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Monday, November 22, 2010

Mother represents son at Taser inquiry

November 22, 2010
CBC News

A mother is pressing for answers in the death of her son after Edmonton police used a stun gun while arresting him in 2008 during a drug-fuelled rampage.

The five-day inquiry into the death of Trevor Grimolfson begins in an Edmonton courtroom on Monday.

"This is the only chance I have to get some sort of justice," said Bev Grimolfson, 58.

Grimolfson is representing herself, because she can't afford a lawyer and a provincial court judge turned down her application for funding.

She said that without legal representation, it will be hard to ask the right questions.

"I don't know courtroom etiquette. I don't speak legalese, but I will do my best."

Her son, 38, died on Oct. 29, 2008, after police tried to subdue him with a stun gun.

He was high on drugs, smashing his way through a pawnshop in the west end. He died later in hospital. The cause of death was ruled “excited delirium due to the consequences of multiple drug toxicity.”

Grimolfson’s mother will be joined in the courtroom by the mother of Robert Dziekanski, whose son died after being shocked numerous times by police in the Vancouver airport.

“We are grieving mothers,” Zofia Cisowski wrote in a statement Sunday. “Many good people supported me. I am here to support her.”

Grimolfson said police misled her about the investigation into her son’s death.

“They have never told me anything,” she said. “I feel that I have been lied to right from the beginning; lied about what kind of Tasers they were; lied about how many times he was Tasered; where he was Tasered.

“It's just been a nightmare. And now this is the only chance I have to get some sort of justice.”

Alberta Justice won't comment on a pending inquiry, but a spokesperson said the process is designed to ensure an objective hearing.

Last year, the Alberta Serious Incident Repsonse Team, which investigates any death involving police, cleared the officers of any wrongdoing during Grimolfson's arrest.

The judge may make recommendations on how to prevent similar deaths.

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