back to article Canadian Taser death caught on camera

An amateur cameraman has released footage of the death of a man tasered by Royal Canadian Mounted Police at Vancouver International Airport. Cameraman Paul Pritchard filmed Pole Robert Dziekanski,40, in a "clearly agitated" state on 14 October in a "secure area outside the Canada Customs exit". At the start of the 10 minute …

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  1. Ash
    Thumb Down

    Three consecutive 50,000v shocks?

    If there was ever a case for police brutality, followed by whatever "causing death by professional negligence" comes under, this is it.

    This is exactly why I want to purchase a sweater or body-warmer type jacket with a conductive mesh woven into the fabric.

  2. Sean Healey
    Unhappy

    Close to home...

    Crikey, I've been through that airport twice in the last week. Maybe this story perhaps explains the large number of uniformed bodies for such a (relatively) small airport which struck me as kinda odd as we entered Canadian territory for the first time. Or is that normal for North America?

  3. andy rock
    Unhappy

    nasty

    why is it that the chumps behind a taser always seem surprised that someone struggles like mad when they get hit with it?

    'he's still struggling, it mustn't be working.' must be the mentality.

    where the hell do people get their security guards nowadays??

  4. Frank Bough
    Pirate

    Can't Understand Their Language?

    ...simply murder them, and the problem vanishes!

    I'm just glad that nothing like this would ever happen in the UK.

    Oh God.

  5. Spleen

    Please don't tase me, eh?

    What exactly makes Tasers different from a long-range version of that favourite weapon of oppressive and corrupt filth, the cattle prod?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Rent-a-cops take note

    It'll be dead students next. and of course death is not excesive force for a loudmouth who won't shut up in a debate.

  7. Andy Bright

    Trajic maybe, but ..

    I'm not sure I have much sympathy. Didn't look like one of those "let's fuck with this guy, break out the taser" wrong doings.

    He didn't deserve to die of course, but then if you fuck about like that in an airport in England (or the US I should imagine) tasers be dammed - you'll go down in a hail of bullets. Canadians appear to be a lot more forgiving, and for that matter, a lot more sensible when it comes to airport security.

    Nope, looked like they tried to do the right thing, mistook his thrashing about for resistance (you try dealing with agitated, crazy people in a calm collected way) and unfortunately the taser was the end of him.

    "Hit him again" didn't sound like "hit him again, this is fun", more like "for fuck sake hit him again, I can't keep him still to put the cuffs on".

    Before someone says anything about medical conditions and pace makers, well if you have those then you probably ought not to act like a wanker in an airport.

  8. Rick Brasche
    Stop

    bleeding hearts, get real

    this time, there's even video evidence the perp was dangerous. Throwing stuff, refusing to settle down. maybe you'd prefer the cops just shot the b@stard with normal bullets? or should they let him do whatever he wanted, board a plane, so you could all cry "government conspiracy!" when the plane goes down?

    I notice not one of the archists posting here bothered to ask the question: "what as he on?" and of course, blamed the police for responding to the incident and the taser for the death, instead of the perp for starting the assault and chemicals in his system for the death.

    I don't care if someone's naturally mentally disturbed or chemically off their crock when they assault someone or try to break security. I also don't care if they're drunk or sleepy when they cause an accident that harms or kills someone, the results are the same, so the response should also be the same-fast and definitive.

    The cops had a less lethal alternative. @sswipe kept being hostile. he got it again. This time, it was more effective than worthless capsaicin spray. Normal people *don't* get up and thrash-your feel like you've run a marathon and powerlifted a few dozen reps without a warmup-all within a few seconds. Military trained, fanatically driven, seriously deranged and the chemically modified can resist taser shots. Anyone fitting the latter descriptions causing a ruckus is a serious enough threat, at least to anyone not living in a commune or ivory tower.

    And for the conspiracy-minded, having a cameraman ready, nearby, and ready to record-and self-admitting to being the type to suspect "police coverup"...yet another probing attempt/set up to create more propaganda material for anti-Western outlets.

  9. Matthew
    Flame

    @Andy Bright

    Obey. Consume. Reproduce.

    Is being/behaving differently a crime?

  10. Sweep

    Shocking.....

    The arguments for police being armed with tasers tend to run along the lines of "we need them for incidents where the only other alternative would be to shoot them". I suppose in this case the end result would be the same, but honestly, 4 policemen would not have been able to restrain a lone, unarmed man in an isolated area? If they didn't have tasers they would have had no choice but to shoot him? Really?

    Tasers would be useful in situations where the police would genuinely have no choice otherwise but to kill, but in reality I think they would only be a good idea if the majority of cops weren't bullied at school for being fat spotty virgins.

  11. leslie
    Thumb Down

    @ Can't Understand Their Language?

    Not happen in the uk ?

    Your taking the P right?

    They use excessive force all the time in most police forces, no more effective way to subdue your victims, sorry, ''suspects'' before transporting them.

    Have you forgot the tube ''mistaken identity'' shooting?

    I suggest a google ''died in custody'' UK pages.............

    ''http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7005556.stm#map''

  12. Mark

    @Andy Bright

    The tazer causes convusions. If you're expecting someone hit by 50,000v to stay still, you need to try it on yourself.

    We aren't trained in restraining people. Police are (supposed to, anyway).

    And if being a wanker is a crime punishable by death, it's going to be a lonely planet.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    @Ash

    Here's your coat: search for patent 7284280.

  14. Darren Coleman

    Sympathy

    I guess this isn't too dissimilar than the argument about whether you should be sympathetic towards someone who steals a car and then kills themselves driving it. The "punishment" doesn't fit the crime, but its tough to be overly sympathetic....

  15. this

    re:where the hell do people get their security guards nowadays??

    er, don't ask...

  16. Tawakalna
    Stop

    maybe you should check your facts first, Andy Bright..

    1. The guy couldn't speak English

    2. He had a history of mental illness

    3. He'd never been to that airport before

    4. He'd been stuck in the sealed area of the arrivals lounge with no food, water or (important this, mate, re: 2 above) without access to his medication - for nearly ten hours (that's ten - 10 - hours, not minutes)

    5. At no time did any of the airport staff, security, or RCMP attempt to communicate with him in his own language - nor did they even try to ascertain what language he was speaking.

    6. He was waiting for his mother, who lives in Canadia; she'd told him to wait by the carousels. He didn't know how to find them.

    7. After several hours of waiting, his mother asked the airport staff to put a call out for her son over the tannoy, because she was worried since he still hadn't (apparently) turned up. They refused.

    so to me, but obviously not to you, this is another "de Menezes" where the "our wonderful police are doing a great job brigade" bend over backwards to blame the dead man who can't speak for himself anymore. And like the sad but completely avoidable death of Jean Charles de Menezes, the RCMP in a pathetic and evil attempt to exonerate themselves, firstly refused to hand the video back (until a lawyer intervened) and publicly stated that the officers had behaved completely appropriately and that the dead man had tried to assault the officers who felt "threatened" - which the video does rather refute. Even now the video is in the public domain, the RCMP are still claiming that it's "just one point of view" even though all the eyewitnesses agree that it's an accurate record of what happened (except for those wonderful cops who tased a sick and agitated man 4 times to his death) - again not dissimilar to those cops who claimed they'd challenged de Menezes when 17 eyewitnesses said they hadn't. But people like you ALWAYS side with the cops against the dead.

    doubtless you'll be trotting out the "bulky jacket and leaping over the barrier" stories. Perhaps you should get in first and help your police mates out with speculations about cocaine usage? People like you make me puke.

  17. Dan Hardiker
    Alert

    You get it, even in a coma!

    According to BBC news, you get tasered even for falling into a diabetic coma these days: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7096456.stm

  18. Oli Wright
    Thumb Up

    @Matthew

    "Is being/behaving differently a crime?"

    Why does some tool always pull out that argument as a one liner? Wait, did I just say argument? My apologies. I meant bollocks.

    Of course behaving differently isn't a crime, but there are tolerances within society put in place to make it work.

    <-- Imagine the thumb is a middle finger ....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ignorant Coppers Strike Again

    Given the 'offenders' heavy and laboured breathing (dyspnea), palor and appearance - I'd go so far as to guess that he was already undergoing a cardiac event *before* the police tazered him. Agitation can be one of the signs, and was likely the reason that he was behaving like he was. You don't have to be a fe'cking' brain surgeon to figure out that his behaviour wasn't organised or rational.

    Police training should cover the basic symptoms of things like a cardiac event, hypoglacemia, epilepsy etc, etc and that these things may cause behaviour changes.

    It's just another case of a group of some burly blokes, who you'd be more likely to see doing a hundred press ups, than counting them (and who I'm sure could have restrained him -without- the tazer) playing with their new gadget without understanding the possible damage it can do.

    Well done lads, you just killed a man who in all probability needed your help! W*nk3rs.....

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are you trying to do, Tawakalna?

    Tawakalna, you are going to confuse the hell out of a lot of people here if you start introducing facts into the comment area. As you can see from the comments entered before yours there are many who need to demonize this poor fellow in an effort to convince themselves that he was a trouble-maker, and not a victim. Facts will only cause these people to doubt their useless opinions, so be very careful with them.

  21. Glenn
    Thumb Down

    @Tawakalna

    Sure you made some valid points... but nice of you to trash the person who had a different point of view on this. It's people like you that make me puke

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @Tawalkana

    "But people like you ALWAYS side with the cops against the dead."

    "People like you make me puke."

    Stop. Step back. Read your own post before submitting. Feel like an idiot.

  23. Eduard Coli
    Pirate

    To MPs: TASER International kickbacks worth more than a persons life?

    The problem with the Taser system is that police treat it like a billy club when it is more like a shotgun. It is too easy for police to use and thus when angered or panicked too easy for a policeman to kill with.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What are you trying to do, Tawakalna?

    Tawakalna, you are going to confuse the hell out of a lot of people here if you start introducing facts into the comment area. As you can see from the comments entered before yours there are many who need to demonize this poor fellow in an effort to convince themselves that he was a trouble-maker, and not a victim. Facts will only cause these people to doubt their useless opinions, so be very careful with them.

  25. Alex Rose

    @leslie

    I suggest a quick Google on "sarcasm".

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    WHAT!

    FACTS!

    ON MY /REG/ ?

    I THINK NOT.

    Cruise control for cool etc etc.

    @@Tawalkana (Fellow Anon) and Glenn

    I feel a need to question your sexuality. You arn't pedalphiles by any chance?

    Confronted with facts you simply respond to the last few words, go you protectors of justice.

    But it's okay - becouse murdering a mentally ill, foreign, starved, isolated person is fine in this day and age.

    It's really very sad - I'm sure the opinions would be very different if it had been an English person having received the same treatment in a Chinese airport.

    Also as an aside - a video isn't a "point of view" it's a primary source, as it shows what happend (unless tampered with.) Now a video of a re-enactment may be a tertiary source... seen as it would be a video of something someone else had scripted... hmmmm

    Anon

  27. Eileen Bach
    Unhappy

    Truly Shocking

    I don't think one can say-Quote' that police treat it like a billy club....' I would like to think that most don't or won't. I hope the RCMP involved are as shocked from this awful learning spike as anyone. Cars kill too but not all do.

    A very sad story especially involving an admired police service I think.

  28. Sean Kennedy

    Law enforcement risk

    Crazy people are dangerous. Most of the time, Tazering is not. You people seem to be stuck on an idea of "Fairness". The police are there to maintain peace, this crazy dude was violating that peace violently. They can and should do anything necessary to restore this peace.

    Coming into personal contact with a violent person is a bad idea. Who knows what they are carrying, or what's in their pockets. Imagine being a police officer and getting stuck by a druggies needle because you decided to try to physically apprehend him instead of hitting him with the taser. Hell, in most cases taser is the least violent option available.

