Koncowe dni klamstw  kanadyjskiej policji przed  komsja w sprawie zabojstwa  Roberta Dziekńskiego

Taser inquiry: Mountie not a trained medical person

Given the template in which the commanding officer didn't have up-to-date first aid or Taser certification, there were many moments of sick humour during this week's questioning of senior officer, Cpl. Benjamin "Monty" Robinson. (By out-of-date, one should explain his first-aid certification expired in March 2003 and his Taser training in March 2006. Still, he testified he considered himself capable of offering medical assistance to Robert Dziekanski and give commands for Taser use, although he didn't carry one himself.)

Here's an example of the type of daily exchanges that had listeners groaning:

Don Rosenbloom, lawyer for the Polish republic, attempted to ascertain Robinson's awareness of Dziekanski's condition as lay on the floor, face down, hands cuffed behind his back.

Robinson had observed his ears were blue.

Rosenbloom explained to the inquiry that's what happens when someone is cyanotic: the extremities turn blue.

"Extremities?" asked Robinson, as if puzzled.

"Yes," said Rosenbloom. "Would you agree earlobes are an extremity?"

Replied Robinson: “I’m not a trained medical person."

For the record, it should be noted another officer considered Dziekanski's "blue discolouration" serious enough to merit a Code 3 emergency call to paramedics. Dziekanski was pronounced dead at the scene.

* * *

Liberal MP Mark Holland, the public safety/national security critic representing Ajax-Pickering, said he couldn't even imagine how Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski can sit daily, as she's been doing, and keep hearing and seeing (the video) and know, "this is the way her son's life ended."


Zofia Cisowski and, lower left, her son, Robert Dziekanski.



But she continues to hold vigil in the Braidwood Commission inquiry room, listening, watching, occasionally sobbing softly or wiping her brow with a cloth. She looks like her deceased son, the same round face, almond-shaped eyes and dark hair. At 71, she shows what her son might have looked like had he lived another 31 years.



Dziekanski planned to live with his mother in Kamloops. On the more than 15 hours of travel from Poland, with a transfer in Germany, he'd lugged mostly beloved geography books in his suitcases.

He arrived in Vancouver at 3 p.m.; his mother was waiting for him. She waited until 10 p.m. and, having been assured by airport staffers her son wasn't there, drove home to Kamloops.

He wandered helplessly around the secure international arrivals area, with nobody apparently able to help him, before police were called. She drove home to a message saying her son had been found and was fine. Around 2 a.m., she began the drive back to the airport, only to discover the information was tragically false.



The Pritchard Video: How good are your eyes?

I'm posting the Paul Pritchard video again, now the four Mounties involved when Robert Dziekanski died at Vancouver airport in their custody have all testified. (Yesterday's final day of testimony for the week focused on paramedic Allan Maciak who said Dziekanski was dead when his team arrived at the airport Oct. 14/07, about 10 minutes after he was stunned with an RCMP Taser five times.

Eyes of people in the courtroom, and the adjoining press room, blurred this week, gazing repeatedly at the amateur video and trying to follow whichever laser pointer was used to focus on an image. We had the advantage of seeing it enlarged, sections isolated and stopped. But it's still possble to do it without the court's equipment.

Here's the thing: The Mounties describe their calm entry into the airport arrivals section where Robert Dziekanski was located. Cpl. Benjamin "Monty" Robinson says he spoke to the Polish immigrant and, while he knew he didn't speak English, made a series of hand gestures to make his commands known. Stop, calm down, put your hands on the counter, etc. Earlier statements from the Mounties suggested Dziekanski was agitated and threatening when they arrived - before the hand signals began - and that once he picked up the stapler, he swung it wildly. That was later changed to just holding the stapler. A great deal of effort was spent in court staring at the video in an effort both to determine what Dziekanski was actually doing when police arrived and trying to pinpoint Robinson's hand gestures in a sequence of events that led to Dziekanksi ultimately pickeing up a stapler from a counter.

The next screening focused on what happened after Dziekanski was down, how the Mounties checked his medical condition, where Robinson's knee was in relation to his neck - which would have been an inadvisable use of pressure - and whether they rolled Dziekanski off his stomach.

