Canada orders police TASER use review
The Associated Press
OTTAWA — The government ordered a police watchdog group to review the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's use of Tasers amid a continued outcry over the death of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver's airport.
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said late Tuesday night the RCMP's public complaints watchdog will issue the report by Dec. 12.
Video released last week of the last moments of Robert Dziekanski's life shows police using a Taser stun gun on him just 46 seconds after confronting him.
British Columbia's provincial leader apologized to Dziekanski's mother on Monday, and the province launched a full public investigation into the fatality. A coroner's inquest also has been called.
Day's latest directive follows an earlier order of an internal RCMP review, a move sparked by the deaths of 18 people after being hit with Tasers in the last four years in Canada.
Paul Kennedy, the Commissioner for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, will review policies for Taser use and assess whether its members live up to those standards, Day said. The review will not include other police forces and the group's recommendations are not binding.
The move stops short of the national independent investigation that opposition parties have demanded.
Liberal Member of Parliament Ujjal Dosanjh called Day's move too little, too late.
"He's absolutely, miserably failed and abdicated his responsibility to Canadians," Dosanjh said, reiterating his call for a broad national inquiry that would examine the RCMP, the Canada Border Services Agency, Immigration, Transport Canada and the Vancouver airport authority.
Dziekanski, 40, of Gliwice, Poland, arrived at the airport Oct. 14. It was his first flight and he had planned to start a new life with his mother in western Canada.
But Dziekanski, who spoke only Polish, began acting erratically at the airport. He apparently became upset when he did not see his mother in the secure baggage area, which she was not allowed to enter.
RCMP officers responding to reports of an aggressive man destroying property stunned Dziekanski with a Taser twice before pinning him to the floor. He was pronounced dead at the scene.