This Year’s Whitewash Model: “Sudden Death Following Restraint”

by matttbastard

What? We had THREE pathologists come up with that one. THREE!

Because ‘excited delirium’ is, like, so 2007.

Jesus wept.

Related: Alison has more regarding the Criminal Justice Branch ruling on the 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski (shorter: “It was his own goddamn fault that he died!”); make sure to also check out this post at Dawg’s place, where the good Dr. is once again calling for the RCMP to be disbanded.

Hard to argue with him this time.

Update: more from Dawg.

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“To protect the privacy of the person stunned”

by matttbastard

Alison at the Beav notes that the RCMP has stripped several key details from the Robert Dziekanski TASER™ report, recently obtained by The Canadian Press and CBC under the Access to Information Act:

Missing from the RCMP report :
1) Dziekanski’s name [!]
2) the name and rank of the officer who fired the TASER™
3) the name of his supervisor
4) details about the duration of the firing
5) the number of times the weapon was used in stun mode
6) whether Dziekanski was armed
7) a written summary of the incident
8) “assessments as to whether use of the TASER™ helped the RCMP either “avoid use of lethal force” or “avoid injuries to subject or Police.”

In other words, pretty much everything of use for the general public to understand exactly what happened (and, more importantly, why), all purportedly redacted in order to to protect the late Mr. Dziekanski’s “privacy”.

Yeah. To protect [redacted]’s privacy–sure. As Alison further notes,

It’s worth remembering that none of these inquiries would be happening at all had not Paul Pritchard of Victoria first recorded Dziekanski’s murder, stood his ground and hired a lawyer to get the recording back from the RCMP on being told it might be several years before they would return it, and then released it to the public.
Previous to Pritchard’s YouTube going worldwide, the RCMP were already covering their tracks, muttering darkly about the likelihood of Dziekanski being a drug mule and how the officers were forced to use stun guns because the room was crowded with airline passengers.

Sorry–after all that’s gone down with regards to Dziekanski’s death, a hubris-laden request from the Feds that basically amounts to “hey, trust us” doesn’t fucking cut it. The only way to clear up the haze of corruption that has been hovering over the Mounties for far too many years now is for the government to call for a full public inquiry into the activities of the RCMP. Are you finally listening, Stockboy?

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Hardstock ’08 – A Special Benefit For Scott Harding

by matttbastard

Via Frank Frink @ A Creative Revolution:

Hardstock 08 -a special benefit for Scott Harding

On Feb 15 2008, Scott Harding was badly injured in a hit and run collision in NYC. He has no health insurance. He is a musician, artist and friend. 100% of the net proceeds from this show go to help him. For details…..well you are here.

The show features the cream of Vancouver musicians from the last 30 years.
This benefit show will take place April 25 at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC. Headlining is a super group we have created for the occasion called The Hard Ones, featuring (in alphabetical order) Barney Bentall, Doug Elliot, Paul Hyde, Colin James, Simon Kendall, Colin Nairne, Craig Northey, Pat Steward…and others; The Pointed Sticks; The Jazzmanian Devils; John Mann from Spirit of the West with his son; Bughouse 5; Hardrock Miners; the Furies; I Braineater; Go for 3, and the Mike Webster band.
Doors open at 7:00 and Music starts at 7:30 sharp.

Did we say that 100% of the net proceeds go to Scotty Hard? Why? Because he needs it, and we love him and he deserves it. Our number one goal is to raise money for him in this time of need.

Another goal is to honour the universal health care program we have in Canada, which helps to make us a civilized country. While Scott is a citizen of Canada, he has been living in the US for some time with a green card. As a musician, engineer, recording producer and artist, he is like so many other Americans who do not have health insurance. Barack Obama says there are 47 million of them. Which is a number that means nothing until you know someone personally who needs help, and can’t afford to pay for it. This is why we have come together to help.

