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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Cops 'cooked up' Dziekanski story, lawyer alleges

This is like deja vu all over again. Only the names have changed. Change "RCMP" to the "Vancouver Police Department" and change "Robert Dziekanski" to "Robert Bagnell" (my brother) and you get the same collaborated, fabricated and misleading Cover Your Asses testimony that my family was forced to swallow at a coroner's inquest. Unfortunately, we did NOT have the benefit of video to help the Vancouver police refresh their memories. It sickens me to see this happening again. The lying bastards! There is no justice in Canada when someone dies in police custody.

March 4, 2009

RCMP officers "cooked up" a story they knew would mislead investigators to justify using a Taser weapon on Robert Dziekanski, a lawyer at the inquiry into the Polish immigrant's death has charged. It's an allegation that was vehemently denied by RCMP Const. Kwesi Millington Wednesday, as his long-awaited testimony stretched into a third day.

Millington triggered the Taser gun that jolted Dziekanski multiple times during an incident at Vancouver International Airport in the early hours of Oct. 14, 2007.

But lawyer Don Rosenbloom, representing the Government of Poland in the inquiry, is seizing on the officers' assertions that they have never once discussed the incident, which resulted in Dziekanski's death.

"You and your fellow officers collaborated to fabricate your story in the expectation that it would justify your conduct to your superiors," Rosenbloom said. "Do you deny that?"

"Yes," said Millington, who has maintained an even tone through increasingly aggressive questioning. "I never did that."

Rosenbloom pointed to officers' apparent errors and misstatements in some aspects of their original descriptions of Dziekanski's actions that morning.

Millington, for example, erred in his recollection of how many times he jolted Dziekanski with his Taser gun, how many jolts it took for Dziekanski to fall, his false assessment that Dziekanski "wildly" swung a stapler up "high", and that officers had to "wrestle" Dziekanski to the ground.

Fellow officers also used similar language regarding Dziekanski's behaviour - descriptions that in some cases were proven to be inaccurate after viewing widely seen amateur footage taken of the incident.

"You were fast at work at the scene of the incident, cooking up your story ... Do you deny that?" Rosenbloom contended.

"Yes. That never happened," Millington said.

"To be even less charitable with you officer," Rosenbloom continued, "I'm suggesting that you and your fellow officers intentionally mislead [investigators] and you continue to lie under oath at this commission. Do you deny that?"

Again, the officer disagreed.

"Yes, that did not happen," Millington said. Millington is the third of four officers involved to testify before the Braidwood Inquiry.

All three have maintained that Dziekanski was unco-operative, resistant and combative after officers responded to a call of a man throwing furniture around in the arrivals area of YVR.

Officers said Dziekanski was shot with a Taser after he turned away from officers and picked up a stapler.

The officer in charge that morning, Corp. Benjamin Robinson, is scheduled to begin his testimony in the last week of March.

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