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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Police could have avoided inquiry -lawyer

May 27, 2009

Robert Dziekanski's mother, the public and law enforcement could have been spared a lengthy public inquiry if RCMP officers had only admitted they made mistakes shortly after the Polish immigrant's death, a lawyer said Tuesday as the Braidwood Inquiry neared an end.

I think that the public expected a proper and heartfelt apology to the family," said lawyer Don Rosenbloom, representing the Polish government at the inquiry, which wrapped up four months of testimony Thursday.

Had they come forward and been forthright in acknowledging that they had done wrong at the time, this wouldn't have been the story that it is . . . none of us would have been here."

Dziekanski came to Canada as a landed immigrant in October 2007, but he never made it out of Vancouver International Airport. The inquiry has heard Dziekanski spent hours wandering around the immigration hall and arrivals area of the airport, never connecting with his mother, who had come to meet him. Dziekanski died after he was hit with an RCMP Taser weapon multiple times after being confronted by four officers.

The inquiry has exposed questions like why the officers' accounts of the events appear to differ in key ways from an eyewitness video; and why the RCMP a year to correct misinformation released after the event.

The many lawyers involved in the inquiry will reconvene in mid-June to make their final submissions. A final report, including any recommendations from Commissioner Thomas Braidwood, could take months.

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