Kill, Duck and Cover: The RCMP Rant
Anyone who watched the news here in Canada tonight now knows just how the RCMP works. I'm not simply talking about the video that was released today showing exactly what happened to Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski last month at Vancouver International Airport - how four cops killed him without provocation - no, I'm also talking about the web of lies and deceit that goes into the standard RCMP cover-up.
If you watched The National on CBC earlier tonight then you saw part of the video of the four cops tasering Dziekanski when he wasn't threatening them in any way whatsoever. (You can see the whole 10-minute tape on the CBC website).
Before the actual tasering you saw the 4 cops talking to him as he was standing calmly and, I repeat, never threatening them in any way whatsoever. You also saw that after they gestured for him to stand against the wall, he did just that.
You then saw them taser him... only 25 seconds after they'd arrived on the scene. Four big cops, one man with his arms passively by his side, and a taser immediately used. Talk about pathetic!
You then heard one of the cops yelling "Hit him again! Hit him again!" like some sort of psycho. It was, you have to admit, a bit like watching the fucking Sapranos!!
You then saw them taser him again after he was down. It was as if they hated the guy... but they'd only known him for 25 seconds. (Perhaps they don't much like Eastern Europeans, I don't know, but it sure was disturbing to watch).
Next you saw them kneel on his neck and back, which is, I'm guessing, what most likely killed him in the end.
As you sat there watching in amazement, you heard the reporter talk about how the officers made no effort to revive him once they took his pulse and pronounced him dead. They instead waited for an ambulance to arrive a few minutes later. It's as if they couldn't care less whether they'd just killed an innocent human being or not.
What the hell was his crime? What did he do that he deserved to die? How is it that these cops felt no need to try and revive him? The guy had broken a computer, he hadn't threatened or hurt anyone. He was clearly confused and upset after waiting for his mother for over 10 hours in the wrong area, an area without any food or water, after having traveled from Poland, via Germany. And that, it seems, was his crime. And for it, he's now dead.
Anyone who watched this and wasn't disturbed and disgusted is an android. Anyone who isn't ashamed that this could happen to a newly arriving Canadian immigrant at the Vancouver International Airport isn't a Canadian. This whole thing makes me sick. But not just that they killed him, but that the RCMP then lied and lied to protect the offending officers. Now that's what makes this extra repulsive.
If you were watching tonight you saw the interview with Ron Foyle, a 33-year veteran of the Vancouver police, who was clearly baffled at why Dziekanski was tasered at all: "It didn't seem that he made any threatening gestures towards them," Foyle said. And you heard another veteran cop talking about not wanting to work with bullies who use the taser unprovoked.
This shit obviously goes on all the time, the only difference is that there usually isn't such clear video evidence that contradicts the cops' story. And if this case proves anything it's that the cops lie to cover their asses. It seems they'll say anything. And I don't just mean the cops involved. Their superiors, it seems, will say anything - even straight out lies - to defend even those officers who have unnecessarily and unjustly killed someone.
Those who've been following this case since Dziekanski was killed back on October 14th are probably already familiar with all of the lies publicly made by the RCMP and you probably also know how they tried to keep this video tape and only released it under threat of lawsuit, and more importantly, under intense media and public pressure.
SOME OF THE LIES:
The RCMP have claimed, repeatedly, that there were only 3 officers on the scene. There are clearly 4 men in RCMP uniforms visible in the video.
The RCMP claimed Dziekanski resisted and threatened them. He clearly did NOT.
The RCMP have said they didn't use pepper spray because of the large number of people at the airport at the time, but the video clearly shows Dziekanski standing alone with the four officers in a completely empty area, separated from the public area by a thick glass wall.
Out and out bullshit, that's all. No misunderstandings, no contested facts, just simple lies to mislead the public and cover their asses.
One other important lie was the one they told to Paul Pritchard, the man who shot the video with his digital camera. He voluntarily handed it over to the RCMP at the airport that night on a promise that they would return it within 48 hours. Then they tried to seize it for "a year or two", obviously not wanting the public to see what was on it.
These people are paid to protect the public, but it seems their main concern much of the time is protecting themselves and each other. Wouldn't any decent cop want these pricks who did this off the force? They are a danger to the public, a clear and present danger. Seriously, who would want to work with such people?
RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dale Carr said no one can judge what happened to Dziekanski by just watching the video. And he's right, as long as he's talking about no one at the Vancouver School For The Blind.
Don't these pricks ever stop to think "Hey, what if that was my brother?" instead of going straight into kneeJERK defensive mode? Rather than jumping to the defense of fellow cops who clearly acted inappropriately, if not criminally, shouldn't the main feeling be one of remorse and shame?
I mean, retired superintendent Ron Foyle, the 33-year veteran, could see it. And, again, excepting the blind, so could everyone else.
Undoubtedly, and sadly, with the cops investigating the cops as usual (how ridiculous is that anyway?), there'll be yet another whitewash. But, then again, with the whole country able to see what actually happened in clear digital video, perhaps for once someone will have to pay for the killing of an innocent man. Perhaps a two week suspension... with pay.
But, hopefully, I'm being too cynical, perhaps for once we'll actually see some real justice and the cops involved will be charged with manslaughter or, at the very least, criminal negligence causing death. I mean, if you or me can be charged with such a crime for driving recklessly, then these guys running around tassering people and then kneeing them in the neck for no reason whatsoever should at least face similar charges. Though I still think manslaughter is more appropriate.
It really is a tragic tale and the villains are not just the cops involved. Dziekanski was arriving in Canada as a landed immigrant to start his new life here together with his mother, who moved here many years ago and had been waiting for years for him to finally join her. His mother, Zofia, was outside those gates waiting for him to exit, but he was inside waiting by the baggage pick-up for over 10 hours, since that is where she had mistakenly told him to wait. Once she realized she wasn't allowed inside the secure area, and knowing that he couldn't speak any English and therefore couldn't ask for any help, she asked just about every airport employee to help her out. Every single one refused and one even told her that he wasn't coming and that she should just go home to Kamloops. Which she eventually did. If even one of those people had been kind enough to help her out, Robert Dziekanski would be alive today.
Makes me ashamed to be a Canadian.
Mike Cowie (Oredakedo)
Wednesday, November 14th, 2007
To read my follow-up piece on this case (posted on December 13th, 2008) click here: And Injustice For All: Cops Face No Charges In Death of Robert Dziekanski
And to read another recent piece on Canadian politics click here: The Nonsensical Nationalism Rant: A Nation Built On Zed
For another piece on the Canadian media read this: The CBC Rant: Avi Lewis and The Canadian Media In The Never-Ending Black Era of Conrad
And for a recent piece on Canadian politics read this: Thank You Quebec: The Canadian Election Rant (Part 3)
For more on Canadian politics click here: Politics: Canada
And for a recent piece on American politics check this out: Fear and Loathing in The Heartland: Republicans' Lovefest With Ignorance
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