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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Editorial: taser inquiry delays wrong

October 23, 2008
Times Colonist

Robert Dziekanski's mother says she's disappointed and frustrated -- even sickened -- by the delay of a B.C. public inquiry into her son's death after he was shot with a Taser at Vancouver's airport.

Her anguish is understandable. Dziekanski's death on the day he was to start a new life in Canada was a terrible thing to witness. Questions about the appropriateness of the officers' actions, the failures of airport security and the RCMP's lack of policies on Taser use have gone unanswered.

The inquiry was to have started this week. But Thomas Braidwood, the retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice heading the inquiry, said it would have to be delayed. The RCMP and Crown prosecutors had not reached a decision on whether any charges would be laid as a result of the death. Until that is resolved, the RCMP will not participate.

It is important that the case receive a full investigation and that a decision on charges be made with care.

But it has been more than a year since the incident. The investigation, given the global attention, should be a priority for RCMP investigators and the Crown. The decision, one way or the other, should have been made by now.

Braidwood has completed the first phase of his inquiry, into Taser use by municipal police forces in the province. He is expected to have a report by the end of November.

But answers about Robert Dziekanski's death are important. Not just for his mother, but for people around the world who watched the horrifying video of his final moments and wondered whether such a thing had to happen.


Anonymous said...

At least release the coroners report, so we know a cause. Then people can talk if the police need to be charged or not.

Anonymous said...

RCMP At Fault? Humm wonder why huh?