    Those of you speaking against it don't really have a firm grasp of what it's like in the field. I suggest going for a ride along with your local law enforcement. In the states, it's your right to do so. Go until you see a taser situation, then ask yourself how you have done it so all parties were treated humanely.

  29. Ben Gibson
    Thumb Down

    Noone mentions...

    the same point about our own case of police killing. Not about mistakingly killing someone in the course of doing what they think of as right (which is a different matter to consider) but they always lie about it afterwards. That is grounds enough for some investigation.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How the media is portaing this

    its interesting to see that none of the mainstream media is conveying in an accurate manner the events, they only refering at taser-ing him without explicity specifying the number of times that he was taser-ed - two to four times - which is apparently two much (see - I shot that man and it fell - he did not obey the command "stand up with your hand on the air" so I shot him again - he was clearly threatening).

    I am happy that register is reporting the facts more accurately

    ps: liked the news.bbc.co.uk diagram of a taser gun in the corresponding news article - it includes with bold letters a "MICROPROCESSOR" - this things are like magic put a microprocessor and all the common sense required to operate an almost lethal weapon is essentially there -probably thats why they do not screen security personnel these days.

    moreover I cannot understand why they just did shoot the guy - he could have been a terrorist in anycase (a good thought would be to randomly shoot passengers - some of them might be terrorists)

  31. Solomon Grundy
    Stop

    RCMP

    I've had a few run interactions with the RCMP and I've got to say that overall they are the most reasonable and (apparently) well educated of all the "law enforcement" personnel in North America. While the RCMP has managed to avoid the digression into a pansy force like most western "law enforcers", it appears they too have begun the downward spiral.

    Cops are paid to put themselves into dangerous situations but today's cops view everything as dangerous and many of them are no longer willing to put themselves into potentially lethal situations for the sake of others. It's too bad the law enforcement (and to a large extent) the military has lost this since of willing self-sacrifice. Police and military folk were traditionally the first people to jump on the grenade but that's changed now, they have become risk averse and just want to receive a paycheck and go home to their families. If a police(person) or military(person) isn't willing to die in the line of duty they are in the wrong line of work, better for everyone if they become garbage(people) or school teachers.

  32. Yoda

    @ Sean Kennedy

    Oh that is such a tired, old, useless argument: "Who knows what he could have had in his pockets!" "He could have had a bomb!" I assume he had already gone through some kind of security. And logically the point is vapor--anyone could have anything anywhere so let's shoot/club/taser 'em all. This is not a reasonable facsimile of actual thought.

    Do you know how often it happens that druggies attack cops with their needles? About as often as the code to disable a ticking time bomb has to be tortured out of a terrorist in custody.

    I DON'T GIVE A FUCK about how hard law enforcement's job is. It's no surprise to them going into it, and they are given loads of tools and reinforcements. That's like saying teachers in inner-city schools should be able to beat students because their job is "hard." Rights are rights and if you're a cop who can't do your job without respecting the rights of everyone, then you shouldn't be a fucking cop.

  33. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    Ah, what happened to martial arts training?

    They're obviously too thick to be trusted with Tasers. Send them back to fighting school until they can disarm a knife-weilding attacker without breaking a sweat.

    Taser Inc. has repeatedly claimed that the Taser is a non-lethal weapon. Sue them into the next Universe. Hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars for every Taser death. They need to be bankrupted as soon as possible. Also, how about some criminal charges on them as well.

    Having been in airports before and being subjected to the incredible and mind-numbing stupidity, it's a wonder more people don't go insane. Put in his shoes, I think anyone would eventually lose it.

    The behaviour of the police in this case is disgusting. Also the airport authorities for allowing the poor man to be left waiting and waiting and waiting...

    Time for some T-shirts: "Please don't Taser me." Wear it proudly when travelling by air.

  34. Mark

    Sean Kennedy

    I'm not entirely rational. Aspie. Now put yourself in a locked room with me for 8 hours. You will be bored shitless but you will be fine.

    Then put a tazer on yourself.

    Which would you prefer to happen again?

    Crazy people are dangerous. Sometimes. Tazers are dangerous. Sometimes.

    4-to-1 and with the police supposedly TRAINED to restrain???

    Whip the bird out to you double quick.

  35. Curtis W. Rendon
    Flame

    open and shut

    Clear case of a nut job vandalizing furniture.

    Pop a couple of capos in his ass and be done with it. No sense wasting time by trying to take him alive.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Really...

    RCMP killing someone by themselves? Now that's news. Usually they just have people deported to some hole in Syria to die out of sight.

    Actually I think it is high time these weapons get banned. They are not as nonlethal as intended, and you can read stories about lighthearted use/abuse each and every week. Give cops a club, halfway decent martial arts training, and get over the fact that you cannot employ the wimpy in each and every job. Like, you know, in the good old days(tm), when police brutality was clearly visible as such (club = damage) and nobody got toasted.

  37. Brian Miller

    Four guys, vests, batons: need Taser?

    A police captain told me that police work isn't a gun problem, its a people problem. If you don't like people, don't become a cop.

    From what it looks like, the RCMP went for the Taser as a convenient solution. I didn't see the guy throwing officers around. Resisting, yes, but aren't they trained for that? Too bad the camera didn't have a better angle.

    I wonder if anybody is going to take the airport to task for leaving this guy for 10 HOURS. What is with that?

    As for the IT angle, the Taser x26 has a USB port, and the microprocessor delivers 50,000V for a five second burst. (50,000V is great for annoying someone, but don't count on incapacitation.)

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    "The cause of his distress is likewise unknown."

    The bloke took 8-hours to clear customs/immigration and you wonder why he's distressed!

    Four RCMP couldn't handle one guy without resorting to their Tasers! WTF sort of training do these buffoons get?

  39. Sean Kennedy

    Yoda, Mark

    1) I'm not saying a druggy would whip out their needle and use it as a weapon. I'm saying that during a struggle the officer could be stuck. Given how effective tasers are, and the known fatality rate of taser victims ( hint: it's extremely low, and almost non-existant in people who don't otherwise have medical conditions ), it makes sense to tase a suspect to bring him under control instead of risking the life of a officer. Which leads me to my next point:

    2) Ok, so I have waited several hours in a locked room for something undetermined to happen ( wish I could be more specific, but can't ). As angry as i got at the folks responsible for this, I did not at any time pick up a chair and start throwing it around. I raised my voice, true. I did not threaten physical violence to those in my immediate area.

    I am truly sorry this nut job couldn't contain himself, but if he really couldn't be trusted in public alone he should have had a guardian with him. Note that this is not the policemen's fault.

    Now, a seperate point I wish to make:

    Tasers are actually a more humane and less violent way to bring a suspect under control. Have you ever seen a situation where the cops have to bring a violent suspect under control without a taser? The suspect necessarily gets the snot beat out of him before the cuffs go on. Further, the officers involved get roughed up too. Now add on top of that the danger of any foriegn objects ( like needles in the pocket, ect... ).

    Now take that same situation and use a taser. 1 or 2 hits, and the suspect is now following officer instruction. This happens in the overwhelming majority of the cases. I've done ride alongs, I've seen both. I can tell you which is preferred ( by both the suspect and the officers involved ).

    Yoda: So you don't care about officer safety? These people who are sworn to keep the scum of the world off the streets and keep you safe, and you don't care if they are kept safe? Make sure you tell that to your local law enforcement, I'm sure they'll still keep you safe even though you don't care or respect them and what they do. Which makes them heroes in my book.

  40. xjy
    Happy

    It WILL happen here AGAIN AND AGAIN

    Latest news is that New Labour contractions will soon be leading to SECURITY checks at over 260 stations in Britain, SECURITY officers at centres of mass assembly in every municipality, and MORE SECURITY for everybody through SECURE SECURITY information on everyone entering and leaving the UK, some 90 pieces of info. If you've got any spare cash, invest it in SECURITY securities, the SECURITY industry is sure to EXPLODE any day now.

    Meantime the unemployed (ie sponging layabouts) should be forced to volunteer as training material for the cops to practise profiling, herding, and unarmed compulsion on. No giros for refuseniks. Trusted individuals discovered among the material could be encouraged to join the cops, thus killing several sick jokes with one Taser.

    Like Imran Khan and Benazir Bhutto, anyone refusing to obey the orders of the MAN IN UNIFORM, or not looking happy, should be classified (for ever) as terrorists and dealt with on the spot.

  41. Anton Ivanov
    Flame

    @Ah, what happened to martial arts training?

    One sensible thought at last. In most cases a month of Aikido training is 100 times more usefull than a Tazer. Everything else aside it teaches our idiot plods how to hold a suspect correclty so he/she can be handcuffed. Yep, they may break a hand once in a while. Frankly a broken limb once in a while is better than people having heart attacks from 4 fat bastards sitting on their head while the fifth is having fun electrocuting them.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Martial Arts

    If the other guy isn't cooperating, wrestling him to the ground can inflict serious injury on him. Tazers aren't completely non-lethal as we see here, but then nor are martial arts.

  43. Ole Juul Silver badge

    Business as usual

    I won't comment on the difficulty of police work, except to say that in these parts, there are other jobs where the death rate is much higher. Many loggers would argue that police have cushy jobs. As to whether a crazy person is really dangerous, I guess that is cultural.

    I have lived almost 50 years in Vancouver and the police have a very bad reputation there. Check out the history of police racism in Vancouver since the 1900's. It looks pretty bad. Yes, they often do good work, but every few years they screw up royally. I've seen undercover cops use billy clubs on tourists and people just passing by, including a pregnant woman. That event caused many lawsuits, police firings, and a general media frenzie. It was eventually forgottne about, but some years later there is another incident... it's a recurring theme. There are many news stories where I can't judge, but excessive force, racism, and plain old bad judgement, are recurring convictions.

    A few years ago I moved out of town to a place where the RCMP have jurisdiction. Their shiny national reputation does not extend to rural areas. Here, at least, their work is often sloppy. Our local constabulary was recently caught shooting at a gas station with unsuspecting people inside because someone they were chasing ran in there. No one (miraculously) was hurt and it will just be another investigation. That was a few months ago and people have already forgotten about it. There are many police stories, both good and bad. The problem is the bad ones.

  44. Derek Hellam
    Flame

    It is murder, plain and simple.

    A man was killed because some furniture got damaged. Life in North American (Canada) is so cheap these days. You must remember that the Police themselves are not above the law either. As a minimum a charge of manslaughter. Taser'ed 4 times! 4 times! for heavens sake. He is down on the ground, helpless and they continue to attack him? Justify that? The Police should have tried to calm the man down, get him to sit down, get an interrupter. And don't give me that bullshit about how dangerous he was, he was clearly unarmed. They made no effort to communicate with him, they just could not be bothered, could they? just taser him and cart him off, don't think at all.

    @Sean Kennedy. I do know what it is like, ex-RMP. Its your duty to calm situations down! not start a war, an incident. The Police are there to maintain the LAW! and to act in a lawful manner themselves! These Policemen acted unlawfully in my view and showed a complete and utter lack of professionalism and knowledge of the WEAPON they where using. If these thugs cannot think for themselves they should not be Policemen.

    A man was killed, it is murder plain and simple, there is no justification for it. NONE.

  45. Ogdru

    Just a thought...

    Now, if this same man would have been beaten to death by 4 cops with bull whips would you be outraged? What's the difference between a taser and a bull whip?

    Again, just a thought...

  46. Michael
    Flame

    @ bleeding hearts

    "there are many who need to demonize this poor fellow in an effort to convince themselves that he was a trouble-maker, and not a victim."

    He threw a computer on the ground, ostensibly smashing it in the process. That pretty much qualifies a person as being a troublemaker. Now you can argue that it's not his FAULT that he's a troublemaker, but of the fact that is IS a troublemaker, there can be no doubt, and if you're f*cking around in an airport, sh*t like this is gonna happen.

