RCMP “Horribly Broken”- Must Change.

Much to the chagrin of some I know, whose opinons are that the RCMP is a steadfast, honourable institution, with no, or little corruption, protection for whistleblowers etc…….. it appears that whistleblowers who did come forward to report wrongdoing, were in fact , punished for doing so. Cover-ups continued, mis-management  at every level, and scandal- over fabricated testimony –  these are the core elements of the RCMP that need to be torn apart and built again.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2007/12/14/mounties-report.html

The task force, headed under Toronto lawyer David Brown, had been asked by the federal government to look into the structure and dealings of the RCMP. Their  objective? To determine the numerous fault’s within the organization and  the best action to repair the obviously ineffective and ” horribly broken” institution.

It is now recommended that the RCMP be split from the feds, and run under  the managment of a civilian board of directors.

 Yet another major recommendation is that a new independant commission be created to take the place of the two that already investigate and report on the RCMP’s complaints, but with enforcement power on findings.

    ” The new committee would hear complaints from RCMP members and the public, but it would also launch its own investigations and have the power to summon witnesses and compel testimony. Its findings would be made public and its rulings on discipline and grievance issues would be binding”

 Its obvious changes have needed for many years, and just now are we coming to resolution on the matters within the RCMP. Implementation will take time, and I have a feeling that there may be resistance within some levels who adhere to the brotherhood mentality that remains within the insititution.

Of course, the other major news for ” BAD NEWS FRIDAY” ( it is known that people have two days over the weekend to forget the”bad”  news released on a Friday, so if its something that they dont want a lot of discussion on ,thats when they release it- likewise, if its a good report, or the goverment wants some buzz about it, they hold the news until Monday, os people have all week to talk about it. )  – were the changes to taser usage by the RCMP, which to me, are merely a  token offering to soothe the public outcry regarding the weapon. The idea is that they will only be used when people are clearly combative and actively resisting arrest, as well as threatening grievous bodily harm, rather than whenever they feel like it.

Problem is, those terms are subjective to the individual holding that taser, and the commissioner will not share with the public how those terms are defined by the RCMP. Does holding your hand in the air mean you are combative? If you laugh at the cops, is that combative, or resisting arrest? You get the idea.  So, unless we see a little more definition on it, I expect we will still see the tasers around and in use.

A larger deterrent to inappropriate policing is the increasing event of the public taping police interactions with their own recording devices. Perhaps if the cops think their actions might be caught on tape more frequently, as they are, it will reduce the times when inappropriate actions are taken. The reports that have currently been released show that even the RCMP is not immune to corruption and abuse, and its about time the steps were taken to ensure both pubic safety and confidence, along with accountibility.

I’m Laila Yuile, and this is how I see it.

75 Comments on “RCMP “Horribly Broken”- Must Change.

  1. If you watch the news segments where they interview Mr. Brown you get, or at least I did a sense of an individual who really was interested in getting to the core of the problems. He stated that he spoke with thousands of working cops and the interesting thing was that nation wide the complaints were eerily the same. Badly understaffed, under equipped, overworked, stressed. The altruistic intentions of the rank and file seemed to be to get the job done no matter the personal cost.
    The upper management would appear to be stale, out of touch, uncaring, and in need of some specialized training at that level.

    It would also appear logical to me that given the problems that were left festering for years, the ordinary worker bee has taken the straightest line to getting something done. The question is how far has the overall problem contributed to the operations problem the worker bees face every hour. This could explain for example lack of back up getting workers killed, having to contain situations where more cops should be at hand resulting in over reaction or more force than necessary in some cases because of the lack of back up or supervision. Apparently the backup policy (sic) has been brewing for over 10 years.

    What these guys need is a union. At least the worker bees could have some recourse to challenging policies that put them in unnecessary danger. A place to get grievances aired independently. A place for the whistle to be blown instead of the display over the pension debacle where honest individuals suffered for telling the truth. It was only the mettle of the ones that came forward that shed light on the illegal activities of the very top few.

    I am glad Mr Brown was able to talk to the pointy end of the stick rather than the self interested management crew. maybe something good will come out of this costly probe.

  2. Laila, I’m glad you wrote on this topic; it is crucially important. Here’s the link to the full report:

    http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/rcmp-grc/Task_Force_Report-English.pdf

    This report is bang on. The recommendations will transform the RCMP from an organization that accomplishes its goals only by the sheer force of will and personal sacrifice of the rank and file members to a modern day, professional police service.

    Let’s hope that the report generates the political will necessary to effect the changes. And let’s thank the Conservative government for mandating that the study be done in the first place.

    I do, however, disagree with your comments on the new Taser policy. You complain that the new guidelines are too “subjective”.

    First of all, use of force policies are just that; policies. The legal authority for police to use force is found in the Criminal Code (Section 25). The Criminal Code states that a police officer “is, if he acts on reasonable grounds, justified in doing what he is required or authorized to do and in using as much force as is necessary for that purpose.”

    http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/showdoc/cs/C-46/bo-ga:s_3_1-gb:s_34//en#anchorbo-ga:s_3_1-gb:s_34

    It is that law from which use of force policies are built. The LAW says nothing of tasers, pepper spray or anything else…the courts only apply a test of “reasonableness” to the circumstances.

    So, really, use of force policy is far less subjective than the actual law which overrides the policy. The policy is merely an interpretation of the law used for training purposes. A police officer could breach policy and his actions could still be found to be reasonable by the courts, or vice versa.

    Secondly, there is a necessity of having subjective policy. In dealing with these situations there are just so many variables that you couldn’t possibly come up with a strict set of rules that dictate precise responses to precise situations.

    For example, suppose a male suspect is 5’10” and 175 lbs. That suspect poses a much different threat to a female police officer who is 5’2″ and 120 lbs compared to a male police officer who is 6’4″ and 250 lbs and, thus, a reasonable use of force for the female officer may not be reasonable for the male officer.

    Let’s say they did put strict rules in place and said that Tasers can only be used when the suspect is armed with a knife, bat, or gun. That’s pretty detailed. But wouldn’t our hypothetical suspect represent a significant threat to the small female officer, even if he was just using his fists to punch her? But the detailed policy would preclude that female officer from using the Taser.

    While a precise policy may be easier to understand for the public, it simply does not fit the need for police officers who have to face imprecise situations.