Another reason is the real sense of community and love and friendship that binds musicians in Vancouver. We call it Hardstock to honour the spirit of the individuals who came forward, and made changes to their busy schedules, and offered without ego and without thought of renumeration or thought of loss of possible renumeration, to come together and put on a show for one of our own.

Tickets will be available through Ticketmaster, and will available Wednesday April 9. With 10 bands and many more guest musicians, this show will sell out very quickly. We have tried to keep the ticket price affordable for all, and recommend that you purchase what you need for yourself and friends as soon as they go on sale.

In the coming days, I will profile the various musicians that will play, and the man himself Scotty Hard aka Scott Harding.

There you will see many pictures and words of love from myself and the many friends of Scott.
Dennis Mills, promoter of Hardstock 08
aka Dense Milt

Personal donations can be made directly to the Scotty Hard Trust, payable to “The Scotty Hard Trust” and sent c/o
Heesok Chang,
970 Kent Ave #401,
Brooklyn NY
11205 USA

Update: Much more from Frank here.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

CBSA Dziekanski Report: Jolicoeur “very, very sorry.”

by matttbastard

The CBSA report on the death of Robert Dziekanski is out, and–surprise surprise–the border service agency ain’t admittin’ nuthin’:

Alain Jolicoeur, the agency’s president, said on Monday that “we do not have all the answers” as to how Dziekanski could spend at least six hours loitering in the baggage area of the international arrivals terminal, waiting for his mother while she tried to get information about him from the public area of the airport.

But Jolicoeur said he will try to fix what went wrong.

“I’m very, very sorry and I really wish that we had found out about Mr. Dziekanski before.”

Yet Jolicoeur said in an area the size of two football fields, with upwards of 4,000 passengers circulating the night Dziekanski died, the officers on duty did what they were supposed to do.

“There is no action that in my view requires discipline,” he said.

Two adverbs! I’m sure that’s comforting to Mr Dziekanski’s family. Very, very cold comfort. JJ is dead on goddamn right in her bitter summation of this inaugural white wash: “The CBSA’s condolences: “We’re sorry, but we ain’t that sorry.””

Expect more of the same as the results from still-ongoing (internal) investigations continue to come in: hollow (non)apologies compounded by an all-too-apparent lack of accountability. “Responsibility” is apparently an alien concept to those who would (boldly erroneously) claim to represent our best interests. Therefore, we must continue to demand answers and accept nothing less than justice.

For Robert.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Stockboy’s Fish Market

by matttbastard


Canadians want answers; instead, our Public Safety Minister offers logical fallacies:

Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day says he wishes Canadians were as outraged over impaired driving deaths as they are over the death of a Polish immigrant shot with a Taser by police.


The minister told a crowd in the B.C. Interior on Saturday [ie, the day of the funeral-mb] that Dziekanski’s death was “tragic.”

“Quite rightly, the whole nation is aghast…. One person was killed who didn’t have to be killed,” said Day, MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla.

But he says drunk-driving accidents also claim the lives of fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and other loved ones, “and where’s the shock and horror?”

Chet Scofield (h/t) explains how Stockboy is, in essence, concern-trolling the public conversation regarding the killing of Robert Dziekanski:

Red herrings can derail discussions very quickly if you’re not careful. But in this case, Day is not only trying to confuse the issue. He’s also attempting to create the illusion of holding the moral high ground. By invoking a different, unrelated, serious societal problem and accusing Canadians of not caring about it, Day is essentially trying to shame his listeners into shutting up: how dare you talk about problem A when you aren’t even mentioning problem B? You must be very bad people.

Once again, I defer to Greg Weston’s by-now rhetorical (if not requisite) question: “Why is Stockwell Day still in charge of the Mounties?”

Related: More from Leftdog on how Stockboy is “comparing apples to snowmobiles” with his ridiculous and intellectually offensive statements.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Petition: “No to Police Brutality- No to tasers- RIP Robert Dziekanski” UPDATE 11.24: Petition Is Back Up, No Signatures Lost

by matttbastard

Update 11.24: Received word that the petition is back up at Please feel free to sign if you haven’t done so already. All signatures have been preserved from the original site.