    Yes, shame on the RCMPs for not figuring out that "hey, when we pump this guy full of electricity, he convulses, making him hard to cuff."

    However, there is a misconception about when to use tazers. You people seem to think that tazers are for when the only other alternative is to shoot them. Not so. Most police departments have a policy to use a tazer when to subdue using a lesser method would either not adequately subdue the target, or when a lesser method would potentially endanger the safety of the officer.

    Could the RCMPs have tackled the guy? Sure. Would the guy have kicked, clawed, scratched, and bitten? In all likelihood, yes. And that, in fact, is a life-threatening situation for a cop. Guy bites you. Guy has AIDS. Guy draws blood. Guess what?

    In the vast majority of cases, tazers do not cause any long term injury.

    So given that a lesser means of subduing the whack-job would be either ineffective (he's thrashing about, going mental) or would endanger the cops (s.o.b. freaking bit me!), AND given that tazers are in general quite effective, and relatively safe, their usage is, in my mind, completely justified.

    Maybe you idiots would prefer rubber bullets (which can also kill if they hit the wrong part of the body), tear gas (causing respiratory distress...for everyone in the airport, thanks to the ventilation system), or bean bags (which again, can kill, and at the very least will leave some nasty bruising, and possibly broken bones)???

    The fact is that under the circumstances, tazering isn't a half-bad idea. We all have the luxury of hindsight. We can all say "yeah, tazering doesn't usually kill, but it sure did with this guy", but that, frankly, doesn't matter. The intent to kill the man was not there, and though it is regrettable that the man died, the chances of that occuring were quite slim. So yeah, it sucks that this guy died, but that doesn't immediately translate into an excuse to crucify those men and women that will protect your ass, should the need arise. Maybe you should say thank you to them, every now and then...

    Just a thought...

  47. Vaidotas Zemlys

    10 hours wait?

    I still cannot understand, what was that guy doing for 10 hours in airport. I have not travelled a lot, is 10 hours of waiting for no apparent reason is normal? On my first flight I flew to Charles de Gaulle airport, and I had an appointment in 2 terminal, my plane landed in 1 terminal. I do not have a history of mental illness (I hope :)), and I knew basic French, but I got a bit anxious, since I assumed that I can get to the other terminal by foot, so I was searching for some directions how to get there on foot. It took me about 30 minutes of wandering inside and outside the terminal, to figure out that there is a bus, that goes to terminal 2. If I had to wait for 10 hours, with nobody taking any interest in me, I for sure would have freaked out big time, possibly not like that guy, but something similar. Yes the police maybe did not do anything really wrong, by tasering that guy, but why nobody explains, why that guy was left for 10 hours, and did the police know that before they tasered him. Cause if they knew, that is for sure not cool. OK lets keep this guy for 10 hours for no reason, oh he got a little upset, let's TASER HIM. That will teach him for sure. That is surely not proper police behaviour.

  48. Mark

    4 cops

    4 cops should have the training to restrain one man.

    Whilst he appeared agitated, he did not appear hostile in a life threatening manner.

    Also the knowleedge that he cannot understand English, should give you a clue as to why saying things like calm down may not have much response, after the first taser shot the fact that he becomes more agitated is not a suprise.

    Note even then it was not by making threatening moves towards the police like a drug crazed homicidal maniac but just reacting to being tasered, training should allow you to asses this situation and the reactions to it quick enough to realise this, otherwise your training is lacking.

    The problem is tasers are percieved and marketed as non lethal so its becomes an easy way out with the perception its not really going to do much damage so its a good option.

    Taser training should be on a response level just below guns, i.e somewhere near last resort when the threat is to great to try any other methods.

  49. Fozzy

    Plastic fanastics

    What the fuck is it with cops around the world nowadays. Shoot first ask, sorry, answer the tribunals questions later. What the hell ever happened to trying to communicate with people. Sure in this instance there was a language barrier, but there are always ways around that. Being a cop for 10 years and having to deal with all sorts of people, from those with mental disabilities to the truly deranged not once have I needed to escalate the use of potentially lethal force.

    A cop is to ensure the safety of the public, the person and themselves. Whilst the cops were there , unless he was doing something immediately dangerous contain him and the situation until you are able to communicate effectively with him. Moving chairs and tables, distrubing yes, dangerous no. Any cop who is willing to jump into a situation and start using force without assessing the situation should be stripped of their weapons first and their badge second.

    It certainly appears that many of the cops nowadays also would like to interpret the use of the taser and cap spray differently. Particularly in the case of tasers these are typically only used in which the officer seriously beleives that either himself or another member of the public is imminently about to suffer serious injury or death. IN other words the taser is used instead of the firearm. Can they honestly answer that serious injuury or death was imminent.

    </rant>

  50. Keith T
    Black Helicopters

    Tawakalna, an excellent summarization.

    If the penalty for being a jerk in Canada was death, our country would be completely de-populated.

    Tawakalna, an excellent summarization. These other people are probably not aware of statements made by other witnesses, and are solely going by the video, and their own prejudices.

    One other fact that people may not be aware of is that there is a 20 minute break between the start of the film, where he is throwing things, and the segment where police show up. The camera was running out of storage capacity, so the cameraman stopped filming. My perception is that the that the throwing of the computer took place in that first segment.

    This guy had been left unaided in a secure area for 10 hours. The self-serve telephone help line to interpreters was not working. No officials thought to aid him early on, before he entered his medical crisis.

    When police showed up, the victim appeared to be obeying police instructions, had his hands down, and presented no immenent threat to the lives or physical well-being of the officers or other humans.

    So there was no "just cause" to attack the victim physically.

    It looks to me no different than any other 4 people confronted with a difficult situation, over reacting, and committing what we in Canada call "manslaughter", which is one of the things police would charge an ordinary citizen with if they did that, except that these were trained professionals, were trained in these kinds of difficult situation, had many years of experience, and they'd probably given some thought and premeditation to what they did. That would make if first of second degree murder under Canadian law.

    Our mounties (the RCMP) go through very thorough training, which supposedly includes the use of the Taser. If the problem is training related, it is improper training, not lack of it.

    I think the root cause of the problem is that our police, like any good criminal gang, tend to follow "omerta" the mafia law of silence. The "blue wall of silence" principle is usually very effective when violently criminal police want to recruit other police to become "accessories after the fact" to their violent crimes.

    Couple that with the moral principle that "if you don't get a criminal conviction you didn't do anything unethical" and you have a small segment of the Canadian population that commits a significant percentage of the crime here, but thinks itself non-criminal.

    These four officers, and the "accessories after the fact" colleagues who have sheltered them from investigation, are a disgrace to the profession of policing.

  51. Andy Bright
    Flame

    @the same usual arseholes

    1. The guy couldn't speak English

    So what? If I go to France or Spain and I can't speak the language, I don't have the right to act like a cunt because of it.

    2. He had a history of mental illness

    Then his family are as much idiots as you appear to be. Five fucking minutes is all it takes. You say to the checkin person..

    "My son is mentally ill and requires an escort to the departure lounge. Once there, because he doesn't speak the local language, please stay with him until I arrive."

    Their answer will generally be

    "Does he require a wheelchair? No? Ok I'll set that up for you."

    Every fucking time, every airline that has customer service will do this. Families that let mentally ill members travel to foreign countries with no language skills and don't take adequate care to prevent them from getting lost or into trouble get absolutely no fucking sympathy from me. The rest of the world is not responsible for you and your children, that's your fucking job so do it.

    3. He'd never been to that airport before

    I'm sure there's a point here but you seem to have failed to make it. If I get lost and I can't speak the local language, act like that, and refuse to calm down - I expect to be arrested. And if I continue to act up when they try to arrest me..

    4. He'd been stuck in the sealed area of the arrivals lounge with no food, water or (important this, mate, re: 2 above) without access to his medication - for nearly ten hours (that's ten - 10 - hours, not minutes)

    And his family, that is to say, the people that have the responsibility to make sure things like this don't happen did what to make sure something like this didn't happen? Oh right, I forgot, personal and family responsibility no longer exist these days, everyone else is to blame for everything that goes wrong.

    5. At no time did any of the airport staff, security, or RCMP attempt to communicate with him in his own language - nor did they even try to ascertain what language he was speaking.

    No. 1 - again. I'm fed up with usually my own countrymen insisting that everyone speak "their" language. He had a case of mental history you said, so I can't fault him for traveling without even attempting to learn local languages. But doesn't excuse the people that let him TRAVEL TO A FUCKING FOREIGN COUNTRY, WITH NO FUCKING LANGUAGE SKILLS BY HIMSELF.

    6. He was waiting for his mother, who lives in Canadia; she'd told him to wait by the carousels. He didn't know how to find them.

    And your point is what? That he can act that way because he's lost. Oh right, you expect the police to telepathically understand he was ill and not just acting like a cunt. Obviously it's all their fault then, because they're supposed to know everything.

    7. After several hours of waiting, his mother asked the airport staff to put a call out for her son over the tannoy, because she was worried since he still hadn't (apparently) turned up. They refused.

    I can only just be bothered to answer this completely irrelevant point. If you allow your mentally ill son to travel to foreign airports, without being able to speak the local language, an airport, no less, that he had never been to before - and you're not intelligent enough to ask him to be escorted off the plane by the flight crew then..

    Bottom line. If I said he deserved death then I could understand your crybaby bullshit. But I didn't, I just said it was difficult to sympathise with someone that acted that way.

    If this was a case of deliberately torturing someone with a taser, chasing someone down the street waving a gun, or any of the other things that are clearly the fault of the police I'd be siding with the victim. But I refuse to just side against the police for any reason whatsoever. There was no reason for them to know he was unable to speak their language, was mentally ill and was without medication for 10 hours.

    People like you, that look for any little fucking reason to attack people, whether it's me, the police or whoever make me puke.

  52. Aubry Thonon

    Common sense?

    Down where I live, a cop who fires his/her firearm WILL be immediately pulled from active duty until the events are scrutinised as to whether the shooting was appropriate or not. Makes the cops think a bit more before pulling their weapons out.

    I respectfully suggest that Capsicum sprays and Tasers should fall under that same rule - don't pull your out unless you mean to use it, and expect to have to provide a good reason for your actions.

  53. Rob Moore

    @ Rick Brasche

    whats an "archist" then...

  54. JC
    Unhappy

    Murderers

    They chose to keep trying to handle this fellow instead of just leaving him alone. You can take any person who gets just a little upset and they will either calm down or you could continue aggravating them.

    That's what these people did, kept trying to act like he should submit to him BEFORE he'd actually done anything problematic, then kept at it, and kept at it, until he was dead.

    Prison sentences for all involved, that is justice.

  55. CSQuake
    Thumb Down

    It's very sad to read your replies

    To those that haven't bothered to research the reasons why this guy looked like he was going insane, you are pathetic.

    The guy didn't deserve to die, the guy shouldn't have been taser'd, he should have been able to meet up with his mother and be at home, safe, with her right now.

  56. milan
    Thumb Down

    Scary..

    That a lot of the responses are 'if you do that in an airport you should expect that kind of response'. Since when is it normal and acceptable for a guy to be killed for losing his temper?

    There wasn't even a moments thought given to reasonable force - judging by the video.

    It's perfectly possible for two reasonably trained men to subdue another once he is on the floor without causing serious or lasting injury, I will assume that seeing as these four were trained 'peace' officers they had at least some rudimentary training in arrest and restraint techniques.

    This leads me to ask, why give him the business twice more once he was on the ground?

  57. David

    @ Aubry Thonon

    "I respectfully suggest that Capsicum sprays and Tasers should fall under that same rule - don't pull your out unless you mean to use it, and expect to have to provide a good reason for your actions."

    Just a quick note on the use of pepper sprays. In the area I live in the US, most police agencies carry decontamination wipes for use after using pepper sprays. The wipes, and occasionally sprays, make the pepper spray inert. The burning stops, and after the administration of oxygen, most of the breathing difficulties clear up. No, I'm not a cop, I'm actually a firefighter, and I've had to deal with people who have been hit with pepper spray. I was one of them.