    And give your head a shake; do you really think that “laughing at the police” would ever be considered combative behaviour? “Well your honour, I tasered that guy because he laughed at me, yes he was combative I think because he laughed.” I don’t think that would fly.

    You do bring up a good point about video. I would argue that we should not rely on civilian videos, but rather the police should be equipped with video cameras in their vehicles and there are even video cameras that fit onto their vests to record all interactions.

    This would not only protect the public from bad police officers, but also protect the police from vexatious complaints. I think it would also serve to present the best evidence to the courts on people’s behaviours. We would likely see many more guilty pleas as the evidence would be irrefutable.

    So why hasn’t the RCMP moved towards this? Many police forces in the US and UK have had this video equipment for years.

    Well, we have come full circle and see an example of the cost of the bureaucratic set up of the RCMP that is addressed in the Brown report. The RCMP is simply unable to adopt new strategies quickly and effectively. But the changes suggested in the Brown report will go a long way in correcting that.

  3. Here’s another story from Globe and Mail.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/freeheadlines/LAC/20071215/RCMP15/national/National

    The RCMP is infected with rampant despair, disillusionment and fatigue, and struggling rank-and-file members are being failed by the outmoded police force, a federal task force said yesterday.

    Massive structural changes are needed to rehabilitate the 133-year-old national force, including granting the organization separate employer status from government, the adoption of a civilian oversight board and the creation of a new, more powerful independent complaints authority, according to a report from the five-member panel convened to help overhaul the RCMP.

    During its five-month investigation, the panel encountered “fierce pride in the force” paired with “despair, disillusionment and anger with an organization that is failing them,” said David Brown, a Toronto lawyer who chaired the group.

    “With remarkable but disturbing consistency, we heard of chronic shortages of people and equipment, of overwork and fatigue, of issues of wellness, health and even safety,” he said.


    To reverse that trend, the task force suggested the public be given a progress report on the changes by June 30th, 2008. They also said they would like both the board of management and the independent complaints commission up and running no later than December 31, 2009.

  4. Wow, Tomax, that is a very well worded post you did there. It’s logical and grammatically correct. Very nice, your best work yet!

    Oh wait, you copied it.

  5. Tom Brodbeck
    Tue, December 18, 2007

    Can we trust Mounties?

    By TOM BRODBECK

    There was a glaring omission from RCMP Commissioner William Elliott’s edict Friday on limiting the use of Taser guns.

    He forgot to instruct Mountie spokespersons to stop feeding us bogus stories when Tasers are used, like they did when Robert Dziekanski was hit with 50,000 volts at Vancouver International Airport in October.

    It’s bad enough RCMP were overzealous in their use of the Taser against Dziekanski, who posed no threat to police or the public at the time he was assaulted.

    It’s even worse they tried to cover up what really happened.

    What really happened was caught on video by a civilian witness, sparking an international controversy and raising serious questions about how RCMP report events to the public.

    Those questions were not addressed by Elliott when he issued the RCMP’s new directive on limiting the use of Taser guns. The directive itself wasn’t bad, although it probably didn’t go far enough.

    The new policy is that officers should only use Tasers when “a subject is displaying combative behaviours or is being actively resistant.” I’m not sure what “actively resistant” means. But I do know it’s going to mean different things to different officers.

    ‘Impact weapons’

    I preferred the recommendations the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP released last week that called for Tasers to be classified as “impact weapons,” which is what they are.

    The commission also recommended that Tasers should only be used when suspects are “combative” or pose a risk of “death or grievous bodily harm” to an officer, themselves or the public.

    That, too, will mean different things to different officers, but it’s certainly a more restrictive set of rules.

    Elliott at least acknowledged that Tasers had been used inappropriately in the past.

    But he fell short of classifying them as “impact weapons.” He also failed to address the whole issue of how the RCMP tried to cover up the Taser attack in Vancouver, which is very disappointing.

    How can the Canadian public have trust in their national police agency when they don’t tell us the truth about what happened during a fatal arrest?

    The RCMP said immediately following Dziekanski’s death that he was throwing things around when police arrived at the scene, trying to justify the Taser use.

    He wasn’t throwing anything around when cops arrived, which the video clearly shows. He was even backing away from police.

    Phoney story

    They said the first Taser hit had no effect on Dziekanski. Wrong again. The video shows Dziekanski’s body reacting to the jolt.

    The RCMP also said he was on his back when officers handcuffed him.

    No, he was on his stomach — shaking violently — when three cops pounced on him.

    If they felt justified using the Taser on Dziekanski, they could have explained why to the public instead of feeding us a phoney story.

    Limiting the use of Tasers is the first and most important step in fixing what went wrong at Vancouver International Airport.

    But issuing a public apology for trying to cover up the truth and making a commitment to start reporting the facts is a much-needed second step.

    If the RCMP wants Canadians to start having faith in their organization again, that is.

    http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Columnists/Brodbeck_Tom/2007/12/18/4729617.html

  6. Great article to bring over ,Tomax, well written and a reminder to us all that there WERE indeed, several discrepencies between the original on- air RCMP accounts of events, which were issued on camera before the knowledge that a video existed. This alone shadows the honesty of the RCMP on this one, and perhaps why there are so many investigations going on. It does appear as though they were about to go with their version, until that video put the best laid plans amiss. Dale Carr has been caught several times on camera, telling versions of the RCMP story, only to be called out by a resourceful reporter who had gotten to some transcripts before him.

  7. I think your last line best describes the whole situation. Cool to ambush people with information you have and they don’t, just to make them look bad. You will find that all statements made by public institutions varies as the facts slowly dribble out. Its our need for instant gratification that has precipitated the spewing of information before the whole story is known. I for one do not believe much of what I hear until all the facts are in. The fact that Dale Carr is misinformed is not indicative of a conspiracy. It speaks to more of a lack of communication and facts than anything else. I still have trouble with cops being media spokespeople anyway. They should hire somebody with media experience. Oh right, that would be a spin doctor, can’t have that.

  8. Hey Get Real,
    Isn’t true that police wears badge, guns and other cool toys, because they have public trust. Trust that force will not be missused. Thrustworthy is synonimous to truth-telling in this case.
    How could they have our trust if we don’t know if they telling us truth? Yes, we should expect RCMP to tell the truth and hold them accountable if they don’t. Spokeperson, or any other officer.

  9. Having the police release information immediately following an incident, and having the police release information that is completely accurate are MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE.

