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For the past two years, the RCMP has faced intense scrutiny over the case of Robert Dziekanski. In late 2007, he arrived at Vancouver airport from Poland, unable to speak any English. Nearly ten hours later, he was throwing furniture in the arrivals area. RCMP were called in - and within seconds, they tasered Dziekanski five times. Minutes later, he was dead.
Crown prosecutors in BC decided not to charge any of the four officers. The RCMP investigated itself and found no wrongdoing. But last week, December ninth, the RCMP public complaints commissioner did, and said: "RCMP should not be investigating their own members who are involved in death or serious injury cases." And that wasn't the only conclusion he made: "The versions of events given by the four RCMP are not deemed credible by my commission."
Paul Kennedy spent two years investigating the RCMP's role in Dziekanski's death. He says the Mounties were justified in approaching him, but did nothing to calm him down. He says they fired on Dziekanski too quickly, too often and without warning, and once he was down, they should have given him first aid.
The head of the RCMP, William Elliott hasn't replied to Kennedy's report. He says he wants to wait until a public inquiry releases its findings next year. But last month, Elliott did say this on The Hour: "I think you try to find out what happened, what went wrong, and make changes. And we've done that." As for Kennedy, his term as RCMP watchdog expires at the end of this year - and he was not reappointed by the federal government.