Update 11.22: Just received the following from the group that originally started the petition:

[T]he petition is down, apparently the domain that was hosting it received thousands of calls regarding it and they had enough.


In any case, we have the progress coded, and as soon as my friend is able to get a domain, it will be right back up—[no] signatures lost…so that’s a good thing.

Update 11.20: link appears to be broken atm (h/t opit). Will update once it’s been restored [edit 11.24: updated with new URL].

Please take a moment to sign the Petition (CLICK HERE, LINK CORRECTED 11.24)

Your names on this petition will be included with a letter to the Prime Minisiter along to his hundreds of MP’s demanding an end to the use of tasers and demand answers to our questions.

It is our duty as citizens of this nation to ask Canadian Government to act now with an immediate moratorium on taser use by enforcement agencies in Canada.


We are shocked and appalled the way RCMP officers attacked and killed Mr. Robert Dziekanski on October 14 2007 in Vancouver airport.

We need answers from our Government!!!

Is it a standard procedure for RCMP (fully loaded with other restraining devices and bullet proof vests) to surround and attack citizens with a taser without obvious threat ?

Is it a standard procedure for RCMP to create misleading public announcements as to what happened ?

Is it a standard procedure for RCMP personnel not to provide basic CPR to a helpless dying individual ?

How are citizens of this nation with emotional distress or panic attacks currently protected from being tasered ?

Canadian citizens are in danger now, it is clearly evident that enforcement agencies are now using deadly taser devices as a convenience tool and are breaking the rules of law.

We should not wait until enquiries and probes get completed with recommendations by various agencies, including RCMP.

It is our duty as citizens of this nation to ask Canadian Government to act now with an immediate moratorium on taser use by enforcement agencies in Canada.
Please visit Facebook group
for further information along with discussion forum.

h/t Beijing York

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

PSA: November 24th: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski

by matttbastard

Via Getting It Right:

Rallies in support of Robert Dziekanski and family have been organized (for next Saturday, November 24th, 2007) in Vancouver, Victoria and Toronto. Here’s an overview:

Vancouver: Protest against RCMP using excessive force on Robert!
Host: Facebook Group – “Petition against RCMP officers involved in YVR Tazer Death”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Downtown Vancouver, Art Gallery (Georgia Street side)
City/Town: Vancouver, BC

A protest against the brutality shown in the video, which resulted in the death of new immigrant Robert Dziekanski, 40. Please express your interest by showing up next Saturday November 24th, downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Georgia Street side. Rally will commence 12pm. Please try to wear the red/white colors of the deceased’s Polish heritage, in his memory. Remember, this is about awareness of the tragedy and a protest against the excessive use of tasers, _NOT_ an anti-police rally. THIS WILL BE A PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION!

More info on Facebook:

VICTORIA: Solidarity and Justice for Robert Dziekanski.
Express your outrage and show supprt for his family through a peaceful demonstration

Host: Facebook Group – “Petition against RCMP officers involved in YVR Tazer Death”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Location: Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
City/Town: Victoria, BC

Description: PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATION – come along and express your outrage and your disgust at the recent events resulting in the unlawful killing of Robert Dziekanski. Show Solidarity for the Dziekanski family and demand Justice so that this kind of thing NEVER happens again

More info on Facebook:

TORONTO: Defend Robert Dziekanski Toronto Queen’s Park Protest Nov 24
Protesting Unreasonable Force/Showing Solidarity with Vancouver BC Protest Nov 24

Host: Facebook Group – “Protesting the use of Excessive force on Robert Dziekanski”

Date: Saturday, November 24, 2007
Time: 12:00pm – 2:00pm
Location: Queen’s Park
Street: University Avenue
City/Town: Toronto, ON

Description: This Protest is designed to continue raising media awareness about the mistreatment of Robert Dziekanski and protest the unreasonable use of force. We want the government to know that Canadians, regardless of their location in Canada are disgusted and heartbroken by the handling of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport. This situation involves issues of race, nationalism, violence and most significantly ethical human behaviour of kindness, patience and compassion.