    Personally, I think pepper sprays are the safest "less than lethal" weapons on the market. I've not had the experience of dealing with a tasered person, mainly because it's never happened in my neck of the woods. 99% of the police officers in my area are level headed enough to not use excessive force.

    One more tip for dealing with the police; if you're an arse, they're going to be the same way. I've actually been released with a warning for 40 over the speed limit because I was polite and treated the officer with dignity and respect. Yeah, I was warned, and I don't doubt he would have cut my license up on the spot if he caught me again.

    I understand everyone's point about language barriers and all, as well as mental illness, but I've dealt with people with mental illnesses and people who can't speak english. I at least make an attempt to speak to them in their own language, even if it's mixed with english. It typically helps calm people down if you try to understand what they're going through.

  58. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    4 Taser shots is murder!

    I dont care if he was a troublemaker or not. Frankly, use of a taser was justified and the 1st shot and perhaps even the 2nd were definitely justified for protection of the officers. The shots brought him to the ground and that should have been that, but to hit him again and perhaps a 4th time is just plain murder. Thats like hitting someone with your car, then reversing over them back and forth a few times.

    So, frankly use of tasers is called for in this modern day and age and cops should be allowed to have them but to hit someone 4 times is murder plain and simple. Perhaps those 4 cops should be shot with a taser 4 times - if they survive they dont have to go to prison?

  59. Robert Hill

    Let's be REALLY clear...

    Lots of people in this thread have accused the deceased of being a "nutjob". No, he was distressed and certainly suffering from a mental ILLNESS. Mental ILLNESSES are usually treatable, just like cancer, just like heart problems, just like skin rashes. People with mental illnesses can usually be treated and live full, active and productive lives, usually with the help of medications to help them balance their brain chemistry (we are all just big chemical factories after all - and what factory doesn't have SOMETHING that needs adjusting?)

    A "nutjob" is someone who drives a truck full of fertilizer into a federal building and kills hundreds of people, including children inside the nursery - of his own country, just to "priotest".

    This guy was murdered by incompetence at worst, lack of training at best. Someone called the RCMP, when they should have called men with white coats - backed up by the RCMP if necessary, but they should have gone in first...

    Robert

  60. Brian
    Black Helicopters

    ... various

    We know squat all here.

    So we have one video and a few witness reports, whoopdy do. It means crap all in real life!

    What about other CCTV footage, actual witness reports, officer reports, evidence at the scene, paramedic reports, etc...

    Oh by all means we are entitled to our opinion. Jump to conclusions, claim who we believe is at fault, but I'm bloody damn well glad that none of us has any real power in this. Its up to the judge/jury/whoever to look at all the Evidence and then make a decision. The media loves to dramatise things. The ONLY reason this has got a rather big media frenzy is because there was a video, released publicly... yet we see practically nothing said about the recent attacks and murders where I live.

    The officers acted in a way they believed was the right thing to do. Without actually being in their position, knowing what they knew and facing the same situation, we don't know how we'd act. Oh we'd like to think we'd know, but in truth, we dont. EG You can prepare for weeks for a presentation in front of quite a few people, but then when you go to do it, you can choke and lose it.

    The bottom line here, is that the poor man cannot defend himself, give his reasons or speak up, more importantly, the officers will have to live with their actions.

    The key lesson here, is probably to ensure that staff and officers communiate more and to be a bit more cautious. Regardless though, a swift and preferably non-violent solution should be a priority.

    On a sidenote... how many minutes later was the ambulance team that arrived... did they really do 'everything' to save him? I'd like to think they did... but after being zapped by a taser quite a bit... I wouldn't be surprised if there was nerve damage...

    My heart goes out to his family and friends.

    To everyone else that reads this, instead of "jumping on the bandwaggon" or making accusations, remember that you don't know all the facts, they all probably wont be known for a little while yet, maybe change your perception once in a while and place yourself in another persons shoes, try a different perspective. Everyone has their own reasons and beliefs... one of the greatest causes of conflict is that so few people are willing to respect the differences between people or even to try to see another point of view.

    I believe the TRUE IT angle here... is what OS was the computer using that he 'destroyed'?!

  61. Taskis

    Jumping The Gun

    ... No pun intended. But I'm marvelling at the sheer conviction in some of these comments - the absolute declarations of right and wrong from people who, at best, have watched a video of the incident. And from that - not to mention their preexisting opinions of other, vaguely related incidents - they apparently know enough to determine who was innocent, who was guilty, and draw extensive, sweeping conclusions about the state of Canadian policing or about policing in general.

    It may well be that these officers acted wrongly - indeed, since the person involved is dead, it's a given that they did. But was this as a result of their lack of understanding? Their misinterpretation of the situation? Or was it malice? Were they simply playing god, as some are keen to suggest police always do, there not being a decent, honest, freedom-loving individual amongst them? Or should we listen to those who soundly condemn the 'suspect', whose behaviour forced the entirely innocent officers' hands?

    Or should we consider that every comment here so far - including this one - has been made by someone with at best a remote knowledge of the incident? What a lot of those comments have in common (though not all - some seem pretty balanced) is that they're kneejerk responses, made in the pursuit of a specific political agenda: the police are either the brutal blunt instrument of an increasingly totalitarian regime (or at least they're all criminally negligent); or the suspect obviously asked for it, just look at him, I mean the hair alone proves it... Everyone knows better, would have known better, would have acted differently and ensured a happy ending - except of course that none of those people were there, and ALL now enjoy the benefit of that famously perfect hindsight.

    We had precisely the same arguments following the Menezes shooting in London. It's a wonder anyone bothers with inquiries and inquests at all, since the truth is so readily available to everyone with an opinion. Or perhaps it's just that too many people are happy to settle for 'truthiness': the 'facts' that they think seem to confirm the opinions they already hold. After all, once you've got a 'truth' you're happy with, why bother looking for another one?

    The only thing that can be said with certainly about this incident - as with the Menezes shooting - is that someone is dead who certainly shouldn't be. Why that is, who if anyone is to blame, and what if anything should be done to them, is something that can only be decided by those in *full possession of the facts*. And that's going to take a full investigation. It certainly can't be determined convincingly on the comments page of a Reg article. And even when it's been investigated, it's unlikely that the conclusion reached could then be extended to include whole wide groups of people, like police, or Canadians, or immigrants, or the mentally ill.

    You're intelligent people. And intelligent people shouldn't be leaping to conclusions based on what they'd LIKE to be true.

  62. Marco

    Hm...

    If four civilians would do that to a simply agitated man, they would be charged with murder.

    Mr. Bright, hopefully you will never lose your temper at the wrong place and time and suffer from an overreaction to tasering, as judging from your vile language here you are a person that frequently loses his temper.

  63. Drew Cullen (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

    Overheated debate

    From here on in we are going to reject comments that are even only slightly abusive. So it is an unusual departure for us. But The Reg has no interest in fueling this flame war,

    By all means re-post, but be civil to each other. Or find a civil way to be nasty....and we shall be happy to publish.

    The Management

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yes

    "Tasers would be useful in situations where the police would genuinely have no choice otherwise but to kill, but in reality I think they would only be a good idea if the majority of cops weren't bullied at school for being fat spotty virgins."

    ^^^

  65. Adam
    Unhappy

    Simple rule for tasers

    If you use it, you had better be able to explain why on that same situation you would have pulled out your fire arm and shot him. Plain and simple. Tazers were to be brought to our police here in Canada for use only when normally they would be forced to use their firearms. Not because they were too f***ing lazy to do their job. Hell even pepper spray would've worked better then this.

    The biggest problem here, is that this happened a month ago, and this video refuted nearly everything the RCMP reported about the incident. I hope these officers find themselves off the force, with at least a criminal negligence causing death charge / conviction for the senior officer in that group. I don't care so much if its a suspended sentence, I want those lazy inept f**ks off the streets with firearms.

    If it were in the UK, perhaps he would have ended up with 8 shots to the head for his trouble... This sort of lunacy tho, has to stop. He was obviously distraught, he was not anywhere near anyone to harm them, and he posed no threat to the officers or public. The Tazer never should have come out, as in this case a firearm would not have. Plain and simple.

    It's just garbage police work is what it is. I usually respect the RCMP, have had fair dealings with them, and they are polite to you if you are to them. Even at a few traffic stops I've had. This is just disgraceful to all of us. I wouldn't think twice about this happening in the states, as Tazer deaths are far more common, and the devices are far more over used there. But for a poor guy to be treated like that...

    I'm just saddened. We're supposed to be better then that.

  66. Tam Lin
    Thumb Down

    Cops do stupid things, but can anybody prove there was ever an honest one?

    These cops did something stupid, then completely lied about what happened, and would have gotten away with it if there were 10,000 witnesses who disagreed. They could always find or buy someone who 'saw it their way' -- that I believe has already been evidenced above.

    But I am curious whether anyone knows of any case, in any country, where the cops' story matched what a later-disclosed video proved to be true. Either where the cops screwed up but told the truth, or where their seemingly unreal story proved to be true. I know Chicago cops are roughly 0 for 12 this year.

  67. Ole Juul Silver badge

    RCMP and Vancouver City Police

    I mentioned the Vancouver Police negetively in a previous comment but I must say that one of the problems here is that it was NOT the city police. I beleive that the Vancouver airport is not under city police jurisdiction and that is why the RCMP was called. That was a bad thing. The Vancouver police (despite their occational atrocities as I mentioned earlier) have experience with things like family violence and mentally challanged individuals. In fact they have a special unit to deal with those things and I can vouch for their professional skills because I have seen them in action. The RCMP, on the other hand, do not normally deal with this kind of thing and are prone to take a heavy handed approach. In fact, they have a bad reputation when it comes to non civil problems.

    I would also like to say, that after watching the video and seeing the gentleman in question. He looks (looked) like a pretty "normal" stressed person with some serious issues. He did not look at all like a dangerous person. I would have had no fear in dealing with him in that situation. Perhaps wrongly, but I have dealt with many people like that before, and it is not a big deal, and it is not a time for violence.

    It should also be mentioned, that Vancouver is an unusually multicultural city. If you need more that one phone call to find someone who speaks Polish, you are not from there.

  68. Mark McGuire
    Stop

    Taser != Magic Bullet

    The problem here is the police think, like all uninformed/stupid (classify 'em how you like) people, that new technology are magic bullets and foolproof. When electronic keys for cars came out (most of them are rfid, I think, but I'm not sure), insurance companies thought that now cars couldn't be stolen since they needed the original key. Some people, however, were able to obtain master keys and copiers, and stole expensive cars. When the owner tried to get their money, the insurance companies refused because they saw the keys as unstoppable.

    The cops believe the crap the taser companies are feeding them, and think that they are not lethal, and should be used at every opportunity when facing a violent individual, as opposed to guns and batons. Little do they realize the implications and effects such a weapon has (I'm sure there are training programs, but when have training budgets ever been good?) and so they use them, believing that they are doing the right thing.

    High voltage electricity does not exist naturally in humans. I'm assuming it's not a good thing for us; please stop believing in your magic bullet.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Tasered wanker

    Well, from the way he was behaving, serves him right. You may start acting like a wanker, but don't go around trashing others' property. That changes you into a bloody vandal which is even more punishable by law. Destroying the various stuff in his path probably sounded his death knell.

  70. Scott Michaels

    Notification?

    My question is, does anyone know what the RCMP were told when they were called in?

    If they got the call that simply said there was a man, seemingly with mental problems, destroying property and acting dangerous at the airport, I could certainly understand the taser'ing. And 3 or 4 times might seem excessive, but as someone previously pointed out, those particular tazer's were only 50k, not the larger guaranteed to drop a man in one shot. At 50k, a man on drugs, mentally unstable, or for other reasons, can withstand a couple shots and still be fighting.

