The non conformer's Canadian Weblog

December 1, 2009



Canada and British Columbia  clearly, perversely has a two tied justice system, one that allows ordinary citizens to be abused, another for the civil and public servants, influential   persons, a legacy from the British influence.. smart RCMP officers seem always to get away with injustice as a result too


The Canadian Press  VANCOUVER, B.C. – Vancouver International Airport, where Robert Dziekanski spent the last 10 hours of his life lost, confused and unable to communicate with anyone before his fatal confrontation with RCMP, has denied any responsibility for his death in its defence of a lawsuit filed by the Polish immigrant’s mother.Dziekanski died on the floor of the airport’s international arrivals area in the early morning of Oct. 14, 2007, after four RCMP officers stunned him with a Taser.His mother is now suing the officers, the airport and the federal and provincial governments. Zofia Cisowski alleges the airport and its staff failed her son at every encounter they had with the man after he arrived from Poland and then tried, unsuccessfully, to find his waiting mother.He was in the airport for nearly 10 hours before police were called, including several hours that he spent unnoticed in a secure customs hall, possibly sleeping. In particular, Cisowski’s lawsuit says airport staff didn’t do enough to help Dziekanski when he became agitated and started throwing furniture, prompting calls to police. She claims airport officials didn’t provide sufficient access to a translator and wrongly decided not to call the facility’s own firefighters after Dziekanski was stunned and lying unconscious on the airport floor. The lawsuit also says staff failed to provide Cisowski with any “meaningful assistance” when she repeatedly tried to find out where her son was during hours of waiting. The airport denies every allegation. Airport staff “followed their training, used good judgment and employed the resources available to them at the time to do their best to assist the plaintiff (Cisowski), Mr. Dziekanski and all members of the public in attendance at the airport,” says the statement of defence, filed on Nov. 20.”If the plaintiff sustained any injury or harm, such harm was not foreseeable by the airport or its representatives.” CisowsKi’s lawyer declined to comment, saying he was waiting for statements of defence from the others named in the lawsuit. The airport is the only defendant so far to file such a statement. The airport’s lawyer, Dwight Stewart, said the airport has extensively reviewed what happened and made changes, but he insisted the airport’s policies and procedures were sufficient at the time. “This was a situation that no one at the airport had ever encountered before,” Stewart said in an interview.  “And while it’s unlikely that this would ever again happen at the airport, the airport looked at every one of those systems and did everything it could to ensure that . . . every passenger – no matter the time of day, no matter their experience with international air travel, no matter their language capacity – had a smooth passage through Vancouver International Airport.” Stewart said he ISn’t legally discuss whether there has been any talk of a settlement, but he said the airport is sticking firm in its position that it did nothing wrong.

 The airport faced intense criticism after Dziekanski’s death and made numerous changes in the aftermath, including improved access to translation services, more signs in different languages and increased patrols to find passengers who are lost or in distress. An internal report produced in the months after Dziekanski’s fatal confrontation with police concluded airport staff followed their training and did nothing wrong, but made more than two dozen recommendations that have been put into place . .At a public inquiry that wrapped up in October, the airport repeatedly pointed to those changes as proof it had learned from the incident, while at the same time denying there was anything wrong in the first place. Inquiry commissioner Thomas Braidwood’s final report is expected to be released next year, and it will contain recommendations to prevent similar deaths.The inquiry also focused on the actions of federal border officers who dealt with Dziekanski before he encountered the police and the four RCMP officers, one of whom used a Taser on Dziekanski within seconds of arriving. Cisowski’s lawsuit is just one of several legal cases connected to Dziekanski’s death and the inquiry. Three of the officers will be in the B.C. Court of Appeal this week to challenge the inquiry’s authority to make findings of misconduct against them; Taser International is suing the inquiry commissioner over the findings of an earlier report that concluded the weapons can kill; and the officer who fired the Taser, Const. Kwesi Millington, is suing the CBC for libel.

Overruling recommendations by a local police force, B.C.’s Ministry of the Attorney-General won’t lay impaired-driving charges after a fatal crash last year involving an RCMP officer who was also at the centre of the Robert Dziekanski case. The ministry’s criminal justice branch announced Tuesday it will instead lay a single charge of attempting to obstruct justice against RCMP Corporal Benjamin Montgomery (Monty) Robinson. The charge stems from an Oct. 25, 2008, crash in Tsawwassen, B.C., in which motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson was struck by a Jeep driven by Cpl. Robinson, who was off duty at the time, the ministry said. After the crash, Cpl. Robinson gave his driver’s licence to a witness and left the scene to carry his two children, who were in the Jeep, to the family’s nearby home, defence lawyer Reg Harris said in an interview Tuesday. Cpl. Robinson has said he’d consumed two beers earlier that night and, once leaving the crash scene, drank two shots of vodka at his home. “He had volunteered that he had consumed liquor, yes,” Mr. Harris said. Cpl. Robinson then returned to the scene of the crash, at which Mr. Hutchinson was pronounced dead. The collision was investigated by Delta police, who in June recommended the Crown lay charges of impaired driving causing death and dangerous driving causing death against Cpl. Robinson. But in a statement Tuesday, the government said “available evidence does not establish to the criminal standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that at the time of the collision Cpl. Robinson had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit, that his ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol, or that he was operating his vehicle in a dangerous manner. …” Unlike other provinces where police lay charges directly, British Columbia requires the Crown to approve charges suggested by investigators. Neil MacKenzie, a spokesman for B.C.’s criminal justice branch, was tight-lipped about what the charge of obstructing justice stems from, saying only that it was due to the “alleged actions” of Cpl. Robinson in the hours after the collision.

