Monday, March 02, 2009

No More Acid Trips for RCMP

I hope the Braidwood inquiry recommends that on-duty RCMP officers be strictly forbidden from using LSD. They can't handle it. The hallucinations are simply too dangerous to the public.

That much is clear from the evidence given today by constable Kwesi Millington, the officer who administered five Taser blasts to Robert Dziekanski at an arrivals lounge at Vancouver airport.

In a rare example of quality journalism, the Globe & Mail's Ian Baily captured all the mirth and hilarity that accompanied Kwesi Millington's testimony today:

A bulletproof vest, handgun, baton and pepper spray were not enough to quell the fear RCMP Constable Kwesi Millington says he felt when confronted by Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski during a fatal October 2007 incident at Vancouver airport.

"He had the stapler open, his other fist raised. He was in a combative stance, as we call it, and was approaching the officers, I believe, with the intent to attack so I deployed the taser at that point," he told the Braidwood inquiry into Mr. Dziekanski's death on Monday.

..."Can you tell us how four healthy men from the RCMP could not gain control of him when he's in that position?" commission counsel Art Vertlieb asked.

"I don't know why he was not under control. He was fighting so that's why we had to use [the taser]."

Mr. Vertlieb later asked the officer whether he was "scared."

"Yes," said Constable Millington, who earlier noted that the fact the stapler was open would make it "more" of a threat.

Within moments, Mr. Vertlieb had the constable take the actual stapler in question and hold it to show the inquiry how Mr. Dziekanski brandished it. Constable Millington, 32, stood in the witness box and complied.

The resulting scoffing sounds, snorts of derision and other noises from the spectators' gallery grew so obvious that inquiry head Thomas Braidwood, a former B.C. supreme court justice, had to counsel spectators to cut it out.

Jeebus, this hearing is turning into high comedy. Dziekanski had the stapler opened. Why, surely, he must've chambered a round, eh? Well, eh? What could be more combative than a guy holding a stapler? Who's to say it wasn't a weapon of mass destruction stapler? Maybe it was loaded with curare-tipped staples or maybe anthrax. You can't be too careful, 'specially when you've only got four officers, eh?

Christmas! Even the gallery can't keep a straight face as these mounties, Canada's finest, tiptoe down the path of absolution.

Here's my take. I've had dealings with Tommy Braidwood going back 30-years. I've known the commission counsel Art Vertlieb and the government of Poland's counsel Don Rosenbloom. These cowboys in yellow striped pants don't have a snowball's chance in hell of blowing smoke up any of their backsides. One by one they're just getting themselves in deeper and deeper.

If Harper's boy Elliott has any hope of rehabilitating the RCMP, he'll have to find better officers than these four.

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