the spot, he would have been given an interpreter eventually, and the situation taken care of.

It is not the tazer, but the events that proceeded after the tazering that are perhaps more alarming. The lack of ability for them to have medically intervened is probably the part where they will be scrutinized the most--and yet it is also probably true that they were not outside the law there as well--if none were qualified to respond in the manner to which was necessary at the time--or who had the proper equipment to intervene in the manner to which one would hoped they would have been able--then that will come out in the investigation.

I sincerely doubt any of the police officers expected the outcome. I imagine they are all traumatized as well, and some of them may not even last the next six months--even if they are not kicked out of the force.

Posted by: Lady | 2007-11-16 2:49:20 PM

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