Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Canadian Police Battle PR Nightmare Over Taser-Related Death

Incident Paints Ugly Picture of Officers Worldwide. Still nobody fired or charged, though. And it does look like the murderers will get away with it. Canadian Border Services Agency president Alain Jolicouer has said that no one will be disciplined, because the investigation found no wrongdoing!!!! Corrupt Canada!

While Royal Canadian Mounted Police brass and its media relations division scrambled to keep from being "crucified" over Taser use and the death of a man at Vancouver's airport, they also had to deal with an increasing barrage of complaints accusing officers of being everything from clowns to killers. Email documents, released under Canada's Access to Information Act, showed great concern from public safety minister Stockwell Day's office down to the RCMP's British Columbia media relations office over the public's perception about the death of Robert Dziekanski, the Canadian Press reports.

"I am going to get some advice, but I think I might wade in here to set some of the record straight with the media," RCMP chief supt. Dale McGowan wrote in an email to commander Peter German. "We are being crucified on why the Taser usage and our members' actions at the preliminary stages," he added, according to the report.

In one email days after the death, Day's office issued an "urgent" request to RCMP to see the latest media lines Mounties have sent out on the Taser incident. RCMP media spokesman sergeant Pierre Lemaitre outlined suggestions for what the RCMP should tell the media, including that the death was being reviewed on several levels and that the investigation was continuing.

In October of last year, Dziekanski spent hours in the international arrivals area at the Vancouver airport before he was confronted by four RMCP officers. A bystander's video of the confrontation shows the officers attempting a brief conversation with the confused and sweating Polish man before Dziekanski was jolted twice with a Taser. He died minutes after.

The video was seized by officers at the scene for evidence, and the owner later threatened legal action to get it back. In the hours after the death, Lemaitre told the media officers attempted to calm the man, but they felt threatened. When the eyewitness video was finally released, it showed police using the Taser less than half-a-minute after first confronting the man.

After the tape was aired around the world, the RCMP was inundated with angry emails. "Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre should be fired for purposely misrepresenting the facts and suppressing the video on a false premise," wrote one person, who's name was removed from the documents. "It appears you have been caught in an outright lie," wrote another. "You clowns are nothing but a sad, expensive joke," another writer charged.

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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