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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Yet Another Step With No Resolve In Dziekanski Death

December 9, 2009
By Ben Meisner, Opinion 250

The report by Paul Kennedy, the Commissioner of Public Complaints Against the RCMP into the death of Robert Dziekanski and surrounding investigation by the RCMP into the matter is a good one; it however will be met in the same manner as the previous investigations.

The RCMP is not compelled to accept any of his findings , so in fact the report has no teeth.

We now will hold an Inquest into the death of the Polish immigrant because the law calls upon the system to do so when a person dies while in the custody of a police force in BC. That inquest will see all of the previous information trotted out again, they will have the four officers again give testimony and then the Jury will sit. Will they find fault in the matter? No, they are not allowed to do that as a Coroner’s jury , so it will be step two in the ongoing meaningless process.
We then will have to wait for the findings of Retired Justice Thomas Braidwood in the inquiry conducted before him. Unless he over steps the bounds, he cannot recommend that charges be laid, he is however the kind of guy that might come close to suggesting that. So that will end step three in the process without anything ever really coming out of it.

Then there is the matter of an RCMP disciplinary hearing, and that won't happen because it is supposed to be held within one year of the event in question. It has been two years since Dziekanski died.

The Crown meantime had the opportunity to lay charges in the matter but told the people of the province that there was, in their mind, insufficient evidence for a conviction. That decision by the way came before the Braidwood Inquiry took place and that file was prepared by the RCMP.

Now we do know that the media spin from the RCMP was such at the beginning that had the Pritchard video not appeared, the matter would have died a very quick death. The public however was exposed to something much different than what was portrayed by the police.

Unless the Provincial Government decides to appoint a special prosecutor and lay charges in the matter, the whole set of circumstances surrounding the death of the Polish immigrant is scheduled for a trip to the garbage can. At the outset the matter should have been put before a judge in a court of law. Let the evidence be presented and let that evidence determine whether a crime was committed or not.

Allowing a Crown Attorney to decide whether there is sufficient evidence is akin to having the four investigating officers determine if there was any wrong doing, and our system supposedly does not allow that, although it is becoming more common place every day.

For those people that like to comment that a police officer's job is difficult, keep this in mind, a police officer swears to uphold the law , not make up laws as he or she deems fit. The moment police officers start making up their own laws, that in any other country of the world is called a police state.

It should be the goal of every honest, honourable, hard working police officer to ensure that the bad are weeded out, protecting those that bend the system does nothing but paint them all with the same brush.

As for the the charge that the media have just sensationalized the issue, lets hope that they continue to talk about the death front and center, because in may be the only court in which Robert Dziekanski will be heard.

I’m Meisner and that’s one man’s opinion.

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