More info on Facebook:

Please show your support!

All events in memory of Robert Dziekanski

Update: also see skdadl @ pogge and April Reign

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Quote Of The Day: Becoming Evil

Via Daev @ Designated Protest Zone, Dana nails it:

“People become evil by doing evil; it is rare that a person is evil by nature alone. Evil does not exist so one can make use of it. Evil does not flow from a place of power but one of weakness”.

You have become evil by doing evil. You are weak and you are above all cowards.

You fit right in with todays RCMP.

Related: The Vancouver Sun on the funeral of Robert Dziekanski, including full text of the eulogy, delivered by family friend Jurek Baltakis:

Now, I would like to conduct a small experiment here.

[Speaks a short sentence in Polish, and a few dozen audience members raise their hands.]

Well, I see that most of you are confused, and cannot follow this simple instruction. I just asked you to put your right hand up. So simple. Looks like you do not understand Polish. This is how Robert felt for over nine hours at the airport — lost, confused, thirsty and hungry, and ignored by all. I made the same trip over 20 years ago. With two small children, Maria and I, we arrived at Vancouver airport tired and our hearts were pounding. We were so uncertain and afraid. Fortunately, people from immigrant services welcome us and help us … at the Vancouver and Kamloops airports. They were like guardian angels for us.

Robert was not so fortunate. At the airport, the airport services and RCMP failed him and Zofia. There were no guardian angels or any other helpful human being working there to prevent this tragedy. There are many questions that need to be answered, and I am certain that one day, they will… that one day, Robert’s tragic death will leave us this legacy, and this will never happen again.

Share your condolences with Mrs Csowski and family here.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers

Macleans: “The RCMP is in ruins.”

by matttbastard

Via Terry O’Neill @ The Shotgun Blog (the preceding still seems like it should be a typo), this week’s issue of Macleans features a must read cover story by Jonathon Gatehouse and Charlie Gillis, What’s really killing the Mounties.


This past summer, David Brown, the Toronto lawyer charged with investigating the mishandling of the RCMP’s pension and insurance funds, lifted the lid on a much more serious problem, declaring the force’s culture, governance and management structure “horribly broken.” (A new task force he is chairing will deliver recommendations on how to fix the problems to the Harper government next month.) As a constitutional challenge over legislation that denies RCMP officers the right to unionize looms, the divide between front-line members and their “white shirt” bosses seems wider than ever. According to the results of an internal 2007 survey, only 50 per cent of RCMP employees now believe they are treated fairly by the force; just 54 per cent feel “respected and trusted” by their superiors; and a feeble 26 per cent agree that the force develops capable and competent senior leaders. Much has been made of the recent appointment of William Elliott, a former bureaucrat and “new broom” commissioner who replaced Giuliano Zaccardelli, who resigned in disgrace over the Maher Arar affair. But even with a civilian at the helm, the force’s taste—or capacity—for the type of reforms needed to address such widespread concerns remains an open question.

As O’Neill notes, the report was apparently written prior to the release of the Robert Dziekanski Taser video, but still provides an exhaustive rundown of the overall disarray afflicting all levels of RCMP culture, of which the Taser incident is the latest (if most visceral) example. Read the whole damn thing; maybe Dawg is right.

PS – Never forget.

Related: After 34 days, the four officers involved in the death of Mr Dziekanski were finally reassigned. Took ’em long enough, eh? Accountability, thy name is “Elliott”.

Oh, and Dave @ the Beav reports that suggestions the use of its product may have actually resulted in someone keeling over (again) has given TASER Int’l the vapors. Not quite at the level of excited delirium, thankfully. Still, company security best keep close watch on the executive offices, just in case.

Recommend this post at Progressive Bloggers