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Monday, January 26, 2009

Dziekanski indicated he had been sleeping in hours at airport, inquiry hears

January 26, 2009
The Canadian Press

VANCOUVER, B.C. — In the hours before Robert Dziekanski died after being jolted by a police Taser he had been taking a nap in the secure customs hall at Vancouver's airport.

The Polish man, who didn't speak English, spent about 10 hours wandering around the airport after landing in Vancouver in October 2007.

Alexandra Currie, an immigration supervisor who was on shift that night, told the Taser inquiry she used hand gestures to ask Dziekanski why he took so long to be processed and wondered if he had been sleeping.

Currie says Dziekanski nodded his head yes.

Crown prosecutors in B.C. have previously said they believed Dziekanski may have been sitting on a bench or sleeping near the baggage carousels, but it wasn't clear until now how they reached that conclusion.

Kelly McKenzie, another officer who had contact with Dziekanski that day, told the inquiry Dziekanski was calm and respectful, refuting police claims he was agitated and erratic in the hours before he died.

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