The court had the advantage of having the sound of the Taser being administered added to the sound. Without that, it's hard to determine exactly when Dziekanski is being Tasered. The whole thing is rough going, but I leave it to readers to watch the video and determine what you can see.

* * *

Mea culpa for not blogging from the Braidwood Commission yesterday. I'm writing for the weekend today and will return to it on Decoder a last time on Monday.

March 25, 2009

Back to the Pritchard video: Where's the corporal's knee?

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Braidwood Commission Inquiry is peering at the Paul Pritchard amateur video to determine where Cpl. Benjamin "Monty" Robinson's knee was when Robert Dziekanski was on the ground. Was he putting pressure on Dziekanski's neck?

The focus was on 24 seconds in the video, from 5:10 minutes to 5:34 minutes. You can see Dziekanski on his stomach and his head visible. Just below his head, Robinson's sole is visible. Lawyer Don Rosembloom, acting for the Polish republic, argues the angle of the sole of his shoe eans his knee - or some part of his leg - was resting on Dziekanski's neck, thereby applying pressure.

"I know where my knee was and it wasn't on his neck," said Robinson.

* * *

Robinson, who was the senior officer that night, is finishing his third day of testimony. He appears to be getting testy. Rosenbloom said when emergency crews arrived, Dziekanki had no pulse.

"If that's what you're telling me," said Robinson.

Braidwood Commission: Watching amateur video until eyes glaze

It's probably the most watched 10 minutes ever videotaped on the RCMP, with the possible exception of training videos. But this is no training video.

It's amateur video taken by bystander Paul Pritchard at the Vancouver International Airport in the early morning of October 14, 2007 and shows events in which four Mounties confronted Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. Shortly, thereafter, Dziekanski was dead, having been jolted five times by an RCMP Taser.

Again today, Commissioner Thomas Braidwood, lawyers, spectators and witness RCMP Cpl. Benjamin "Monty" Robinson pored over details in the video at the public Braidwood Commission inquiry examining the events of Dziekanski's death. Every lawyer uses it in an attempt to show how statements from RCMP officers differs from scenes in the video. This morning's challenge was to pick out Dziekanski's hand movements before he moved to an airport counter and picked up a stapler. Were they threatening towards the four officers or, as suggested by lawyer Don Rosebloom, a mere fluttering of hands essentially at his sides?

* * *

Whenever the video differed greatly from today's testimony from Cpl. Benjamin "Monty" Robinson, he would remark: "I saw it."

At one instance, however, he gave a long description of how there were "small little movements" of Dziekanski's hands, but "you're not going to see that."

Asked Don Rosenbloom, lawyer for the Polish republic: "Can you see that?"

* * *

Robinson also seemed to have trouble understanding Rosenbloom's vocabulary.

"Important?" he asked, as if hearing a strange word for the first time. He was considering a question about RCMP Taser use.

* * *

Retired B.C. justice Thomas Braidwood certainly has a problem with names. Yesterday, he called  Walter Kosteckyj, lawyer for Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski, "Dziekanski" a couple of times.

Today, he keeps calling Rosenbloom, "Rosenberg."

March 24, 2009

Were it not for 10 minutes of amateur video

It's impossible to cover the Braidwood Commission inquiry without wondering how things would have turned out without the 10-minute amateur video of events shot by bystander Paul Pritchard.

Odds are it would be very different. Indeed, would there even be an inquiry into how Robert Dziekanski died after being jolted five times by an RCMP Taser? No wonder Pritchard had to get a lawyer to get the Mounties to release the video (and camcorder) they'd seized from him at the airport.

Supervising Mountie: "I failed to articulate well."

No kidding.

Once again, the testimony at this morning's Braidwood Commission inquiry into Robert Dziekanski's death was like going through the looking glass into Wonderland. On the stand, Cpl. Benjamin "Monty" Robinson - the supervising officer that early morning in 2007 - gave a very different account of events at the Vancouver International Airport in October, 2007, than what he initially told an immediate RCMP investigation into the "in-custody death" of Dziekanski. He was pronounced dead at the scene after receiving five Taser jolts.

