March 23, 2009
By Neal Hall, Vancouver Sun
VANCOUVER - The RCMP realizes the level of public trust in the force has dropped as a result of evidence emerging at the Braidwood inquiry, which is probing the death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport in 2007.
"The public trust is at a level we would rather not see," RCMP Cpl. Peter Thiessen told reporters during a lunch break at Monday's inquiry, which heard testimony from RCMP Cpl. Monty Robinson, the senior commanding officer in the early morning hours of Oct. 14, 2007, when Dziekanski was Tasered five times and died minutes later.
"We're going to work extremely hard to get it back to a level we would like to see," Thiessen said.
A reporter raised the fact that all four officers involved in the fatal in-custody death have admitted their police statements were wrong in describing the events that led to Dziekanski's death.
"Why have these officers not been fired?" a reporter asked.
Thiessen asked the public to be patient and await the results of the Braidwood inquiry, which may address "how things can be rectified" if deficiences are found.
He also said Robinson has offered to meet privately with Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski, who is attending the inquiry and said loudly as Robinson walked by, "Nice to meet you."
"He is prepared to meet her," he said. "She said, 'Maybe tomorrow.' "
Thiessen added: "This situation is regretable for everybody. It is a lose-losr situation."
He said Robinson "is extremely saddened by the fact there was a loss of life. This was a situation no one wanted to happen."
Robinson testified today that his police statements were inaccurate because he was mistaken about what happened.
He said in his police statement that Dziekanski didn't fall after he was Tasered but "had to be wrestled to the ground."
Robinson testified: "I was mistaken but I was telling the truth. I sort of blended the whole interaction with him...I was mistaken."
He also admitted he was wrong when he stated in his police statement that Dziekanski was "swinging the stapler" at police.
"You used swinging 12 times in your statement?" Vertlieb asked.
"Yes," Robinson replied.
He said Dziekanski swung the stapler wildly after he was Tasered.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Monday, March 23, 2009
March 23, 2009