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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Once upon a Taser

March 3, 2009
By TOM BRODBECK, Winnipeg Sun

Someone should tell RCMP Const. Kwesi Millington that there's a video on YouTube showing him delivering five Taser jolts to a Polish immigrant who was doing nothing to threaten officers or the public.

Millington made his first appearance yesterday at an inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski.

And his version of events leading up to the death of Dziekanski is so out of whack with the video we've all seen, it's as if the guy has no idea there's a video out there that exposes the whole thing.

Millington claims Dziekanski "was approaching" police officers with a stapler in his hand just before he was shot.

The video shows nothing of the kind. It shows Dziekanski raising his arms in the air and walking briefly away from police officers. He then stops and turns towards them. And then he gets zapped five times.

There's not much wiggle room there for an alternative interpretation.

"He had the stapler open, his other fist raised," said Millington.

Oh, he had the stapler open. Geez, that changes everything. I didn't know it was open. And he had his other fist raised? Let's check the video on that. Ah, nope. No fist raised.

"He was in a combative stance as we call it, and was approaching the officers," said Millington.

Combative stance? Like a wrestler? Or more like a linebacker? Doesn't show up on the video either way. The guy was just standing there.

Millington went on to say he believed Dziekanski had an intent to attack.

"So I deployed the Taser," Millington told the inquiry.

So now this cop is a mind reader, too. He knows what people are going to do before they do it. Kind of like Radar O'Reilly.

Millington then testified that he zapped Dziekanski a second time because he didn't appear immobilized.

Not immobilized? Dziekanski immediately started squirming like a bug after the first hit. Doesn't this cop think one shot would have been enough? Maybe he would have lived if they only shot him once.

But no. Millington then unloaded four more rounds on the poor bugger until he was on the ground screaming and reeling in pain.

Millington said he only unloaded four rounds in total. But the records show the Taser gun was fired five times.

So this cop is being contradicted all over the place.

Does he not know the whole thing is on video and that we've already seen that Dziekanski was not a threat to police or the public when he was Tasered?

Does he not know there is irrefutable video evidence showing Dziekanski did not lunge or run towards cops and did not even swing the stapler at them?

Or does he think the public is really that stupid that we would buy this yarn?

Either way, the guy has zero credibility.

The truth is, these cops thought the easiest way to deal with Dziekanski was to Taser him. Instead of waiting him out, trying to get an interpreter to help and attempting to bring the situation under control through patience and conciliation -- which is what good policing always strives for -- they just zapped him.

Naturally, if he posed a real threat by moving towards officers or swinging a weapon around, they would have been within their right to deploy the Taser. But he wasn't doing that -- not even close.

These cops should just admit they were wrong.

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