"So you were wrong?" said lawyer Walter Kosteckyj (acting for the deceased's mother), repeatedly, about Robinson's earlier statements. He'd said, for example Dziekanski had stacked his luggage up against the door of the arrivals section.

"It didn't happen?" asked Kosteckyj.

"No," said Robinson.

One by one, Kosteckyj went through earlier statements and got the same matter-of-fact "no" from Robinson.

So, was Dziekanski really "swinging" a stapler at the team of four Mounties  and did he really try to "hit them with it."

"Ah, no."

And was he "angry and pissed off . . . kinda aggressive . . . not just where he's wired up."


Did it really happen "really quickly where he took the stapler and started swinging it at us."

"Not 100 percent accurate, no," replied Robinson.

Robinson even contradicted his earlier statement Dziekanski hadn't gone down after being Tasered once - out of five hits.

"You agree he went down?" asked Kosteckyj. "So that wasn't accurate either?"

"I didn't articulate that well, no."

* * *

Robinson obviously took advice from his lawyer, Reg Harris. Mostly, he seemed almost disinterested but he snapped to life whenever he could fire off at Kosteckjy: "I don't see where you're going with this."

He even did it when the lawyer was just asking him to point out his own location on the video of events that night taken by amateur Paul Pritchard.

At one point this morning, the inconsistencies in his testimony had a confused Commissioner Thomas Braidwood calling Kostekyj, "Mr. Dziekanski."

* * *

The morning's low point? Had to be when Kosteckyj was asking Robinson about Dziekanski's symptoms once on the ground. He'd already established Robinson's first aid certification had expired and was asking about breathing sounds. In his first report to the RCMP, Robinson  said they sounded like "snoring."

He tried to explain today, then stopped.

"You're smiling, sir!" snapped Kosteckyj, asking Robinson if he found something funny.

"No," came the reply.

No further explanation was offered.

Throughout that exchange, Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski sobbed quietly. She's been a constant presence at the inquiry.

March 23, 2009

Dziekanski's mother cries out at inquiry

As Cpl. “Monty” Robinson went into court this morning for his testimony at the Braidwood inquiry, Zofia Cisowski called out to him to say she wanted to talk. She said she had questions, but Robinson didn’t stop.

Her son, Robert Dziekanski, died after being Tasered five times by an RCMP team under Robinson’s command.

Later, however, Cpl. Peter Thiessen, from the RCMP’s communications section, told reporters she would be able to speak to Robinson. He said he spoke to Cisowski this morning to say, “Absolutely (she could), if that’s what she wants.”

He told reporters, huddled into a media room beside the Braidwood Commission at the federal courthouse, she “declined at that point.” He added the meeting could occur tomorrow.

Cisowski had been waiting hours for her son at the airport on the day he died.

Mountie can’t see himself

This morning’s Braidwood Inquiry into Robert Dziekanski’s death would be funny, if the subject weren’t so tragic.

Cpl. Benjamin Robinson

Today, commission lawyer Art Vertlieb questioned Benjamin (Monty) Robinson who, as corporal, was the commanding officer on the scene that early morning of Oct. 14, 2007 when the newly-arrived Polish immigrant died in the secure international arrivals area of Vancouver airport.

He had been Tasered five times by Robinson’s team of Mounties. Asked about seeing four Mounties on the scene, Robinson seemed puzzled.

“Weren’t there four?” asked the lawyer.

“Well, I can’t see myself,” replied Robinson.

A shortish man in dark shirt and jacket, Robison gave monosyllabic answers for most of the morning, or said: “I don’t know.”

He did note, however, that his own Taser training had been out-of-date since March, 2006.

Autor: Linda Diebel -s a veteran political reporter who worked across Canada, including on Parliament Hill, and as the Toronto Star's bureau chief in both Washington and Latin America. She has written two books, Betrayed: The Assassination of Digna Ochoa, and Stéphane Dion: Against the Current.

She's been described as "that mean Diebel person" by President George H.W. Bush and someone "with a good head on her shoulders" by Noam Chomsky. They're probably both right.


