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Friday, May 22, 2009

Mounties angered by letter to victim's mother

May 22, 2009

RCMP in B. C. are defending themselves against allegations made in a letter written by a police psychologist and given to the mother of Robert Dziekanski.

The letter, written by Dr. Mike Webster, calls RCMP leadership an inept, insular and archaic group," whose attitudes were indirectly responsible for the death of Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport.

The way your son was treated on October 14, 2007 was in my opinion, the absolute worst of Canadian policing," Webster writes in an almost 2,000-word letter, according to The Globe and Mail newspaper.

We have become the 'enemy' and they go to 'war' with us each day, rather than collaborating with us," writes Webster, a psychologist who the Mounties have previously hired as a consultant on critical incident debriefings.

But RCMP spokesman Tim Shields said the claims were dated" at best. These allegations are over-the-top exaggerations and do not reflect the RCMP of 2009," Shields said.

The highly charged letter continues a string of criticism levelled on the RCMP since Dziekanski's death.

There's no question things could have been done differently," Shields said.

And we are very sorry for Mr. Dziekanski's death. But we have to put this in perspective. The RCMP handles about one million calls for service in B. C. every year . . . In 99.99% of those cases, we have a positive result."

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