RCMP officers blamed for Taser death

June 19, 2010 at 9:39 PM
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 19 (UPI) -- An investigator says four Canadian police officers are responsible for the death of a Polish immigrant stunned with a Taser at the Vancouver airport.

The report issued Friday by Thomas Braidwood, a former appellate judge in British Columbia, also said the officers, members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, lied about their encounter with Robert Dziekanski, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. said. Dziekanski was waiting for his mother to pick him up when he became upset in October 2007.

"Despite their training, the officers approached the incident as though responding to a barroom brawl and failed to shift gears when they realized that they were dealing with an obviously distraught traveler," Braidwood said. "This tragic case is at its heart a story of shameful conduct by a few officers."

Braidwood said there was no evidence Dziekanski threatened the officers, who knocked him down with a stun gun almost immediately and then used it four more times.

British Columbia Attorney General Mike de Jong said he would name a special prosecutor to re-examine Dziekanski's death. He also said he would follow Braidwood's recommendation to set up a civilian body to investigate cases of alleged police misconduct.

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