    Accuracy takes time. Decide which you want, and then stop complaining.

    Didn’t our favorite videographer, Mr. Pritchard, initially corroborate the initial police statement and also support the use of force? And then he changed his story. So is he lying too?

    You can’t expect the police officers, or any witnesses, at the scene to have perfect recollection of a dynamic, traumatic event immediately afterwards. It’s natural for different people to have somewhat differing stories of the exact same event and be telling the truth; memory is not perfect.

    Mr. Pritchard, for example, supported the police use of force when he based his opinion on his memory. It wasn’t until he reviewed the video days later that he changed his mind. Does that mean he must have been lying at some point?

    No, it just means that the initial evidence available is not as accurate as the results of an intensive investigation.

    The brilliant media did not catch Dale Carr trying to cover up the event, they just took advantage of the incomplete information that was available at the outset of the investigation and used it to create hype.

    You wonder why the police say “No comment” until months after an event; this is why, because there is no winning with you people.

    If the police speak before they have all the details; you say they were lying when the details become known. If they say nothing until all the details become known; you say the public has a right to know and they must be covering up.

    Please, make up your mind.

  10. The police are armed with various instruments of force because of the nature of the work that they do. The type of insturments used have in recent years conformed not so much as a result of public trust but as a result of the bleating of minorities of people that have a sanitary view of the world and do not think that it can be a dirty and violent place. The present expectation is that the police officers getting hurt is part of the job.

    Police had their hands and a firearm. People and police officers regularly got injured in violent confrontations, some died as a result of gunshot wounds. Some injured as a result of punches and holds. “Police brutality” as I recall was thrown out liberally.

    We do not like to read that some person with mental afflictions was subject to a carotid or choke hold on a plane a number of years ago and died as a result. The bleating that followed was there had to be a better way to subdue violent and mentally disturbed persons. That was not an isolated case where a person being subdued had succumbed to the technique.

    Introduction of the baton. Amazingly enough persons were injured and some died as a result of violent interaction with the police. The outcry was the same.

    Subsequently we were introduced to the oleoresin capiscum spray, the answer to violent persons. Bedeviled if some persons didn’t die after its use in a number of violent situations. Some claimed blindness or permanently diminished vision. More bleating.

    Somewhere in here the advent of the “bean bag” attached to a shotgun. Used with great effectiveness by the police especially on barricaded subjects, rather than shooting. Broken ribs, sternum, heavy bruising and complaints of excessive force.

    Add to the repertoire the taser. (As with the spray, training included using it on the officers being trained.) Persons succumbed after violent contact with the police once again. Here we are.

    If you will note there are a few common themes. Violence with the police is not a wise activity and precipitates mortality. No matter what device is employed, some people prate absurdities ad nauseam. Some people refuse to accept the realities of life. Some people will never be shaken from their pedestal.

  11. Simon,
    Yes, I expect infomation to be accurate and what’s even more important – true. Not complete is one thing, untrue – quite another.

  12. Get, Fantastic post. I also noted that the Civil Libertarians were calling for the banning of pepper spray from these so called “pepper spray” deaths in the late 90’s. Now, they are demanding to know why Dzeikanski was tasered and not Pepper Sprayed!

    Tomasz, your expectations can be met. Please wait two years for the final reports to be in. You will get accurate and true information. You will also note that just because two people don’t remember the incident in the same way does not make them liars and part of a conspiracy.

  13. Simon,
    Is this the only choice we have: pepper spray, or taser?
    How about old fashioned bullet, or simple kick in… (you know where)?

  14. I think what he means Simon is he does not understand the system employed by police officers with respect to how situations are handled. Shoot them or kick them in the testicles were not mentioned in my post as use of force options so I guess he does not understand where those two fit in. I did not mention the secret karate chop that renders criminals instantly unconscious either.

  15. Tomasz,

    I was merely highlighting the hypocrisy of the Civil Libertarians comments on this case. They suggested that tasers kill people and that pepper spray would have been a more appropriate use of force. However, only a few years ago they were saying that pepper spray killed people and that it should be banned.

    I would suggest that is evidence that the civil libertarian comment (which you echo) should be received with the utmost caution and consideration.

  16. Simon,
    I think that potentially leathal weapon should be use with utmost caution and consideration. As for civil libertarians – I never identified myself with those people, and I done think I have much in common with them.

  17. Please provide some evidence that tasers are lethal or potentially lethal. Please avoid anecdotal evidence and post hoc ergo propter hoc reasoning.

    Your arguments are identical to those of the BCCLA; the dangers of tasers are not understood and the taser should not be used, and poor Dzeikanski is the victim and the inference that he was violent should not have been drawn based on his actions of breaking chairs and computers.

  18. How sure (and why), are you that tasers, are not potentially lethal? Maybe, because taser manufacturer says so. eh? Are you on some sort crusade for tasers?
    If you want to draw analogy; ephedra was used as energy enhancement/ weight control drug for years. After several death cases it was banned. Again, after several years on the market and all sorts of clinical trials and aprovals.
    Amphetamine was prescription drug for years.
    Pure cocaine was in original coca-cola botles. All three were considered “safe” at some point in time.
    And talking of hipocrysy: taser is not potentially lethal weapon, but stapler is!
    How about paper clips, and all other office supplies?

  19. I am not really concerned that the taser may be fatal in some instances. The police officers that use them have been tasered in their training on its use. They are also pepper sprayed while learning that piece of equipment. No deaths I heard of there.

    The sidearm is not always fatal either, ditto for the baton, choke hold and your kick in the testicles.

    If in fact some people die as a result of their use does not mean it is an ineffective tool or should be banned.

    Tear gas can cause fatalities but it is still used.

    The drugs that you mentioned are still in use in one form or another. Removing a product for its ability to be abused or fatal in some instances with respect to drugs has more to do with marketing and finances than with ultimate safety.

    Do not have a confrontation with the police, and you will not be subject to any of the devices they have at their disposal.

    You can be killed with a ballpoint pen used properly.

  20. Cops are getting tasered and do not die – what that suppose to prove? Let see: guys in their twenties and thirties, in top physical shape, well rested an expecting to be hit, survive one shot. Does it make it save for everybody else? Hit more than once? Of course you can say: “I don’t care”. Then, why bother with even reading Laila’s posts.