    I'm not saying this particular case, it was right or wrong. But I can see both sides, and what the RCMP *might* have been thinking, especially when they called for a 3rd and/or 4th shot.

    Yes, police batons are another solution as some pointed out. But they're hardly less lethal than tazers, and are MUCH more likely to cause serious damage. Same for wrestling him to the ground, there's a good chance of seperated shoulders, broken arms, and other upper body damage. The likelihood of someone dying is waaaay less using a tazer. And in today's age of people suing for any little bruise, calling it police brutality, I think you'll only see more and more use of tazer's. Don't blame the cops, blame the idiots who want to fight arrests and assault cops, then sue when they're arrested.

    Someone else pointed out teaching police Aikido or similar (personally I'd choose one of the stick fighting arts like Escrima). But how many here are going to be pissed when their taxes get raised to pay for it. Same for the one who said they should know some medical training. Police are some of the lowest funded and lowest paid people in most countries, US and Canada included. Their budgets are almost always pitiful, and they quite often have trouble paying for decent gear, much less advanced training. Sure, advanced training sounds good, but I'd be willing to bet that 99% of people would scream to hear their taxes were being raised even 1% to pay for it.

  71. E

    Comment

    I live in Canada. Born here, been here all my life.

    There is in Canada a culture amongst security people - police and rent-a-cops - that if they are called by a company employee (pick your company) complaining about a customer/client/etc, then the company is right.

    In this country, pretty much the worst thing you can see walking in the door if you are debating even a completely reasonable point with a staff person is a cop. This is because Canadian police: (1) think it is their job to resolve every disagreement they see; (2) have an exagerated, even pavlovian, respect for authority; (3) are not fundamentally interested in what or why an arguement is happening.

    The easiest way to stop an arguement is to grab the guy that can be most easily removed - the customer/client/etc. And, in Canadian police doctrine, if same objects to being reomved, that is obstruction or restistance.

    I've seen this happen dozens of times, simply living here. I've been on the recieving end of it twice. One of the times I was violently shove from behind by one cop, while the cop infront of me watched to see if I would evince some anger. In neither case was I in the wrong: I was owned a refund for defective goods, the vendor refused, we argued, next thing I knew a cop was strong arming me.

    Most rent-a-cops are worse than the real variety.

    FWIW, I think this results from a species of unthinkingness that Canadians are prey to: the belief that as long as things are calm and nobody rocks the boat then things must be fine. This is almost the defining characteristic of politics and human resources management in Canada. Cop's highest value here, not surprisingly, is often not identifying the culprit, but identifying the person most easily controlled in order to re-establish peace and quiet.

  72. Magnus Egilsson

    Another death

    Sigh . . . another approved death in the Democratic States of Totalitariansim.

  73. Matt Bradley
    Black Helicopters

    @Frank Bough

    "I'm just glad that nothing like this would ever happen in the UK."

    Ahem... Jean Charles de Menezes? IF you don't know who he was, Google him.

    But perhaps more interestingly in this case, you might want to look at this:

    <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_yorkshire/7096456.stm>

  74. Mark Burton
    Flame

    Language

    While you're all going on about language, how about making your points without resorting to swearing. It's not big and it's not clever. Oh, and a quick spell check wouldn't go amiss either.

    Clearly this death is an emotive subject, but if you can't make your point without resorting to written abuse, it's very probably not worth making.

  75. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TazerTasicFryingFun

    1) Four officiers can detrain a man and handcuff him. He was not acting violently towards the men nor public, but towards inanimate objects.

    2) The punishment (death in this case) was disproportionate to the crime (being rowdy in a public place).

    3) The role of the police is to arrest criminals, not to deliver punishment.

    Tazers: If you give people a toy to use then they will use it. Its a toy gun that won't cause any suffering, and its humane (so long as one wants an exit from humanity.)

  76. Ash

    @Coward

    Humane: "marked or motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering" (WordNet® 3.0, © 2006 by Princeton University.)

    You're telling me a device deviced purely to cause incapacitation via sensory overload by electric shock is "motivated by concern with the alleviation of suffering"?

    I suppose it's better than a billy-club, but 4 police officers shouldn't need any assistance in taking down a single person. If they do, they're in the wrong job.

  77. Richard Hebert
    Flame

    Unacceptable all the same

    There was no justification for the tazing period.

    The 3 of them could have made the arrest without shooting

    the guy with the tazer.

    Those cops were just showing they're cowards.

    In fact .. i wonder when a cop will be held criminally

    responsible for a death in such circumstances.

    About time that they use the same standards for the cops

    as they do civilians. Murder is murder.

    Homicide by negligence whatever you call it.

    Just hope someone does jail time here.

  78. Gus Thomas

    Mental Illness & Taser Guns

    Broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Tuesday November 13 2008

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/science/allinthemind.shtml

  79. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Stop

    RE: Anton Ivanov

    Aikido is one of many martial arts that include what is called external force and internal force techniques. With external force techniques you generate energy through a kick or punch with the deliberate intent of disabling an opponent by damaging their body. Taekwondo is the poster child of external martial arts as it is usually glorified for it's power kicks and punches. Internal force techniques use the opponents own energy and leverage to cause similar diablement and can be seen in such arts as Judo. Either can lead to serious injuries that lead to coppers being sued.

    I think you are suggesting the coppers in mind could have closed with the poor victim and managed to use only low impact holds via internal force techniques to restrain him, just like what happens in all those lovely Judo and Aikido demos? Yeah, right! Have you ever seen a violent person being restrained? I think not. Punches usually get thrown as a minimum. I belive the officers involved really did not intend to kill the man, it was simply an unfortunate incident where the RCMP thought they were using the Tasers to restrain the man with the least possible risk of bodily harm to himself or others or the surrounding furniture. Whilst it is probably not of much comfort to the poor guys family, I bet the coppers involved are more than shocked and upset by the incident and are going to have to live with it for the rest of their lives.

  80. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    The details are not quite right

    "6. He was waiting for his mother, who lives in Canadia; she'd told him to wait by the carousels. He didn't know how to find them."

    He WAS waiting by the carousels, his mother didn't know they'd moved the secure area so you can't meet anyone at the carousels anymore (you use to be able to walk through and meet them, even at the gate). She knew he was there, tried to get a member of staff to contact him, but couldn't. He couldn't get anyone to contact her they didn't understand him.

    He eventually explored and went through customs into the public area, by midnight, but by then she'd gone home.

    He was angry, finally got attention by throwing stuff, and was dead a few seconds after the police arrived. I'm not going to call it a tragedy because it was manslaughter. Taser should not be a first use weapon.

  81. Jefe Mixtli

    This Canadian is pretty ashamed

    I tired and confused visitor to our country was tased to death for no more reason then to amuse a bunch of RCMP thugs... disgusting.

    The witness who took the video also reported that the cops were discussing whether they could tase the guy while they were rushing to the scene.

    I see a headline in the future though.... "RCMP cleared of all responsibility".

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    AMAZED ; Aaah the good old days of APARTHIED

    I grew up in apartheid as one of the privileged, and these cops bring back memories; Acting above the law with no regard for safety of the person. Tazering him 4 times!

    We saw it on the news every day. These troublemakers that the good officers arrested and stopped from making trouble.

    Perhaps the fact that you are a officer should not give you the label of being "good guy" unless your actions mirror that. I cannot see the video as bandwitdh in South Africa is just too expensive, but from what everyone here wrote...........

    1. Why 10 hours in isolation? whoever is responsible for that should be charged with "aiding and abetting " the guy that got killed for whatever his offence was , as they directly contributed to it. 's called deprivation and you just need to hold them under suspicion of something, no facts required; for reference see old SAP procedures in South Africa circa 1984 8-)

    2. Miranda rights ! OOOOHHH that thing you have in America and Canada? (We now have human rights as well........you should try it! )

    before you do anything you need to communicate..... TALK and get a reply... it stopped a country from descending into war....

    Now if there is a reply in a foreign language, you need to get someone that can understand that, not so.....?

    3. The right to use violence.....if they say they have it, check... otherwise they will do what they want. Oh and perhaps take them to court and test this "RIGHT" .....under apartheid there was the right to be "superior" and everyone ( except for the troublemakers like Mandela and the ANC ) accepted that...... no-one in accepted society stood up and said "this is wrong!"

    If your leaders don't say things are wrong when you think they are, vote them out and let your party know you oppose them being a candidate....fight for it!

    4. Perhaps the real question should be why the "horrible foreign troublemaker" was treated differently from any Canadian ( this includes his mom coming to look for him ) as I can assure you any mom looking for her son that was missing ( blonde blue-eyed young mommy and 5 year old son ) would have had the police out in force to help find him. Thats exactly what APARTHEID tried to teach us..."It is good and right to treat people different from us, worse than you will people like us, as they are not the same/as good/of a lesser class as we are and it does not matter how you treat them...."

    Personally I see no difference in the personal treatment his mom and he got there and how we were taught to treat black people in South Africa under apartheid... DO NOT TRAVEL THE SAME ROAD WE DID.

    Treat people with respect and dignity and they will react with dignity and respect. Treat them like this guy was treated and.......

  83. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    @Notification - Police pay in Canada

    "Police are some of the lowest funded and lowest paid people in most countries, US and Canada included."

    RCMP officers earn above Cdn$60k (roughly the same as US$) per year within a very few years of graduation. Even fresh recruits are firmly in the middle class. They are absolutely not underpaid.

  84. Mark

    Martial arts

    I have to agree that while martial arts are usefull in a real world situation its a bit more chaotic and using perfect technique taught in a class is not often possible.

    However hwat training in martial arts should do, and what training in confrontation situations should do. Is teach people to asses and react accordingly, not lose their cool or go over the top.

    This sort of training should be concentrating on having a calmness and clarity of thought in potentially hostile situations.

    1 tazering is possibly acceptable, although I have my doubts, but the repeated tazering certainly was not.

  85. Scott Michaels

    No justification?

    I seriously would love to see some posters in here try to be a cop for ONE day.

    No justification? The suspect had previously shown violent tendencies, destroying equipment. Period, stop, end of statement. The operative words in that statement are "Shown violent tendencies". No debating that, nobody can argue it.

    The subject had barricaded himself in a room and was acting agitated and not responding to overtures to talk. Again, Period, stop, end of statement. Language barriers don't matter. He wasn't even attempting to communicate according to what was said, previous to the RCMP showing up.

    The two facts, unarguable, put together in a high-profile target area like an airport will of course cause a high-level of concern. And the death was a tragedy, but in almost under any civilized country, guess what... Read the laws and the definitions when use of deadly force is permissible. I.E. when the individual can reasonably be suspected of being a danger to others or self. Hey, I believe he could fit those criteria, with the two facts above. Plus the already established mental illness fact.

    As for tazers being so deadly, it's time to drop a little knowledge for the unenlightened. Anyone care to guess the death rate of tazers in the US, where in truth they're more prevalent than anywhere else. .00018, yep that small a percentage. Research does a mind well. Linked from http://policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=520&issue_id=22005

    Tazers are, and continue to be, the safest current weapon in the police arsenal for violent tendencies. And there is 0 chance of breaking bones or causing other physical harm, unless the person falls in that .00018 of people in such poor health.

    Can anyone in here tell me with a 100% chance that the suspect was not on LSD? LSD of course negates the effect of pain. Previous to tazers, guess the only solution to LSD users, lethal force or beating them until they literally can't move. Many mental defectives fall under the same category.

    My question is, when these people are protecting YOU, for a pitiful salary, putting themselves in the line of fire, would you rather them go into a potentially dangerous situation, and not use every tool in their arsenal. I really pity the people nowadays who go along with the "anarchist" idea without a real clue what anarchism is really all about, put down the police and military. But let them get raped or mugged, and all of a sudden everything changes. It's really really pitiful. As my father says "A liberal is just a person who hasn't been beaten, mugged, or assaulted yet. Then they instantly become a conservative".

