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Thursday, April 02, 2009

EDITORIAL: Concerns rise on taser use

April 2, 2009
Globe and Mail

The RCMP can't seem to pass up an opportunity to drag its own name through the mud. As if it were not bad enough to kill an unarmed and distressed man by tasering him five times and kneeling on the back of his neck, a lawyer representing the Mountie who wielded the taser involved is now trying to probe the dead man's past. The allegedly disturbing revelations about Robert Dziekanski that they uncovered at taxpayers' expense in Poland are worse than irrelevant. They're ridiculous.

He had an unspecified run-in with the law at 17! He may have had a toxic relationship with a woman! He drank (though not on the fateful day)! Honest, judge, he brought it on himself!

This is on a par with "the stapler made us do it," the supposed reason for tasering Mr. Dziekanski, a 40-year-old Polish immigrant waiting 10 hours for his mother at the Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007. One wonders who is overseeing the Mounties' strategy at the Braidwood inquiry. As in the tasering itself, the RCMP seems unable to stand back and see itself as others see it - as if attack were the only mode it knows.

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