  21. Tomasz,

    Your arguments don’t make sense to me:

    “Paperclips are not dangerous. Paperclips are office supplies. Staplers are also office supplies. Therefore, staplers are not dangerous.”

    Let’s test this; you throw paperclips at my head and I’ll throw staplers at yours. We’ll see who wins.

    “Amphetamine and Ephedra were government approved and at one time deemed safe, but were in fact dangerous. Tasers are government approved and deemed safe, so they are therefore also dangerous.”

    Yet you can’t actually offer any evidence that Tasers, in fact, cause death. All you can do is criticize the research that is out there as being biased.

    You say that the lack of police officer deaths during Taser training is because police officers are in their 20’s and 30’s and in top physical shape and well rested.

    The police are like any other organization; most of their employees are actually reaching retirement age (baby boomers), so they are not all in their 20’s and 30’s. Your assumption that they are in top physical shape is also without foundation; the job itself is quite sedentary and the shift work with long hours is not conducive to good health.

    The police are a pretty typical segment of the population. They aren’t 25 year old star athletes; that is a misconception based on movies.

    You also say “do not have a confrontation with someone who is beating on you!” which seems to be an assertion that the police instigate confrontations which require the public to fight back. There is no evidence that the police do any such thing, or else there would be many complaints to the Public Complaints Commission. Even in the Dzeikanski case, it was his actions that caused the police to be called; they didn’t just walk up to him and arrest him for no reason.

    It’s easy for you to take pot shots at the police, tasers, etc, but you don’t have any evidence to back up your claims.

  22. Calling stapler a “weapon” is a long shot – you can bring them through airport security screening. That is a simplest test for “weaponity” of the objects. But that’a not most important thing here – that guy wasn’t given any chance to explain himself, or to comply to whatever they wanted him to do ( it took them 25 seconds, or so, from when they showed up, to taser him):
    Police didn’t see a video we did, so they did not know exactly what happened before they arrived. When they arrived Dziekanski wasn’t violent, or he wasn’t smashing anything. All we can assume (from the soundtrack) is that they knew Dziekanski doesn’t speak English. Yet they concluded that it is necessary to shoot him (with taser that is) and jump on him. Little bit of common sense and simple human compassion is maybe to much to expect – it wasn’t Christmas Eve after all, but nobody asked the question: what’s going on in here?!
    By my rough calculations that guy was as much as 20 hours in travel, before he arrived to YVR. One can suspect, that he wasn’t sleeping for all this time. For whatever reason, he didn’t clear secure area for 10 hours – that’s thirty hours in travel. His mother (the only person he knew in Canada) wasn’t allow to bagagge area, or to contact his son. Worse: she was told that he did not arrive and she was sent home. At the same time Dziekanski was obviously ignored by everybody, he didn’t know why his mother is not there, or what to do. He was in dire straits.
    I would like to see how “rational” you would be in his shoes. Of course you wouldn’t put yourself in this kind of situation, right?
    Be careful, live is full of surprises.
    Smashing things, could be his only way to draw attention and get someone in charge, who can help him on the scene.
    What other motive he would have?
    Blame him for all this mess is really easy way out, but is it right one?
    Another issue is all this taser harmful, or harmless question.
    Well, quite frankly all those four cops looked pretty beefed, up twenty something, big guys. That’s beside a point. My point is to urge you not to jump to the conclusion, that tasers are safe, because Goverment Agency, or taser manufacturer says so. As I indicated in one of my previous posts, I do not know if those are safe, or not, but there was quite a few deaths (some of them in Canada) following taser use. At least, as you say: give it benefit of a doubt.
    Exemples with ephedra and others were given to support my point: don’t be so sure about things once approved by Goverment. Not for any other reason.
    I am from old school, that’s were they told us: electricity kills – never be overconfident with it.

  23. You overlook an important facet. What were the police told (before their arrival) that they decided that they should attend? I think Simon covered this before in a hypothetical. What they were told is very important as to how they would act, and how they would perceive any actions by the subject they are dealing with. Who told them would be another important aspect. I am sure we will find out what they were told, and I would bet that it wasn’t that a traveler is lost in the yvr maze. They responded with 4 officers, what does that tell you about the situation they were advised of?

    His motives are irrelevant at the time of the police attendance. Its what they knew and what they were told prior to arrival that is cogent to the argument.

    You forgot to re-mention that he was also an alcoholic and a smoker and he was without both for several hours. A contributing factor perhaps?

    What does cops getting tasered mean? Well for one I would guess that they get a first hand idea of what they are inflicting upon people. Two, if the departments involved in the purchasing of the devices thought they were unsafe, I do not think they would taser their own people, let alone buy them.

    I reiterate: If in fact some people die as a result of their use does not mean it is an ineffective tool or should be banned.

  24. Tomasz,

    You claim that a stapler is not a weapon because it can be brought through airport security. That is not the definition of a weapon.

    A weapon is any instrument or device for use in attack or defense in combat or fighting.

    A stapler could easily be thrown or used as a blunt force instrument in striking an opponent. It is a heavy piece of metal with somewhat sharp corners on it. If someone hit you in the head with a stapler you could easily be rendered unconscious, your scalp would be lacerated, and facial bones broken. Therefore, I would classify it as a potential weapon.

    Certainly there is a spectrum of how effective different things are as weapons. Guns and knives would be high on the spectrum and staplers would be far below on the spectrum, but staplers still have sufficient potential to cause injury that prudence is necessary when dealing with someone who has armed themselves with one and who appears that they may be willing to use it.

    Again, the question is one of context; in the situation, is it reasonable to think the item is intended to be used as a weapon? We will have to wait and see what the police at the scene believed. But if it was me in the police officer’s shoes, I would think I was about to get a stapler in my skull and would take action to prevent that from happening.

  25. Silly point some are missing is the fact the stapler was not held in a threatening manner, let alone was a motion or decent time span to put it down clearly shown.

  26. “silly point some are missing is”….did you pass grade 6 English class?

    Anyway, I really wish you would have been there to show the police officers how police work is supposed to have been done and resolved the situation without incident. Maybe you should apply to the RCMP and show those guys what police work is all about.

  27. …Simon. You know, your perfection is showing again…too bright.

    Anyone starting a discussion flinging personal insults is bending weak knees.

    I did apply to the RCMP. Unfortunately I was a WASP.

    Then again I would not hesitate tasering folks like you for pleasure.