    Hmm, that should be an idea. Police keep track of everyone who rallies against them, spits on them, etc. Then, since they obviously don't want police protection, don't give it. That simple. Bet you'd see a big change in attitude then from people.

    "Yes, ma'am. You were raped? Well, I'm sorry, according to our list, you were at a rally last week saying all cops were pigs, corrupt, and should all be fired. You clearly stated you don't need or want our help. Have a good day."

    As for the guy who claimed the cops were becoming pussified, you really want to know what happened? That answer is so simple. It's called the general public and stupidity of the courts, at least in the US. 20 years ago, if a policeman grabbed you and pushed you 10 feet to get you out of the line of fire in a shooting situation, you'd get up, maybe get a sprained ankle taken care of, and that was it. Nowadays, you get up, get the sprained ankle, sue the police and the individual police officer for medical bills, pain & suffering, loss of work, and anything else you can think of; end result, a fired/suspended officer and loss of $1 million or more... And with criminals it's even more ridiculous. A policeman goes to arrest a subject who is clearly armed with a firearm, breaks the arm to make him release the weapon, and is brought up on charges criminally and civilly sued? Guess what, in their place, you bet your ass I'm gonna use a tazer. Either that or do the smart thing, empty my weapon, and make certain the criminal can't sue because he's dead.

    Pertaining to this case in particular though, the RCMP could not guarantee the person wasn't on drugs or dangerous because of mental illness. I don't see where it says anywhere in the article that the woman stated what TYPE of mental illness. There's a biiiiig difference between depression and sociopathy under control with medication. Hell, even retardism can be dangerous, especially as they're most often stronger and more resistant to pain than the general population. 4 shots to bring down a person who is still resisting, sounds reasonable to me if that's what it takes.

    As for holding them responsible for the death, have you ever heard of IAB? It stands for Internal Affairs Bureau. They monitor the police, and every police officer in the US is required to have a hearing with them after any discharge of a firearm, death or no. And the officer is automatically put on leave with pay until the investigation is finished. The RCMP has their version, as I'm sure do the British. And yes, tazer's do fall under firearms. Granted, in the case of very obvious cut and dried, the investigation might only be an hour "The suspect shot a hostage while robbing a bank and had his gun aimed at another hostage", every single time it's investigated. Ok, the conspiracy theorists can now rant that cops always stand up for each other although it's obviously not true.

    As for the definition of humane, you might try looking at most statements when talking about tazers. It usually says "more humane". The word "more" makes a big difference. Of course, getting the right statements wouldn't make as much of an impact or allow a rant.

    As for "Sigh . . . another approved death in the Democratic States of Totalitariansim", so much for reading comprehension... Since when have the RCMP worked in the US?

    This is besides the simple fact of nobody here knows what happened really. The person who made the tape even admitted he'd cut if off to save storage space. It shows the suspect barricading himself in, smashing the computer, then it cuts out until the RCMP shows up. Oh, and might I point out one other thing EVERYONE here seemed to miss...

    "He then "picks up a small table, which he holds, while a woman in the arrivals lounge calmly speaks to him in apparent effort to calm him down".

    So much for the argument of language barrier in trying to calm him down. Someone had been trying for minutes and it hadn't work, thus reinforcing the idea of him being a danger.

    And as for the idio... i mean person who says police should have to explain why they'd use a firearm when they use a tazer... Tazer's are non-lethal deterrents. Nothing near the same as a firearm. Firearms are designed to be lethal. Yes, deaths happen. It's called an accident. The 4 RCMP officers take him down physically, he has a heart attack. Should they have to explain that as well? .00018% death rate. That's probably a better chance than from a baton strike. Chance of hitting a vital spot because suspect moved (throat or temple for example), chance of a bruise clotting and moving to brain, etc. Add it all up, and I'll bet there's a higher death rate for batons. Almost the only medical condition that will cause a death with tazer is seriously defective heart or brain condition.

    Bah, why am I trying. People will still post just to be the "cool anarchist" and show how much they disdain authority figures.

  86. Neil Hoskins

    Blood sugar levels?

    I only watched half way, but if I saw somebody acting like that I'd assume he was a diabetic going hypo. My instinct would be to try to help him rather than attack him. This is a sad reflection of modern city society: we'll ignore people when they need help but attack them if they become an inconvenience.

  87. Adam Foxton

    Get more evidence!

    Why not give the police Hat/Helmet Cameras like bikecops have started using (smaller, probably)? They way we can see from (pretty much) their POV what was happenning, record what they said and have a record of what went on. And with 4 police in the room- or even in a more standard pair of officers- if one camera "happenned" to 'fail' at just the right moment, there'd be another officers' camera that hadn't failed; cameras are reliable enough that 4 wouldn't be failing at once!

    Or even mount small cameras on the Tazer, so when it's armed (or safety's off or whatever the equivalent is for Ready To Shoot) it's recording what it shoots at.

    And the best point- they could recycle older ("mere" 3 or so MP, i.e. ones shops won't even sell anymore but that are perfectly suitable for the job at hand) cameras, lowering their costs, reducing our waste and helping save the world!

  88. bambi

    Judge Dread

    Judge, Jury and Executioner....

    Fantasy? Or are we already very close to this distopian nightmare.....

  89. Joe M

    @Adam - Just to reinforce your comment

    Good comment. Any force used against a suspect, be it spray, baton or manual restraint, can be lethal in some circumstances, but the Taser is a weapon of last resort. In other words it is meant to be used instead of a firearm in a situation when the use of deadly force is justified. It has a significant risk of injury and death and this is well known to all police forces using it.

    It is not, repeat not a disabling or containment device and should never be used as such. So the question of when a Taser should be used is simple: is deadly force justified or not? From the evidence of its almost routine use in North Amerca (evidence the current incident) I would say that there is a lot of police and security training still needed there.

  90. Joe M

    @No Justification?

    I recommend you read a slim volume called "Flaws and Fallacies in Statistical Thinking" by Stephen K. Campbell so that you may understand just how ridiculous your claims about the the safety of "non-lethal" Tasers are.

    The .00018 percent you quote (see above why this is a meaningless figure) has so far resulted in the deaths of over 70 people in the US alone.(Just one story http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/10/12/earlyshow/main648859.shtml)

    If used correctly, Tasers are a good tool and can actually save lives. If used correctly!

  91. Robin
    Thumb Up

    A shame it happened, but this Canadian has no issue with incident

    It is a shame this guy died. He didn't deserve it. Truth is, he should not have been travelling alone. And if there was no way to avoid him travelling alone, then his mother should have dealt with his isolation issue long before 10 hours had elapsed.

    We've all of us seen the changes in how airports are run. No country is immune. If you have a child (of any age) who is mentally handicapped, it is your responsibility to make sure he travels well. His mother didn't do that - he paid the price for it.

    As to the issue of tasers themselves, while it is tragic what happened to this man, I'm sure the dozens of others who didn't end up paying their local hospital to pick bullets out of their chests appreciate that tasers are now standard issue with Canadian airport police.

    I know that in the event that I should take a sudden departure from both an airport and my sanity, I would be much happier waking up with a little tingling feeling in my toes and fingers than to wake up in intensive care. And if it turns out that I wake up outside the pearly gates instead, well, at least they tried.

  92. Mark Price
    Unhappy

    In a democracy

    the police don't kill people. Its not part of their job. Ever. Stop, Period. End

    Being angry isn't a criminal offence; throwing a PC or a chair isn't an executable offence; being in an airport isn't an imprisonable offence.

    I can accept the police were struggling to restrain the guy, but their training must have told them you don't repeatedly hit someone with tasers.

    For all those terrified that their might be another terrorist out there - well yes there might be, but when you start treating the entire population as potential criminals, then you're giving in to the terrorists.

    The correct answer is to carry on living life in a civilised manner, with minimal disruption. Sadly governments on both side of the Atlantic appear to be taking the opportunity to introduce methods that we thought had disappeared when the Wall came down.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Restraint

    The police are not the only constituency which are required to restrain "unruly individuals". Mental health orderlies are also tasked with subduing "violent nutcases" and they are *required* to do it without harm. They seem to manage most of the time; why can't the cops? 3 or 4 to one odds and you should be able to take him down gently. My other half worked in special needs education and there were times when 4 or so *teachers* (mostly female and not physically impressive) were required to restrain 18 year old, husky, pupils without causing harm, and they managed it routinely.

    I'm sure 4 Parises could have taken him down without too much of a struggle.

  94. Eileen Bach

    foreigners

    Just a thought to add to my previous point - Do we know if these officers perhaps served in another country before RCMP? As I say, Just a thought!

    My perception of RCMP still holds.

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Title

    I do not understand fellow human beings who say they have no problem with what is shown on the film. Sure it is better to avoid using conventional firearms, but the point is that the situation clearly called for neither. However hard the job of policing is, if you can not control the situation without resorting to excess violence, then it is clearly not the job for you.

    I don't think the law officers involved should have "a leg to stand on", but I have little doubt any subsequent investigation will find in their favour, will claim the situation was bad enough to use deadly force, and it is just an unfortunate accident. How many will believe it though, is another matter.

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Airport suffering

    Just a quick clarification to some of the comments by Andy Bright...

    Unless they've radically changed the Vancouver international terminal in the past 8 months, they don't let people wander aimlessly or sit around for 10 hours. Generally the only way you end up there that long is if customs/immigration has some issue or question with your documentation or goods. In those situations YOU are detained, no one else is permitted to stay with you, and if any asks for you or an announcement put over the speakers, the only answer given is "We are not allowed to comment". You are also (in that situation) not allowed to have anyone in the airport contact you or receive messages.

    So if the translator phone lines were down, what would have happened is this chap would have been separated from his family, stuck in an office for 10 hours without food, only allowed to the bathroom with an escort, babbled at in a language he doesn't know and can't get translated, not allowed to communicate with his family and undergoing endless frustration while they investigate and sort out any visa or customs questions. Even with nothing else, it's a rather a frustrating experience.

    And before you point out that a customs check doesn't take that long, in Canada if you are selected for a full inspection this can include them examining EVERY file on your computer, palm and any discs you may have. The last time I had this happen to me, it took 4 hours for me to clear customs.

  97. Andus McCoatover

    @Curtis W. Rendon

    <<Clear case of a nut job vandalizing furniture>>

    Yeah.

    He's ceo if Microsoft. If that fat bastard lobs a chair in my general direction, I'll surely Taser the fucker.

  98. Michael

    The problem

    While I agree that using excessive force is bad, the problem is that the only credible argument that excessive force was used in this case is that is resulted in the death of the man. Constantly people on these comments have said things like "did the man deserve to die?" and no, of course not. In that same regard, the officers weren't trying to kill him. The force used, tazing, was plenty warranted.

    The problem is that too many posters here can't divorce the justification (or lack thereof) of the polices' actions from the outcome. Too many people here use the argument "the man died, therefore excessive force was used" completely ignoring the fact that the force used is in the vast majority of cases, NON-LETHAL. I agree that lethal force is excessive in this case. However, police didn't use lethal force. Because a man dies from "non-lethal force" does not make it the police's fault.

    I could be one concussion away from a coma and you wouldn't know that, and if i resist arrest and get my head whacked by a police baton, putting me into a coma that I ultimately die from, is that also excessive force??? Clearly not.

    You see, to properly evaluate whether the appropriate amount of force was used, one must ignore events transpiring AFTER the force was applied. In the same way that a cop must justify firing his sidearm -- "the suspect wasn't killed" doesn't get the officer out of jusitfying opening fire. Nor should "the man ended up dying" be damning to the officers' whose level of force was entirely appropriate, given the information available to them at the time.

