RCMP to implement all watchdog recommendations on Robert Dziekanski case

Ottawa - 2011-02-10

All but one* of the 23 findings made by the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP (CPC) into the tragic October 2007 in-custody death of Robert Dziekanski have been accepted by the RCMP.

In addition, the RCMP is in the process of addressing all 16 CPC recommendations contained in the October 15, 2009, report. Of the 16 recommendations, many of which address TASER® use policies and training, 11 have already been implemented by the RCMP. Two have been partially implemented and three others have been addressed as a result of separate initiatives.

The CPC normally waits for the RCMP to respond to its reports before publicly releasing the findings. However, with more than 100 public complaints received about the incident, along with indications from the RCMP that it intended to wait at least an additional six months for the Braidwood Inquiry findings, the previous chair of the Commission deemed it in the public interest to release the report in December 2009.

Key Findings of 2009 Report

  • While they were in the lawful execution of their duties as police officers, the four RCMP officers failed to adopt a measured, coordinated and appropriate response to Mr. Dziekanski's reported behaviour.
  • The senior on-scene RCMP member failed to take charge of the RCMP's response.
  • No meaningful attempt was made to de-escalate the situation.
  • No warning–visual or otherwise–was given to Mr. Dziekanski prior to him being tasered by the Conducted Energy Weapon (CEW).
  • Use of the CEW against Mr. Dziekanski was premature and inappropriate.
  • The CEW was used multiple times on Mr. Dziekanski without any significant effort made to determine the need for further use.
  • The RCMP members present should have more actively provided first aid and monitored Mr. Dziekanski's condition.
  • The four RCMP members inappropriately met alone after the death of Mr. Dziekanski–prior to giving their statements.
  • The versions of events given to investigators by the four RCMP officers involved in the Vancouver International Airport in-custody death of Robert Dziekanski are not deemed credible by the CPC.
  • The senior on-scene RCMP member should not have been present at the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) briefing held at the Richmond Detachment on October 14, 2007.
  • No bias or partiality toward the involved RCMP members was present in the IHIT investigation of the death of Mr. Dziekanski, but the Pritchard video should have been shown to the members before taking statements from them.
  • The RCMP should have released certain information to the media which would have served to clarify information pertaining to the death of Mr. Dziekanski and corrected erroneous information previously provided without compromising the IHIT investigation.

The CPC deployed an independent observer to the RCMP's criminal investigation into events surrounding the death of Mr. Dziekanski one day after the incident (October 15, 2007). The CPC Chair-initiated complaint and subsequent investigation was launched by former CPC Chair Paul E. Kennedy on November 8, 2007.

The CPC is distinct and independent of the RCMP and has jurisdiction over public complaints regarding all members of the RCMP.

For more information, please contact:
Jamie Robertson

* The CPC determined that the use of force expert used by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team was not provided with adequate direction in terms of the questions to be considered, the scope of his work or the terms of reference he was to consider. The RCMP Commissioner disagreed and referenced the use of force expert's qualifications and the evidence available to him. The CPC stands by its finding, as it believes the issues raised by the Commissioner are not relevant to this finding.

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