June 16, 2010
CHAD SKELTON, VANCOUVER SUN
REUTERS VANCOUVER -- One day before RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass publicly apologized to Robert Dziekanski's mother for the Mounties' role in his death, Bass emailed an RCMP member assuring him the apology did not mean the force was sorry for anything specific its officers did.
"Even though the word 'apology' worries some, we are not apologizing for the actions of specific members or saying anything about specific actions," Bass wrote in a March 31 e-mail to Brian Roach, a staff relations representative with the force. "I am apologizing for the loss of her son and where the [RCMP Commissioner] says we could have done better, from my perspective, that relates to the fact we had to revise our policy and training. ... Let me know if I can explain any further as it is important the membership gets the right message as to what we are trying to do [here]."
The day after the e-mail was written, Bass appeared at a news conference to announce the RCMP had reached an out-of-court settlement with Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski.
"Your son's death is a tragedy and for the role the Force played in this tragedy, we offer our sincere apology," Bass said in a prepared statement at the news conference. "There are no words to express how sorry the RCMP is about your son's death and the pain this has brought."
Bass' internal e-mail from the day before was released by the RCMP on Wednesday in response to an Access to Information Act request.
The Vancouver Sun has asked the RCMP for comment on the e-mail.
Dziekanski, 40, died on Oct. 14, 2007, after being Tasered five times by four RCMP officers responding to a 911 call at the airport.
His death prompted a public inquiry and a nationwide debate around the controversial stun gun.
Meanwhile, the Braidwood commission of inquiry's final report on Dziekanski's death will be publicly released Friday.
The report was completed last month and submitted to the attorney general.
Copies have been printed and will be released during a news conference at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver at 10 a.m. Friday.
The first report was released last year and examined the use of Tasers - known as conducted energy weapons - by police, sheriffs and corrections staff in B.C. The second phase of the inquiry focused on the events surrounding Dziekanski death.
WELCOME to TRUTH ... not TASERS
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
June 16, 2010