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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dziekanski eyewitness shocked by RCMP treatment

February 5, 2009
ctvbc.ca
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger

There weren't many people around the Vancouver airport in the early morning of October 14, 2007 -- the day Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski died while being arrested by the RCMP. But one woman saw the whole thing, and she says she can't believe the way the Mounties acted.

Sima Ashrafinia was at YVR to pick up her husband the night Dziekanski died. She was videotaped by Paul Pritchard trying to communicate with the upset traveller.

"I believe he was just an upset guy, angry and lost," she said. "I was close enough, he could have hit me, but he didn't."

Ashrafinia, an immigrant herself, tried to speak to Dziekanski in several languages, but found her hand gestures seemed to calm him down. She said that when the RCMP arrived Dziekanski looked relieved, but this quickly changed.

"I came from a violent country, so I am no stranger to it. I never expected such fast reaction from people who serve law and order," she said.

"He had a stapler; I heard the sound of electricity then two more times. Then I thought they were using guns. I didn't know what a Taser was."

"Whether it was a defensive move or not, that we can't get an answer to. The key thing is what is the perception of [the RCMP officers'] training," said defense lawyer Ravi Hira.

It was estimated the hearing would last five or six weeks, but that was before the lengthy cross examinations and now the need for video analysis.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Hi to all,

I am a film student with the Vancouver Film School. I am doing a short documentary on Tasers. If there is anyone in the Vancouver area who has been Tasered and lives to tell about it or knows someone personally that got Tasered but unfortunately did not survive, and would like to participate in my documentary, please contact me at fp126alexl@vfs.com

Thanks!
Alex