  99. CSQuake
    Thumb Down

    Another thought

    Can someone please rewatch that video towards the end, after the guy had been tazer'd at least once if not more, I'm sure one of the guards lifts and strikes down several times his truncheon in the general area of where the victims head is ..... not a smack with the full length, but with the end pointing downwards. If the tazer'ing hadn't of killed him first, I'm sure this would escpecially if it were his temple.

    What happened to the negotiations ...

    What happened to the time the guards would need to assess the victims condition (mental or otherwise).

    From what I saw they just went in tazer's blazing.

  100. Maty

    dangerous

    I don't quite get how - as some people seem to think - that the cops might have suspected this guy was on drugs or had a 'dangerous needle' in his pocket. He was coming off an international flight. Generally speaking even a nail file isn't going to make it onto the plane. If someone in an international arrivals area is going to be automatically considered 'armed and dangerous' by the police, then, frankly anyone on the planet at any time should be so considered.

    This is one of the side effects of 'airport security' - those charged with protecting us manage it to such good effect that people can get so angry and frustrated that they become a danger to themselves and others. I've been stuck in airport queues for literally hours, and made to stand through it all with a bad hip. Somehow those 'its for your own good and we apologize for the inconvenience' signs become less relevant after 60 min or so.

  101. daniel Bronze badge
    Boffin

    @Adam Foxton

    There is a camera equipped taser... The cam is mounted on a battery that is inserted in the hand grip. It is activated I believe when the finger is placed on the trigger (placed - not pulled).

    For a couple of hundered €/$ Archos makes a video player/recorder which can recored hours of data onto a hard disk with what looks to be a robust camera (can be helmet or handlebar mounted) - it's cheaper than a taser or a handgun, very probably lighter and could be a decent addition to any police kit, recording sound and image over several hours, and just needs to be cleared when recharged - and would be deemed "strange" if 2 coppers video feeds "stopped" at the same time during an "incident".

    They may want to make a more robust version without a screen to avoid the cops themselves getting mugged :)

  102. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Michael

    If I get into a fight in a bar and punch someone and they die, I will not get done for murder, as there is no way one punch SHOULD kill someone, but I will still be done for manslaughter. Just because the police didn't mean to kill him doesn't mean they are free from blame, or consequences. Being a member of the police force doesn't give you carte blanche to assault people, just the latitude to deal with circumstances in a reasonable manner. And that means bringing the SITUATION under control, not as too many police think these days, the PERSON under control.

    These "officers" didn't do that. They had no reason to taze the man. If he had been held for hours in this room, then all they had to do was leave the room when he became agitated. No danger to their lives was present. If the penalty for vandalism is now death, with no judge or jury involved, then welcome to the middle ages.

    And ironically, the fundamentalist moslems claim this type of action as the preferred one for the decadent west to adopt. Looks like they're getting their wish. Soon we'll be cutting off hands for crimes of theft (again).

    I'll tell you one thing, if I'm ever in the situation where it looks like I'm going to get hit by a tazer for no reason, then you can bet I'll make sure I get my punch in first, as it could be a fight to the death. Or maybe I'll start to travel armed. Why should one side have all the firepower ? The bloody police are supposed to work for US !

  103. Mark

    @ CS Quake

    I dont think the officer is using the baton to strike to the temple, which would carry a massive inherent risk of being a lethal blow.

    Merely that it was a spring loaded retractable baton, and the officer was using the ground to push againts the spring and retract it.

  104. Tawakalna
    Unhappy

    it just amazes me..

    ..how much pseudo-intellectual gymnastics people can make to justify cops killing people unnecessarily. I dare say those of you who thought that this killing was perfectly ok also have similar opinions about Jean Charles de Menezes (brains blown out for looking foreign) or Nicholas Gaubert (tasered and threatened with a real gun when having a hypoglaecemic fit because the cops thought that he looked "egyptian") or do I have to go back as far as Derek Bentley (executed because the cops couldn't pin it on the real killer)

    it also amazes me that you haven't got the basic human decency to feel pity for an innocent man's death. What's wrong with you? Enjoy killing flies and drowning kittens too much when you were little?

    I used to like Canada. I used to like America, Britain and Australia too, but not anymore. Countries where people can be shot for being the wrong colour or not speaking English aren't exactly places I want to stay in for any time (or even visit, after the 3hr lock up I got in JFK a while back because the security guy wanted a pound coin for his collection and I wouldn't let him have one - true story that)

    Seems like El Reg message boards are turning out like everywhere else these days, split between decent NORMAL people who believe in freedom and peoples' basic rights, and right-wing goons who think that everything is justified in the name of fighting "terrorism" - shame really, I love the Reg. But I can't mix with the sort of people who think it's ok to tase a sick man to death.

  105. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Tasser safe?

    This guy was the 16th victim in Canda only. Few days later (17 Oct) there was another one - Quilem Registre. Surely, oridinal wrestling is less dagerous. Tasser is safe alternative to *gun*, not to wrestling. Also, this poor fellow had been traveling for 15 hours at least (probably few more to get to the airport in Poland) before being put in customs zone for another 10 - I hope this explains his mental state (if it does not, put yourself in such travel). At this time his mother enquired airport personnel about him at least 4 times, waiting for him 6 hours after his planed landed - and received no information at all. I agree it was not a very smart idea to travel alone not knowing the language, but 4 tassers shots? It's bloody murder.

  106. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Title

    > If a police(person) or military(person) isn't willing to die in the line of duty they are in the wrong line of work

    Well, that clarifies everything then, doesn't it? Life would be much better if the cops would just understand that they're worthless shits that ought to sacrifice themselves rather than actually use the equipment with which they're issued to protect themselves...

    > Mental health orderlies are also tasked with subduing "violent nutcases" and they are *required* to do it without harm. They seem to manage most of the time; why can't the cops?

    The cops can, if they only have to deal with mental health patients who are detained in mental hospitals. But the cops work outside, in the real world. You might want to visit it, sometime... :-)

    > It has a significant risk of injury and death and this is well known to all police forces using it.

    Errrmmm... actually no, it doesn't. No evidence of it whatsoever: and before you get too excited about "deaths associated with the use of taser", in the States, if someone gets tasered, and it doesn't work, so gets shot, that's recorded as "a death associated with the use of taser". Great: excellent research methodology, NOT...

    Scott Michaels: thanks for taking the trouble to pen such a detailed account: it saves the rest of the sane world from having to respond to the hysteria and plain FUD spouting from the froth-flecked mouths of some of the nutters on this thread.

    And the post mortem examination on this guy must have been held in an aircraft hanger, what with all the know-all contributors above having been present to learn that it was the tasers that killed him, not anything else. Jeez.

  107. Taskis

    Knee-Jerkin' (and @Tawakalna)

    Tiny general points first: TASER is a trademark acronym: it's spelt with an 'S', not a 'Z'; it's in full caps; and there is no verb 'to tase'. And no, I don't work for them. I just have a thing about back-formations (the same thing happened when someone decided you could 'lase' something with a laser - also an acronym).

    Right, now in reply to Tawakalna, and sorry in advance for the ludicrously long 'comment':

    << do I have to go back as far as Derek Bentley (executed because the cops couldn't pin it on the real killer) >>

    I'd suggest that you think carefully about the words "do I have to go back as far as". It could be argued that the fact that you've had to go back that far in order to come up with enough high-profile examples says something in itself. It's worth bearing in mind the vastly greater number of times that police DON'T shoot before making a judgement that they're all callous thugs who love nothing more than torturing and killing the citizenry. Time and time and time again, the police in our countries are faced with potentially dangerous situations, yet DON'T pull the trigger. But when they bring an incident to a *peaceful* conclusion, where's the praise? There is none: after all, in those cases, they're just doing the jobs they're paid to do, right? By the "I Pay Your Wages" crowd. Right? But when the trigger is pulled or the baton applied then suddenly it's a sign that George Orwell Was Right and the whole place is going to the dogs and Up The Revolution. It doesn't seem to occur to anyone that what happened in this case was, to put it bluntly, a massive screw-up and (like most disasters) an unfortunate convergence of circumstances.

    Before you jump on me for having the gall to defend the Evil Copper Filth, as I've said already it's a given that something went wrong here - this man should NOT be dead, any more than Jean-Charles De Menezes or Derek Bentley should be dead. Something went wrong, something was DONE wrong, that's probably someone's fault, and an inquiry must weigh the facts and, if necessary, apportion blame. But I'd draw your attention to this bit, too:

    << Seems like El Reg message boards are turning out like everywhere else these days, split between decent NORMAL people who believe in freedom and peoples' basic rights, and right-wing goons who think that everything is justified in the name of fighting "terrorism" >>

    That's precisely what the problem is. Not only El Reg but in just about every net or media forum in the free world, there is a split between those who think one thing and those who think the polar opposite. Seems now there are only ever two sides to any story - and when it crops up on the news you picks your side and grabs your pitchfork.

    People settle far too quickly and too easily on knee-jerk extreme responses, and rarely seem to step back, take a breath, and consider the facts of the situation. In this case, for example (and stop me if I'm getting repetitive), there's the fact that none of us were there, and none of us know anything about it other than what we've been told. Even what we see on the video depends to some extent on the context we've been given by others. Does the video show the guy has mental health problems? No. Does the video show he'd been waiting in the airport for ten hours? No. Does the video show that his mother lived in Canada? No. What the run-up to the incident was? No. What the officers had been told prior to their arrival? No. Aside from what we see, all we know is what we're being told by other sources - yet almost everyone here is quite happy to make an enormous emotional investment in that information and adopt a position that determines in which direction they should aim their ostentatious outrage.

    We're all too eager to show off our indignation or make our political statements. The simple fact is, and I'm speaking in general terms now, not specifically about this incident, that freedoms and rights have to be balanced with responsibilities and duties, and that our rights have to have boundaries if we're to function as a society. That is why even a free society has to have some form of policing. Some would argue - and I'd agree entirely - that it's the erosion of those boundaries, and the disproportionate focus on individual rights above social responsibilities, that's leading the UK (for one) down its current path. The resultant rising crime and awareness of crime, and accompanying fall in respect for life and property, is fuelling the fear that's now pervading even our once-stoic society and leading us to accept increasing government controls. It's not the terrorists that are terrorising us. They're just enjoying the show. Even the government - and this is heresy, I know - isn't terrorising us: they're just taking advantage of our terror. The only people who are terrorising us is *us*. Our hysteria and our perfunctory, thoughtless, emotionally-rooted responses to every situation are precisely what is making us vulnerable to this sort of manipulation, and the comments page on this article has been a prime example of it.

  108. Robert Hill

    The Gaubert incident...

    Just to show how prevalent this is becoming, and even WITHOUT barricading yourself or throwing tables... :

    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news?articleid=3489707

    Apparently, wearing a medical emergency bracelet advising of your diabetic condition doesn't even help, because the "brave men in blue" are too scared to approach you and see if you are wearing it without killing you first...

    Robert

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Steep Learning Curve?!?!?!

    So each police force that deploys tasers has to personally experience one death associated with the use of such a weapon before they realise that actually it's not as non-lethal as the marketing blurb would have you believe.

    I'm trying to work out why at no point in this tragic sequence of events did anyone try and look at his passport, luggage tags, immigration card or anything else that might indicate that this man was Polish and maybe even put an announcement over the airport PA system to see if any Polish speakers might be willing to help. I guess that would be to much like proactive thinking.

  110. Tawakalna

    @Taskis

    those are fair comments, in the main. I'll come to the later part of your post in a mo.

    I made the leap to Derek Bentley because I couldn't be bothered at the time to list all the others that there've been, but they all seem follow similar patterns even if the exact circumstances are different - Harry Stanley, Stephen Waldorf, Jim Ashley, Christopher Alder, the Forest Gate raid, Rigoberto Alpizar (sp?) in the US, this incident in Canadia and lately Nicholas Gaubert, just to name the high profile ones; I just wanted to get on with my point and I can only type so much, you know!