    Wait did I just say that? My my, Simon you are a bad influence.

  28. Don’t get angry with me because you don’t proof read your comments before you submit them.

    So you didn’t get in because of your ethnicity? That’s strange because when I look at the police officers in my city they are almost all Caucasian.

    Maybe there were other reasons you did not get accepted. Sour grapes perhaps?

    But to respond to your previous comment:

    It doesn’t matter if you think the stapler wasn’t held in a threatening manner, because you weren’t there and don’t have the same perspective as the officers there would have had. It’s not your perception that matters; it is the perception of the officers who are there.

    Once the investigation is complete, you can review and critique the officers’ justification of their actions….if their justification just isn’t reasonable then the issue can and will be explored further.

  29. …Simon, I’m glad you have faith in our system.

    Three officers, victim was causing a disturbance shouting and throwing things around when the police showed up, as well threaten them physically.

    So yes, just wait till the investigation is done. I don’t think so.

    Remember all these investigations were brought on because joe public raised their voices that something was amiss to what was the ‘official’ statment to what actually happened.

    So while you sit in your ivory tower saying ‘just wait’ remember what started this ball rolling.

    It wasn’t because people waited.

    B

  30. …oh btw, I’m not angry with you. Would take a lot more to get me going than some no name rambling on about my grammar on a blog.

  31. …in case one needs reminding:

    “Three officers, victim was causing a disturbance shouting and throwing things around when the police showed up, as well threaten them physically.”

    That was the initial RCMP public release over what transpired.

  32. The investigations triggered in any police confrontation causing death or bodily harm are the following:

    1. Coroners investigation and inquest in a death.

    2. Public complaints commissioners investigation whether or not somebody complains, in a death or serious harm.

    3. Police internal investigation.

    4. Criminal investigation on the officers involved, reviewed by the Senior Crown counsel of the province for possible charges.

    5. Outside police agency review of the investigation.

    6. Report to the Attorney General of the province, who may or may not investigate unilaterally.

    7. Report to the Justice Minister of the Federal Government who may or may not investigate unilaterally.

    Joe public does not dictate investigations by bleating. There is nothing wrong in awaiting results of the investigations. It is the way things transpire to ensure no rush to any unfounded conclusions.

    Your lack of understanding on how our systems work is disturbing. There is a reason why these mechanisms are in place.

    As far as press releases etc., we have already covered that.

    The RCMP takes WASPs. Must have been something else. Do I detect a note of disdain due to non acceptance?

  33. Hopefully, all those investigations, will be not as conclusive as autopsy report, because we may end up with no guilty party and only outcome may be signs in 200+ languages in the Nation’s International Airports. Then, what the hell we’re going to put on those signs? “Be affraid – it’s a jungle out there”, perhaps?

  34. Get real wrote:
    “As far as press releases etc., we have already covered that.” We did cover it all’right. So you still think that lying to public is OK? Right?
    Why am I not surprised?
    I didn’t heard nany statement saying why they gave us incorrect statement (lie in simple people, like me, language). Was spokeperson was lied to before he made a statement? If so why not name liars?
    Maybe he’s completely innocent.
    Who knows? Certainly not me!

  35. Thomasz,

    You want a guilty party named. Have you considered that maybe there was no party that is “guilty” of Dzeikanski’s death? As Get Real says, there are hundred of variables here, and perhaps this is just one of those situations where the variables resulted in an unfortunate outcome.

    This situation came about because hundreds of small events occurred that added up to the outcome. But that does not mean that if we were able to change some of those small events that the outcome would necessarily change. I think it would be extreme to concluded that the people involved in every one of those small events are directly “guilty” of Dzeikanski’s death.

    You seem to draw a negative inference at the autopsy being unable to determine a cause of death. Does that mean that the medical examiner is in on the police conspiracy? Or is it possible that we were simply unable to determine the cause of death in this case due to our limitations in medical knowledge?

    I have already written on the press release details. But, it seems you want some heads on a platter right now and that you are incapable of accepting the mere possibility that no one was “lying” and that the inaccurate information was a result of an attempt in good faith to get some basic information to the public immediately. And you are incapable of waiting until a full investigation is done which would assign blame if it was determined the inaccurate information was of a more nefarious purpose.

    It seems you assume that the initial media release was the full police version of events and that they expected it to be swallowed by the public with no questions.

    Clearly Tomax7 also thinks thinks, for he believes that if it weren’t for Pritchard launching legal action to get his video back so he could sell it, then the only version that would ever be known was the police statements to the media.

    That is simply not the case. Regardless of the content of the statements to the media, and the resulting public acceptance, the seven investigations as listed by Get Real would have been conducted. They ALWAYS are. The video was a part of those investigations and would have been reviewed by the independent parties in due course. (Had the video been erased or lost by police then I would start to have some serious concerns, but it wasn’t, they had it in safe keeping for the investigation.)

    Your call for heads to roll is premature. I would suggest you wait until the investigations are completed and any gross misconduct by police or other parties will be revealed and necessary blame assigned.

  36. Tomax 7,

    You have demonstrated your ignorance once again.

    Although Get Real has already pointed it out, I can’t let this go by. The various inquiries were NOT initiated because of the media generated public outcry. They are a standard course of events in all deaths during police activities.

    I can see how your ignorant beliefs cause you to think that the system is corrupt and there is a lack of accountability. But perhaps you should ask some questions before jumping to conclusions. That’s what reasonable people do; they ask questions, learn about a topic, and THEN offer opinions. You just offer opinions that aren’t based on knowledge, experience, or logic.

    Maybe if you hadn’t washed out from the RCMP you would have learned a little about asking questions before coming to conclusions; I think they call it investigating.

    If you watch closely, that’s what they’ll do in this case…they will ask a bunch of questions to a bunch of people, learn about what happened, and then conclude if the actions were appropriate. And they have an independent civilian observer to make sure that they are asking all of the right questions and learning everything about what happened without bias. And then they’ll have other independent people go over their investigation to learn what happened and see if they draw the same conclusions. And then the Crown Counsel will do the same and, regardless of what the police say, will decide if they want to charge the police officers involved. And then the Coroner will have an inquiry, and everyone involved has to testify and are asked a bunch of questions in addition to what they already said during the investigation. The Dziekanski family will likely have a lawyer representing them during this part, so he can ask whatever questions he wants. And the Coroner will determine what changes should be made to prevent this from happening again. And then the CPC will look at ALL of that and do an independent review to determine if blame is appropriate.

