October 16, 2007
A North Vancouver woman who witnessed the tasering claims police stunned Robert Dziekanski up to four times, but RCMP Sergeant Pierre Lemaitre insists a single taser -- issuing only two pulses -- was discharged. "To the untrained eye, it is very possible that a person may think that there were four tasers or whatever they want to describe it. The examination of the taser will stand the test because there's a recording mechanism on it."
Yeah, except that the "recording mechanism" - aka the data download feature - is notorious for malfunctioning. The data downloaded from the two tasers that were used on my brother the night he died was completely out of whack and entirely inconclusive. Police were unable to say with any certainty what time of day or how many times the tasers were used, for what duration or in what mode.
Lemaitre says police are also reviewing surveillance footage from YVR, but there were no cameras in the area where the tasering took place.
He's also re-confirming three --not five-- officers tried to subdue the man.
Another witness who claims he tried to help Robert Dziekanski before police arrived says the polish immigrant was clearly upset because he didn't speak a word of English.
Lorne Meltzer says staff at the airport should have provided an interpreter.
'He was worked into a frenzy, freaking out, like, he wasn't on drugs. I just got the impression that he had had enough....very frustrated... there was zero English. I was trying to hand gesture him to calm down and tell me what he needed. He was just past the point of no return in a frenzy."
Officials at YVR are not saying whether a translator was made available to Dziekanski after his plane landed Saturday afternoon.