5th anniversary of Robert Dziekanski's Taser-related death
The mother of Robert Dziekanski, the Polish immigrant who died after being hit with a stun gun at Vancouver International Airport, marked the fifth anniversary of her son's death on Saturday.
Dziekanski, who did not speak English, was shocked with a Taser by RCMP who spotted him displaying erratic behaviour after he became lost for hours in the airport's international arrivals area.
Walter Kosteckyj is the lawyer for Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski. He said the anniversary of Dziekanski's death is a difficult time for her.
"She sees that there have been changes that have resulted … so that Robert's death is remembered in many different ways and there have been many changes," Kosteckyj said.
"But, you know, obviously it's a time of extreme mourning for her, and she is never going to get over the loss of her son."
A two-part inquiry into Dziekanski's death set out recommendations for the use of Tasers and cautioned against multiple stuns.
A report released last week indicated that Taser use in B.C. has declined by 87 per cent since Dziekanski's death.
The province has also introduced the Independent Investigations Office, a civilian-led oversight agency that reviews police incidents involving fatalities or serious injury.
Kosteckyj said those are all important steps, but he said there are still improvements to be made within the RCMP.
"The one thing I think that still needs to be done is, I think, that Parliament needs to have a good long hard look at the RCMP," he said.
"From the number of phone calls I get from members of the RCMP, I know that there are some huge issues in the RCMP itself — there's dissatisfaction, and I don't think they've regained the public's trust at this point. So I think there's a lot that needs to be done there."