    That happens EVERY time someone dies in police custody.

    That sounds like a pretty comprehensive review to me; certainly better than you just watching a video.

    So, I think I’ll just wait to hear what the experts have to say.

  37. “That is simply not the case.”

    Wait, Simon, who made you judge, jury, and prosecution?

    Didn’t know you were a legal begal as well as a grammar specialist.

    So what if mi engrish is getting worser and worser?

  38. “Maybe if you hadn’t washed out from the RCMP”

    Speaking of an ignoramus, how are you doing Simon?

    I didn’t even get to put my name down on the recruitment paper, so I guess that is washed out. But I did then go join the Air Force and obtained a very high clearance.

    You know, I really do try to read your drivels, but Simon, Simon, you gotta learn to stop insulting people’s intelligence.

    Remember, there is no “i” in Military Intelligence.

  39. …like Tomasz said, I hope this investigation will be not as conclusive as autopsy report.

    Silly me, thinking an x-RCMP running the autopsy department would know how to check a person’s death, like either by suffocation or heart attack.

    Naw, too hard.

  40. Who is the person running the “autopsy department” and how do you know they used to be a police officer?

    Pathologists do autopsies; I would think it highly unlikely that a police officer would go on to medical school to become a pathologist. But I guess it’s not impossible.

    So, please enlighten me with the name of the pathologist who did the autopsy and why you conclude that person was incompetent or corrupt.

  41. I will try to dig this up, in the meantime:

    Simpson said he found it interesting that Campbell was silent during a recent debate in the legislature on whether he still has confidence in Les. “John Les has just failed so badly as solicitor general around the Taser issue, around taking care of children, around the lotteries issue, around dealing with gang-violence issues, and every one of those are his files and his responsibility,” Simpson said.

  42. Not the BCSG, but an interesting comment:

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/11/19/bc-taserinquiry.html

    B.C. Attorney General Wally Oppal said the government was forced to launch its inquiry because of a “vacuum of information” from authorities.

    “I think it’s safe to say that we were waiting for some kind of appropriate answer from the authorities and nothing was forthcoming at all,” Oppal said on Monday.

    “We thought someone might step up and offer an explanation about what happened. You think of the repercussions here and the public deserves answers,” he said.

  43. Simon, I think what dear tomax7 is trying to say is that the Chief coroner for the Province of BC was a former member of the RCMP senior management in that province. What bearing that has on checking for the death causations mystifies me however. Unless he is speculating that he is part of the overall conspiracy theory.

    What he does not understand is that qualified medical practitioners, MD’s, are the ones that carry out the autopsies. The pathologist (MD) runs the autopsy, not the Coroner. The “Chief Coroner” is mostly an administrative function who may in times of severe importance actually run an inquest. You would surmise that with his computer expertise that he would have visited the appropriate website for the raison d’etre of the Coroners Service in BC.

    http://www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/coroners/

    I am sure he would find that it is eerily similar in nature to the Alberta Chief Medical Examiner

    http://www.justice.gov.ab.ca/ocme/

    As I have pointed out before, the lack of knowledge that tomax7, and tomasz possess about how the systems in this country work is disturbing. I also note the continuing redirection of focus to compensate for that shortcoming. It reminds me of the ‘chicken littles’ in University who could not make the debate team. However, I believe their standard comeback was na, na, boo boo.

  44. Tomax,

    I don’t think that critical remarks from an NDP MLA against the Liberal government amount to much. I believe that politicians will criticize other parties for anything if they think it will benefit them in the polls.

    Regardless of the political parties involved, I don’t give politicians much credibility; they are in it to get into power and not to serve the best interest of the public.

    That lack of credibility also extends to their apology to Dzeikanski’s mother…done for political reasons and nothing more; had the Liberals not extended the apology or launched an additional investigation then they would have set themselves up for criticism from the opposition parties. The opposition parties, regardless of their real thoughts on this issue, would use the media generated public outcry (which has largely dissipated by now) as leverage against the Liberals.

    It’s all done in the quest for power.

  45. “I don’t give politicians much credibility; they are in it to get into power and not to serve the best interest of the public.”

    Just a slim chance, but do you think maybe the same mentality has crept into the leadership ranks of the RCMP?

    No known cause of death? More like CYA.

  46. Hey Get

    Put ‘na, na, boo boo’ up where the sun don’t shine.

    It goes “na na A boo boo”. If yer gonna be a dork, at least speak like one.

    Sheesh, kids.

  47. …”the appropriate website for the raison d’etre of the Coroners Service in BC.”

    Weak, very weak.

    Just FYI, been to that site, and it did not have the information I was looking for, hence, not posted.

    You’re good at smokescreens and deflecting the discussion, are you an undercover YVR Security wanna be?

    We’re not talking about the actual guy/gal who did the autopsy, but somewhere in the higher ranks who can pull a plug or suppress the outcome.

    Please don’t bore me with rah rah that doesn’t happen in Canada.

    Pretty dark in there eh?

  48. Okay, Tomax, I think I get it now;

    The autopsy determined a cause of death, but that report is being hidden by the Chief Coroner who you THINK is an ex-police officer.

    The pathologist (who actually DID the autopsy) could go to the media and blow this whole thing wide open and be lauded a hero by all. So, what motivation would the Pathologist have in keeping this little secret? Or the pathologist’s assistant or the officer clerk who typed out the autopsy report?

    And why would the Chief Coroner do this? What benefit would accrue to him?

    What would be the MOTIVE for dozens of people to risk their careers and jail time to cover up for four police officers they don’t even know?

    Finally, if it were a conspiracy cover up, is “unknown cause of death” the best they could come up with? If they went to the trouble to hide the “real” cause of death, don’t you think they would have inserted a bogus cause of death like Cocaine Overdose or something else that would take all the heat off the police?

    So you think there is a massive conspiracy theory going on to cover up for the handful of police in custody deaths in the country every year. This conspiracy runs through every police department, the Coroner’s office, the Public Complaints Commission, and the medical examiner’s office. They are smart enough to do this without detection for years, but not smart enough to make up a better sounding cause of death.

    Are these actually the thoughts that go through your head? Is this what qualifies as logic in your mind?

