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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Vancouver taser probe awaiting funding

January 26, 2008
Petti Fong, Toronto Star

Vancouver–Four RCMP officers involved in an incident in which a Polish man died at Vancouver International Airport remain on the job as the investigation into their use of a Taser gun awaits funding for interviews overseas.

Three months after Robert Dziekanski, 40, died after police stunned him with a Taser gun while trying to subdue him, investigators are still waiting to conduct some interviews.

The four Mounties from the Richmond detachment remain on the job, said Cpl. Dale Carr with the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team. "We're still working at it and waiting for authorization to go to Poland and Germany to speak to potential witnesses and get a sense of Mr. Dziekanski's life in the hours before he arrived in Vancouver," said Carr. "We're still waiting for government approval for those funds."

Nine investigations were launched after a videotape of Dziekanski's last moments sparked public outrage. The video showed an upset man, who was clearly not violent, being Tasered by police at the airport and then pressed down on the floor after he staggered and collapsed.

Dziekanski had arrived at the airport after his first-ever flight. He'd left Poland, with a stopover in Frankfurt, to join his mother Zofia Cisowski in Canada. The pair did not find each other at the airport. After waiting at the airport for seven hours, she returned home to Kamloops, a four-hour drive away.

Polish authorities are also conducting their own investigation.

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