Man wants video of Vancouver airport Taser incident made public
Police to return tape in matter of days
A man who videotaped the last moments of a Polish immigrant being Tasered at Vancouver International Airport said he heard a Mountie ask, "Should I Taser him?" as soon as police arrived at the scene.
Paul Pritchard said he still intends to go to court Friday to demand RCMP return his video recording of the incident — although a police spokesman said late afternoon the tape will be returned to him in a matter of days.
Robert Dziekanski, 40, died on Oct. 14, hours after he arrived at Vancouver International Airport. He was on his way to Kamloops to live with his mother in the B.C. Interior.
RCMP Cpl. Dale Carr admitted on Thursday investigators kept the video longer than they anticipated but he said the purpose was to protect the integrity of the police investigation.
"It's important for us to convey to you and for everyone to understand that video was obtained legally through a process known as informed consent," he said.
Police have now interviewed all the witnesses involved and feel the release of the tape won't be compromising the case, Carr added.
A statement of claim filed by Pritchard's lawyer, Paul Pearson, said the English language teacher was originally told the police would return the video in 48 hours, but an RCMP official later said Pritchard may have to wait up to two and a half years to get the video back.
Pritchard said he feels RCMP are trying to manipulate the truth and he wants the public to see his video.
Carr said Dziekanski's mother is not in favour of having the videotape released to the public, but the RCMP officer said it will be up to Pritchard to decide what to do with it.
Accompanied by his lawyer, Pritchard revealed more details of what he saw at the airport. That day, he was returning home to Victoria to visit his ailing father aftertravelling and teaching in China.
"As they ran in, I heard one of the officers say 'Can I Taser him? Should I Taser him?' before they actually even got to Mr. Dziekanski," Pritchard said.
"As soon as they crossed through the doors, within five seconds they kind of flushed him behind a desk and right away they Tasered him."
He said he heard one of the Mounties yell "Code Red" and between five to eight minutes later, paramedics arrived and immediately beganworking on Dziekanski.
Most upsetting, he said, is while it took up to eight minutes for medics to arrive, two RCMP officers and two security guards did nothing to try to revive Dziekanski.
He also said it was seeing Dziekanski's mother crying on television over her son's death that made him want to get this tape out to the public and to clear up speculation about what really happened.
With files from the Canadian Press