  49. “…could go to the media and blow this whole thing wide open and be lauded a hero by all. ”

    Oh really? What movie did he star in?

    Back in the real world – avoiding the conspiracy angle – it could quite easily be done from a suggestion of a higher up to hold off till the ‘investigation’ is done, down to a simple ‘job security’ move.

    No conspiracy, done every day across Canada, ask Caledonian’s in Ontario.

    ————-

    Here’s a logical thought for you then.

    Why isn’t the probable cause of death (viewed by thousands on YouTube) via taser, suffocation, neck compression or heart attack not ELIMINATED from the list?

    Process of elimination. Common everyday method. No conspiracy here. Maybe they already did that (which I am certain), so why isn’t that part shown to us, rather than a blanket ‘unknown’ cause clause. These men/women are smarter than that.

    This wasn’t an accidental death per se, we can see 3 or 4 logical, obvious, straightforward, clear cut causes in plain sight.

    What is bothering me again is the secrecy which some allude to a conspiracy.

    Sadly if ‘someone’ questions the institution, the method, the report, the way this was handled – then they are branded a conspiracy nut, or lacking logic.

    I do not put my full trust in the system and so I’m branded paranoid.

    I say the Emperor doesn’t have clothes on and told I have no logic.

    ——————–

    So back to logic. Tell me, where or what is the logic in this whole scenario?

    ——————–

    1. A man sits/walks/moves while in a confined small space in a high secure environment unchallenged for 10 hours?

    2. A simple computer check would show the passenger manifesto of the flight let alone going back 150′ to see if anyone is actually in the room.

    3. A man is not subdued or detained by the YVR Security first, nor an interpreter is present.

    4. A man died while in RCMP custody over something trivial as a stapler maybe? That is logic? (The RCMP obviously have not been married long.)

    5. RCMP do no acknowledge he didn’t speak English to the people yelling it two or three times at them?

    6. Why are we not are given a reason why the taser was used TWICE let alone why the need of 4 officers with kelvar vests at the scene.

    7. Why all the non-answers to my questions, rather than chest beatings that the RCMP is always right when the institution has time and time again proven it is corrupt at the head.

    (AdScam/musical ride, Vancouver protesters pepper sprayed, and investigation of a bank loan officer who turned down a former PM, RCMP retirement pension misused, there were 3 officers on the scene handling a man who was acting violent when they arrived, can’t use pepper spray because of the crowds.)

    Remember a fish first starts to rot from the head down.

  50. You would like answers to your questions, yet in all your posts they change like the direction of the wind. You have been told time and again in one form or another that questions surrounding the issue will hopefully be answered after all the facts are in and the various investigations finished. If they are not, action is then needed.

    You spurn any attempt to provide you with information as chest beating for the RCMP.

    Yet is is you who fail to respond to legitimate arguments and points. You quote politicians yet you show nothing but disdain for the system unless of course you interpret their actions support your theories. In your “questions” above you continue to show a complete lack of understanding as to how the systems in this country work. You make statements such as the taser was used twice. How do you know it was not used 3 times like you have postulated before?

    You whine predictably when information given out is not totally accurate, when a normal and rational thinking individual would be able to deduce that all of the information has not been collected, and therefore errors will occur in a rush to placate bleaters such as yourself and the media. I for one am not chest beating that the RCMP is always right. For probably the umpteenth time, I await the outcome to apportion blame if that is the case.
    You want their heads when it is entirely possible that others may have contribuatory culpability.

    I have some startling news for you. The country is not perfect, nor are the components and persons therein. We do the best we can with the systems already in place, and as citizens we have the responsibility to assist in the fine tuning of various institutions to meet our needs.

    You offer no concrete nor cogent solutions, you have a disturbing lack of knowledge, you have no patience, and your standard retort when faced with the dismantling of your rants is that everybody is in a giant conspiracy and all the institutions are corrupt.

    You think that deaths without causes are unique? Request the stats from the Provincial govt’ of BC, or even your own Province, unless they are corrupt as well.

    Which type of conspiracy are you alleging? Criminal, civil, political or ad hoc?

    You speak of logic, but obviously are not familiar with its definition: the science of reasoning, proof, thinking, or inference. It is not the making of statements based on incomplete facts and analysis.

    You speak of the “process of elimination” yet you really are referring to deductive reasoning, without benefit of knowing how. You should always state the premises of your argument clearly and explicitly. You always fail to accomplish this crucial initial step.

    Your inane ramblings slur the reputations and hard work of scores of citizens in positions of authority that are trying to make life better for all. Everything can be improved upon. Perhaps you should educate yourself and become a knowledgeable voice for change instead of bleating willy nilly from the warmth of your cocoon, made possible and kept protected, by the very institutions you so obviously despise.

    You may wish to avail yourself of the following website to assist you:
    http://www.cap.ab.ca/frmPage.aspx?Page=Index

  51. Excellent repartee tomax7. You ignore my comments but count my words? You cannot even post one complete thought / sentence per submission. Your answers are derivative.

    You sir are a buffoon.

  52. Hear hear!

    I am glad I am not the only one who finds Tomax’s arguments (if you can even call them that) severely lacking.

    This situation can give us insight into many important questions about how we the public expect our police to act. Those expectations are always changing and ongoing discourse on this topic is crucial. It is unfortunate that Tomax is so ignorant that he cannot play a meaningful role in that discussion.

  53. Tomax,

    GetReal made some very well articulated comments about the content of your posts.

    Your only response is that at least you don’t post under an alias.

    With that you have handed GetReal a sound beating. He has been destroyed by your wit and debating prowess. You, sir, are the winner. Bravo!

  54. Get Real,

    Allow me to pinch hit for poor old Tomax,

    *ahem*

    I think that the Dziekanski affair at YVR demonstrates several significant problems with service levels at the airport and also with the RCMP.

    Dziekanski wandered around the airport for 10 hours. From a security perspective, he should have been observed and spoken with by security. While security may have spoken with him (we don’t know that yet), they clearly failed to rectify the issue.

    The lack of early action allowed a small problem turn into a larger problem later on, and also demonstrated that security at YVR is not as tight as most people would expect at an international airport. If YVR security doesn’t notice a man wandering a small area for 10 hours, what hope is there for them detecting terrorists doing surveillance, or drug smugglers importing narcotics?

