November 1, 2007
Jonathan Fowlie and Chantal Eustace, Vancouver Sun
The public could soon see, and hear, exactly what happened in the death of Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who died at Vancouver International Airport after being shocked by a police Taser. Despite repeatedly refusing to return a series of privately shot videos of the event, police said today they are now prepared to give the controversial footage back in "the days to come."
"We have hung on to that video a little bit longer than we initially had anticipated," said Corp. Dale Carr, a spokesman for the RCMP's Integrated Homicide Investigation Team.
Carr's announcement came just hours after the man who made the video told a packed press conference that the police officer who shocked Dziekanski planned to Taser the Polish immigrant before he even arrived on the scene.
"As they [three police officers] ran in I heard one of the officers say 'Can I Taser him?' or 'Should I Taser him' before they actually got to Mr. Dziekanski," said Paul Pritchard, a 25-year-old Victoria man who shot the video while on his way home from China to be with his ailing father.
Pritchard said he gave the videos to police on the understanding they would be returned within 48 hours. He said police have held onto the video, telling him he may not see the footage for up to 2 1/2 years.
On Thursday, Pritchard added that officers did not try any obvious life saving measures after Robert Dziekanski fell to the ground, but instead stood idle as they waited for the paramedics to arrive. "They [the police officers] were kneeling with him and he was handcuffed -- he was on his back," said Pritchard, who filmed the entire exchange and has launched a court battle in an attempt to get his footage back from police. "Nothing was really happening. There was no movement," he added, saying an officer called out "code red" not long after Dziekanski fell to the ground, and that paramedics did not arrive for another five to eight minutes after that point.
Dziekanski died at the Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14 after he was shocked with a Taser and subdued by three RCMP officers.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Thursday, November 01, 2007
November 1, 2007