The Crown has approved a charge of attempting to obstruct justice — but not impaired driving — against RCMP Cpl. Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, who was involved in a fatal accident last year.  On Oct. 25, 2008, Robinson was driving a Jeep in Tsawwassen that collided with a motorcycle driven by 21-year-old Orion Hutchinson, who was killed. Robinson was the most senior of the four RCMP officers involved in a confrontation with Dziekanski at Vancouver airport in October 2007, during which Dziekanski was shocked with a Taser and died. Robinson testified at a public inquiry earlier this year that he gave the order to use the Taser. He was suspended with pay following the crash and RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields said Tuesday the suspension continues. Shields said an internal code of conduct investigation was ordered after the accident, but that investigation will not proceed until the criminal case has concluded.

The RCMP  itself does not hesitate to cover up, not prosecute one of it’s own historically now as well. Claiming “We have to wait until the court proceedings are over and then we will hold the adjudication hearing where the final discipline will be decided upon,” he said. “It only makes sense to wait until all the evidence has come in during the court process before that final disciplinary hearing is held.” Of course all of the evidence will not be available if the RCMP itself fully does not investigate the matter.

The motor vehicles branch suspended Robinson’s driver’s licence for 90 days following the crash – a suspension he tried unsuccessfully to appeal. The officer argued in B.C. Supreme Court in March that a motor vehicles adjudicator didn’t properly consider his statement that he left the scene of the collision, had two shots of vodka, and then returned to the scene. Robinson is scheduled to appear in court Dec. 8 on the obstruction charge. His lawyer, Reg Harris, said Robinson will plead not guilty to the charge. “Any criminal charge is a significant event for anybody, so it’s hugely significant that he’s now facing a criminal charge,” Harris said. 

More amazing still, the vehicular accident which resulted in the death of Orion Hutchinson and the obstruction charge to Monty Robinson came one year almost to the day of Robert Dziekanski’s death. Corporal Robinson was suspended with pay following the crash, and over a year later that suspension continues. Note that he wasn’t suspended for his involvement in the death of Mr.Dziekanski, but for the drunk driving and obstruction charge in the accident.

Two men are dead as a result of Mr.Robinson’s direct actions. Will there be any justice for either of them?

see also

RCMP acknowledges public trust eroded after Dziekanski incident  Vancouver Sun –  By Neal Hall, Vancouver SunMarch 24, 2009 VANCOUVER – The RCMP realizes the level of public trust in the force has dropped as a result of evidence emerging at the Braidwood inquiry, which is probing the death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport


Mountie fails to have driving ban lifted The Province – By Keith Fraser, The ProvinceMarch 4, 2009 One of the four Mounties at the scene of the fatal Tasering of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport has lost his bid to overturn a driving ban he received after he was involved in a fatal KILLING


Cop not certified with Taser  24 Hours Vancouver –  By IRWIN LOY, 24 HOURS The RCMP officer who gave the order to jolt Robert Dziekanski with a Taser stun gun lacked the proper certification to fire the weapon himself, the inquiry into the Polish immigrant’s death has heard. RCMP Cpl. Benjamin ‘Monty’


Unbelievable testimony; unknowable pain Globe and Mail –  Just days after the head of the RCMP asked the Canadian public to “walk a mile in the shoes” of his officers, the mother of Robert Dziekanski attempted to get a member of the force to do exactly the same thing with her. 


WINNIPEG — One target of a major undercover police sting operation was a former Manitoba RCMP officer who gave up the badge and later became a high-ranking Hells Angels associate.  Shuttleworth, 39, was arrested at his Winnipeg home early Wednesday by heavily armed members of the Emergency Response Team. He has been charged with participating in a criminal organization, trafficking a firearm, possession of proceeds of crime and conspiracy to money laundering. Police identified Shuttleworth in court documents as a full-patch member of the Zig Zag Crew, the so-called puppet club of the Hells Angels. The documents said Shuttleworth was an RCMP officer between 1991 and 1994 who had extensive firearm training and “an ongoing interest in firearms.”




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