Last night I watched the execution video of Robert Dziekanski. I call it an execution video because that’s what it was. And I’m a Canadian Citizen, so I feel I can speak on this with impunity.
People who know me would tell you that I’m rarely at a loss for words, but watching this video – of a man who wasn’t threatening anyone and merely needed assistance – disgusts me. It just disgusts me.
Yes, he was agitated. Yes, he was sweating. Shit, if I’d just spent 10 hours sitting in an airport after being on an aircraft (for the first time, I understand) for who-knows-how-long from Poland, I might be agitated myself.
The RCMP initially said that the encounter was initially amiable and then degraded and the officers were left with no choice but to stun the poor man. And that was, and forevermore will be, total bullshit. I don’t see any of that in this video. Not 25 seconds – TWENTY FIVE SECONDS – after you see the first RCMP officer enter the picture they are shocking him. First they surround him, he recognizes they are police and certainly seems to me to acknowledge that.
Then some words are exchanged…whatever they might have been…and then you see Mr. Dziekanski quickly raise his hands in submission. You can’t see why it is that he raised his hands, but I would surely bet that this is the moment when the Taser was produced by the officer with his back to the camera.
He raises his hands, even cowers a little. To me that body language means submission. But the officer then raises the weapon, causing Mr. Dziekanski to try to run for cover, and he is then shot and given the first of two to four shocks. Then he’s dogpiled by the RCMP officers…and then it’s all over for Robert Dziekanski.
And to think the Coroner could not determine cause of death. What a complete load of bullshit.
I think Paul Pritchard (who shot the video) should be given a medal. That’s right, a medal. Give him the Order of Canada and whatever other accolades we can pile upon this man, and hold him up as a shining example of freedom in action.
For if it were not for Mr. Pritchard just happening to be in the right place at the right time, and having the foresight to film the proceedings for all to see, we most certainly would only ever have the official RCMP story on what happened that day. That he had to sue to get the tape back is simply amazing to me.
And that absolutely disgusts me. When the hell did the stun gun go from last-ditch-but-for-the-pistol protective weapon to something that is deployed against someone that hasn’t even threatened physical harm? It’s now a tool for compliance rather than the life-saver it was sold to the public as. I say bullshit. Ban the damn things.
The RCMP are the face of Canada to the World. More people in more places recognize the Red Tunic and Stetson hat than damn near anything else – certainly more than any other Police Force in the World. And now what are they? No better than jack-booted thugs.
The whole affair is morally repugnant. And I think the RCMP are probably glad that Robert Dziekanski is dead…for at least he cannot now sue them for damages.
I’m ashamed of the RCMP, and I can only hope that I don’t run across one if I’m walking down the street one night, drunk and with a stapler in my hand. I could end up dead.