Infonurt2 : Ten szef grupy policjantów robi wrażenie “umsłowego”.. Tragedią jest więc ogromną fakt że zycie obywateli Kanady jest w rękach takich ludzi – przy czym uzbrojonych w smiertelny sprzet : pistolety, Tasery i stalowe ogumione pałki którą jeden z nich walił w ciemie Roberta. Dziwne że żaden z prawników  tego nie zauważył-  bo te kilka uderzeń stalową pałka wzdłuż – było po prostu dobiciem ich ofiary..


Web405Another RCMP officer retracts statements at Dziekanski inquiry


VANCOUVER , B.C. - Robert Dziekanski was not, as he has been portrayed in the past, the agitated man who withstood the shock from a Taser and swung a stapler at police, the most senior RCMP officer admits.

In the hours and days after Dziekanski collapsed and died on the floor of Vancouver 's airport in October 2007, the four RCMP officers involved told investigators he was an aggressive threat to public safety, even after he took the first of four shocks from an RCMP Taser.

The officers said they had to wrestle Dziekanski to the ground - evidence disputed by a witness video to Dziekanski's dying moments.

Cpl. Benjamin Monty Robinson told a public inquiry into in Dziekanski's death Wednesday that he made erroneous statements to those homicide investigators.

"I didn't articulate it well," Robinson explained during his third day of testimony at the inquiry.

"I'm blending the whole interaction," he said. "I did the best job I could. I admit there are inaccuracies."

Dziekanski, a Polish man who didn't speak English, died on the floor of the arrivals area following five blasts of the Taser.

Robinson has insisted he was simply ineloquent when he gave two separate statements to investigators probing the in-custody death. The three other officers have said they gave their best recollections of a fast-paced, stressful event.

Robinson acknowledged Wednesday that Dziekanski was relatively calm when police arrived and initially followed their directions.

He also conceded that Dziekanski didn't swing the stapler, as officers told investigators, and collapsed to the floor on his own after the first shock. Their initial accounts said he continued standing after the first hit.

All the officers have retracted parts of their statements to homicide investigators when confronted with the bystander's video. Some of the officers' errors - for instance, that Dziekanski had to be wrestled to the floor - were consistent among them.

The lawyer for the Polish government has offered his own theory: The officers were lying to justify their actions.

"It's not something that should be casually blended together because it misleads the investigators," Don Rosenbloom told Robinson.

Earlier this month, when questioning the officer who fired the Taser, Rosenbloom went further.

"I am suggesting that you and your fellow officers intentionally misled (homicide) investigators and you continue to lie under oath at this commission, do you deny that?" he asked Const. Kwesi Millington, who denied the allegation.

The inconsistencies have raised questions about the Crown's decision last year not to charge the four officers, and prompted calls from the Polish community to re-open the case.

When announcing their decision last December, B.C.'s Criminal Justice Branch said the bystander's video supported the officers' accounts.

"This is so obvious, it should be re-opened, because there was no justification not to charge them," Zygmunt Riddle, a Polish man who has sent an Internet petition to the provincial government, said outside the inquiry Wednesday.

Jurek Baltakis, a friend of Dziekanski's mother who says he represents the Polish community in her home town of Kamloops, B.C., said he wants the investigation re-opened, but by a special prosecutor, not the RCMP.

A Crown spokesman in B.C. has said it would be up to homicide investigators to decide whether to re-open the case.

The RCMP have said that's a decision that will have to wait until after the inquiry.

Regardless of what happens in Canada , prosecutors in Poland are conducting their own investigation, which could result in charges there.

Przemyslaw Jenke, the country's consul in Vancouver , said Polish law allows charges to be laid for crimes committed in other countries against Polish citizens.

"The Polish penal code does provide for this kind of situation," said Jenke, who has been attending the inquiry.

Jenke said Polish prosecutors asked Canadian officials for information related to the investigation soon after Dziekanski died, but have so far received no help.

If Polish prosecutors do decide to lay charges, Jenke said the officers could be tried in absentia.

"We do not have an extradition treaty between Poland and Canada , so (extradition) is rather unlikely," he said.