    There is also some indication that Dzeikanski’s mother was told inaccurate information by a Customs officer. That means that either the Customs officer has faulty information to work from (unacceptable), or the officer failed to extend some basic courtesy to a person looking for assistance (also unacceptable).

    YVR is the first impression that millions of travelers get of Canada. We have made efforts to encourage tourism, immigration, and foreign investment and we have a responsibility to ensure that those we have invited here are given whatever respect and assistance is required. This responsibility is greater in the years leading up to the 2010 Olympics. The YVR employees must ensure we are meeting those responsibilities.

    The Tasering of Dzeikanski also raises some significant concerns. While the reasonableness of the use of force is being investigated, the incident brought Taser usage to the forefront and we have learned some disturbing things.

    Firstly, as a matter of policy, the police were using Tasers on people who were merely “uncooperative”. Tasers cause significant amounts of pain and are (to me at least) psychologically very frightening. That use of force for someone who merely isn’t listening to the police, but presents no physical threat, is not consistent with my beliefs of how the police should treat people.

    I fear that policy encouraged police to rely on Tasers when they would previously have talked the person into complying. I also expect the police to have some basic physical abilities to handle uncooperative people without having to use a Taser.

    This fear was echoed by the Public Complaints Commission and the RCMP quickly changed their policy.

    Secondly, the CPC also noted that the RCMP has failed to keep any sort of statistics on how often Tasers are used and in what circumstances they are used.

    We authorize our police officers to use force on citizens in certain circumstances; that is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. When the police use weapons on citizens, then I believe the police should maintain (and make available for inspection) records of such weapon usage. I think this is necessary to maintain transparency with our police force and to satisfy the public on the reasonableness and safety of the force being used.

    I also question the integrity of the investigation into the use of force on Dzeikanski. While I do not think that there would be any large “cover ups” or conspiracies, I think that RCMP officers investigating other RCMP officers is an invitation for skewed results.

    I believe that no RCMP officer wants to see his organization tarnished, especially with all the recent negative media attention on the force. Further, police officers have a “brotherhood” mentality; in their work they develop a perspective of the world that is different than the average person. This perspective fosters an “us versus them” attitude in some cases. Also, every police officer can imagine themselves in the position of the officer who is being investigated.

    I believe there is a risk that these factors may taint an investigation. Whether intentionally or not, these factors may cause an investigator to phrase questions in a certain way, speak to witnesses in a certain manner, or engage in investigational strategies that skew the investigation ever so slightly to the benefit of the RCMP. This skewing would be difficult for any reviewing agency to pick up on and in some cases may be a deciding factor in assessing the appropriateness of the police action.

    Even if no such tainting occurs, the optics alone are not flattering. Even the possibility, however remote, of a biased investigation reduces the trust the public has in the police.

    To be clear, I am not suggesting an adversarial relationship with the police. We ask them to risk life and limb to protect us and we can’t treat them like criminals when something goes wrong. They deal with high risk situations and not all will end well. However, the public’s trust in the police is crucial and we must take steps to preserve it.

    The facts of a situation will not change regardless of who is investigating it. Provided the civilian investigators have sufficient training and ability, and are not on a mission to serve police heads on a platter, implementing a civilian investigation process will result in a fair, unbiased, and transparent investigational process. This will benefit the police and the public.

    P.S. Wanna take a computer course?

  55. …Simon, well said.

    As you can see, I’m not one for long discourse, my error it seems.

    You basically summed it up with:

    “I think that the Dziekanski affair at YVR demonstrates several significant problems with service levels at the airport and also with the RCMP.”

    Key word, significant.

  56. Tomax, it’s not about length, it’s about content. Instead of posting 5 snide short comments a day, why not try one longer post that you have put some thought into?

    I didn’t “sum it up”, I made a statement and then showed why that statement should be accepted. The summary paragraph means absolutely nothing without the paragraphs that follow.

    And there is no “key word”. ‘Significant’ is just an adjective…my comments can’t possibly be reduced to one single word. When you take a single word out of an argument and say “oh, that’s the key word in that whole thing” it shows you are a simpleton.

    I also didn’t overtly insult anyone (the whole thing was an insult to you but it seems to have gone over your head) or make any wild accusations. I didn’t comment on anything that I don’t know about or that isn’t reasonable to assume. And it’s mostly personal opinion, so it’s difficult to argue with it.

    I did this to show you how to build a somewhat compelling argument. It’s a shame that you are incapable of structuring and phrasing your statements in a persuasive way.

  57. Simon, ahem, tomax, I cannot take argument with your opinion on the noted points. I would offer the following observations that give me pause with respect to the whole affair.

    I am hoping that the scope of the investigations cover the scope of the many areas of concern that have arisen.

    You mention a salient point in police investigating police. The flip side to that would be a simple corollary of who investigates the malpractice of a particular doctor? (Lawyers notwithstanding) Without coming down with both feet on either side of that coin, who is in a better position to discover the subtle nuances of which you speak? I think that integrity of the investigator is more important than his affiliation.

    I would speculate that the determined efforts of the police officers that came forward through the fray and identified not only misdeeds but in fact the number one RCMP officer in the country, merits the label of integrity. Those individuals valued the integrity of the RCMP more than the brotherhood, would you not agree?

    Although the brotherhood mentality is inherent in the police domain, it is also present from physicians to firefighters. It is not necessarily a bad thing. I am sure that the noted officers did not want corruption in their midst, or why else go through the proverbial grinder? Much easier to fade into the background and not stand up for your beliefs.

    The CPC oversees all internal investigations, and is supplied a copy of them whether they are minor or major. This is civilian oversight into the police investigations. I am not totally convinced that this system is not working as intended by Parliament.

    As other police departments review investigations as well, it would seem that yet another angle to catch the nuances. I would refer you to the supporters and detractors of the Ontario independent investigation system, to gain some insight into that operation for comparison purposes.

    Thus far I am of the opinion that the various systems in place are fulfilling their mandates in examining the tragedy. I reserve the right to alter my opinion once all the inquiries are complete, and the facts are known. I also look forward to the recommendations / findings.

    In the immortal words of Gordy Howe, stay down (tomax), don’t bother trying to get up.

  58. Hey, Tomax, look at that…Get gave a reasoned response to my post.

    See how this works?

    But instead of blurting back a snide comment, I’m going to go think about a response for a while. I know, actually thinking before responding may sound like a strange tactic, but it works. Try to stay with us here.