    Of course the Bentley case is different because that was a deliberate fit up, but the Police made sure he'd be executed knowing full well that he wasn't guilty, so that's institutional murder. The Alder case, although a death in Police custody rather than a shooting, is comparable because the Police were stood around laughing at this poor man as he died on the floor and were humiliating him in the process, watching him die as he struggled for breath with his trousers round his ankles lying in a pool of blood - how is that different from Christine Lakiniski, the poor disabled woman who lay dying while some scumbag p*ssed on her and took video of it on his mobile? The difference is of course that when it's the Police who do it, the Establishment bends over backwards to get them off on the flimsiest of excuses.

    What really galls me is that no-one ever takes any responsibility. A grudging apology is occasionally dragged out of the Police (not always) but usually not before the innocent who's been wounded or killed has their character denigrated and their life history dragged through the mud by the right-wing press so that the population at large start to think that, "well, he deserved it really, he was this, he was that, can't blame the Police can you?" The lies that were told about de Menezes are a prime example. If I was ever responsible for killing or seriously injuring someone as part of doing my job, I like to think that I'd be man enough to take the blame - but the Police never do. I've never come across a case where a copper has been decent enough to say "it was my fault" but if anyone knows of any I'm prepared to stand corrected. maybe I'm being very naive to think that people should?

    As far as the Vancouver incident is concerned, no none of us were there. But I did speak to a friend of my who lives in Vancouver to ask him whether or not the reports we've been getting were accurate as far as he knew, so i did make an effort to see beyond the news wire reports. Perhaps I should have mentioned that? I didn't think it a necessary piece of information at the time and I didn't want to sound like a smarty pants.

    Coming to your later part, I tend to agree. This polarisation of opinion, which I'm often as guilty of as anyone else, is dangerous and unhealthy. What bothers me is that when it comes to incidents like this where innocent people are killed or seriously wounded, basic human compassion and respect for life seem to fly out of the window. I'm sorry, but I just can't see any excuse for that. What's wrong with people that they can't express at least some compassion for someone who got killed because he was lost and scared in a country that was alien to him? I think, or at least I hope, that the RCMP didn't go in with the intention of killing him - but it seems pretty obvious that they made no genuine effort to restrain him and set out to hurt him quite badly. Can you imagine the terror and confusion must have been going through his mind in those last few seconds that he was alive while they were pumping shock after shock into him, and apparently giving him a good beating too? But it's a given that they'll get away with it, once again it won't be anyone's fault (except a dead man who can't speak for himself anymore)

    Yet there are some people who post here who think that's perfectly alright, completely excusable, and those are the people that I have a problem with. Maybe I am being naive but I still place a value on life, but increasingly it seems that fewer people do. Erosion of civil liberties and lack of Police accountability are just part of an overall decline in basic standards of decency and responsibility and I'm old enough to remember a time when things weren't as bad as this. And it upsets me, it really does.

  111. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    Seems to be moving until...

    ...the cop on the right starts hitting something with the sharp end of his baton.

    I can only see the video like you all but he seems to be moving up until that point.

    It'll be interesting to see exactly what the cause of death is, it may not have been the Taser.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More info

    I live in Vancouver and I've heard a lot of news reports and interviews on this matter. Some things you may not have known:

    The victim was on his first airplane flight. It may well have been his first travel out of Poland. His mother works as a cleaner and he was coming to live with her. This was not a sophisticated traveler; possibly not that sophisticated generally. Amongst the voluminous local coverage, there has been no mention of mental illness. Perhaps someone claiming that could provide a reference?

    There have been several reports from people familiar with the RCMP that they ship their problem children to the airport detail.

    The initial statement by an RCMP spokesman, presumably based on reports from the officers involved, was factually incorrect in most of the assertions made. At that point the RCMP were sitting on the memory card and camera. The owner, who had missed a connection and was waiting in the area, had to hire a lawyer and file suit about a week later to get them to return it. The coverup was well underway, but was being compromised by the many interviews from outraged eyewitnesses.

    The victim had cleared immigration, but had somehow remained in a secured area for all these hours, without being questioned, challenged, or helped. It took the airport authorities about a week and a half to provide any comment to the press, and then the CEO provided no answers whatsoever, saying the secured area was out of his responsibility and under the sole control of the gov't customs and immigration. To my knowledge that dept. has still not responded to press inquiries on the incident.

    Local reports have mentioned only 2 or 3 TASER shots, not 4, but have mentioned one of the officers kneeling on the victim's neck once he was on the ground.

    To the Andy Brights and other police sycophants, the actions of the officers in immediately resorting to deadly force violates RCMP training and procedures. The victim was in a secured area, separated from the public by thick glass, and was unarmed. Remember, he'd come through all the security and screening checks required for his flight and had not left secured areas during that time.

    This incident brings up issues far beyond merely the TASER. One of the major issues locally is police investigating themselves. There have been a number of outrageous incidents here in recent years resulting in deaths and in all cases the ranks have closed and there have been essentially no consequences.

  113. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm worried

    As a mentally ill person who takes medication twice a day I'm a bit worried. And as my brother is a type 1 diabetic I'm a bit worried for him. I've seen him spasm and fight ambo trying to help him because he has lost the ability to reason.

    And as for me I have rearly gotten violent due to my metal illness (idiots are a diffrent story). I've only ever damaged inanimate objects. Hurting other people is just not in my nature. Even when smashing things up (very rare) I have been restrained with no more than a hand on my shoulder and a few reasuring words. I'm not the worst out there but then I do fly around on my own.

    This is anon because the level of stigmam, fear and missinformation about mental illness is rediculious everywhere in the world.

  114. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Taskis: We may not know all the facts, but

    Even when we do, hearing them from a court of law, as opposed to a tabloid, it doesn't really make a difference.

    Just after they shot de Menezes, it was clear to me that something was not right, since the suspect terrorist didn't have any bombs on him - else the police would have bent over backwards to "leak" that to the press.

    So when I said that this was a summary execution... outrage outrage, "he was a terrorist", "these people deserve to die", blah blah.

    Right. Then it turned out it was a "tragic mistake". Well, that's at least manslaughter then, if not murder. The response: "he was wearing a bulky jacket", "he didn't stop after the police ordered him to" and "he vaulted the tube barriers", basically he deserved to die for acting suspiciously - notoriously a crime punishable with 7 bullets in your brain, without all the hassle of going to court.

    Very well. Then it turned out that he was simply boarding a train. "Damned if they do, damned if they don't", "split second decision", "cocaine", "rape", "illegal immigrant", bullshit bullshit.

    Oookaaay... Then it turned out that the shoot-to-kill policy, which is still in place so far as we know, produced Forest Gate. Now, deciding to keep that idiotic policy in place was not a split-second decision, was it? And yet another perfectly innocent person almost got killed because of the circumstances that this policy created. "But we are at war and therefore it's right to trade off [other people's] civil rights, it's for our own security". "Plus look, they found some porn on the raghead's PC [another 'leak'], he's not so innocent now, is he?"

    Whoa, excellent, I'm as good as dead then. Next it turns out (again, not from rumours, but from the IPCC) that Sir Ian Blair tried to delay the investigations, that the plod said that they shouted "armed police" while all witnesses said independently that they did not quite hear that, etc etc. Basically, that there was an attempt to cover this up. This is in black and white, this is fact, documented. Does anyone think that any charges to prevent the course of justice will be pressed? Does anyone think that shoot-to-kill will be revoked any time soon?

    So excuse me if I judge the video I see in front of me for what it is: a document showing four (not three) policemen that ask a guy to hold still right there, and after he calmly complies they shoot him unnecessarily instead of defusing the situation. Never mind all the airport fuck ups and all the context, four policemen tasering a compliant guy is precisely what we can see in the video.

    Eagerly waiting for yet another whitewash.

  115. Brett

    @Scott Michaels

    I notice your source is Police Chief magazine in 2005. Biased and outdated perhaps? Perhaps not as I'm no expert but that was my first thought.

    Considering since that time tasers are now defined as "less lethal" weapons in Australia someone thinks that they have a high enough percentage chance to kill. Consider that you can kill more than .00018% of the pop with peanuts I think they must have been using different statistics.

    The real problem is the frequency of use. Every jurisdiction that I am familiar with (not many) that introduced tasers used the line "last resort" or similar. It is not becoming fairly routine. Lets assume (because its convenient for my next point) that .00018% fatality rate is accurate and the number of fatalities in America is 70 per year in 2004. So the number of people tasered in 2004 in the USA is about 388 888. Considering that they are now being used more casually in 2007 and in more jurisdictions world wide that’s a lot of people being tasered.

    My biggest problem in this is that he didn't appear to do anything in front of the mounties apart from comply. When he lunged to the side I though that that was why they did it. But on rewatching I realised that he lunged because they tasered him. Having only ever seen tasers done on junkies on COPS I was not prepared to see the effect on someone not on amphetamines.

    Electric shock isn't the only danger associated with tasers. As someone who has had someone die in my family from an epileptic fit (head hit the gutter) I watched in shock as he nearly hit the doors and ground with his head on the way down.

    I do believe tasers serve there purpose but routinely shocking of agitated people who are not direct threats isn't one of them.

  116. Joe M

    @Knee-Jerkin

    Sorry for being slightly off-subject. Re your "Tiny general points first". Unless you speak another language you may not realise how powerful, flexible and generally amazing the English language is. If the aim is to communicate simply and concisely, then "to tase", "to lase" etc. are wonderful shortcuts full of meaning and colour (I teased her so she tased me!). If you don't believe me try it in Hungarian: "téjserolni".

  117. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    light weight Taze-proof jackets available

    here:

    http://www.leonpaul.com/acatalog/Mens_Foil_Lame_s.html

  118. jonathan keith

    @ Scott Michaels

    Well, I've been assaulted twice and mugged and I'm still a liberal. The rest of your arguments fall down just as easily.

    You need to take a closer look at your definition of "police protection", I think. While you're at it, you might want to examine your views on a state's relationship to its citizens at the same time.

  119. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  120. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Scott Michaels

    > As my father says "A liberal is just a person who hasn't been beaten, mugged, or assaulted yet. Then they instantly become a conservative"

    ...whereas a conservative is just a person who needs to experience police abuse to understand that civil liberties are there to protect *them* as well as those pesky little ragheads. Then they stay conservative, 'cause that's what their father told them.

  121. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Cops suck

    Being a cop attracts a certian type of person, the kind of person that that gets an erection when a situation comes up where they may get to use thier gun or tase somebody. This is one good thing about the video camera era where the lense will catch all even what law enforcement does not want it to...

  122. Taskis

    @ Anonymous Coward

    << Even when we do, hearing them from a court of law, as opposed to a tabloid, it doesn't really make a difference. >>

    And that's precisely my point: this is why so many people are so willing to swallow everything the tabloids throw at them, to jump through all the designated hoops and indulge in whatever emotional response the media instruct them to. This is why, to go entirely off-topic, Madeleine McCann's* parents have been alternately the heroes and the villains of her story so many times. The media tell us what to think, and we obediently think it.

    << Just after they shot de Menezes, it was clear to me that something was not right, since the suspect terrorist didn't have any bombs on him - else the police would have bent over backwards to "leak" that to the press. >>

    It was clear to everyone that something wasn't right - and sure enough, something wasn't right. But deciding something's not right is one thing: deciding the moment the incident's occurred, and before any inquiry, that you know exactly what went wrong, who's to blame and what should be done to them - well, that's something else entirely.

    << So when I said that this was a summary execution... outrage outrage, "he was a terrorist", "these people deserve to die", blah blah. >>

    Both statements are equally ridiculous. First, your remark that it was a 'summary execution' was emotive and based on your own knee-jerk opinions about law and policing.

    The responses suggesting that the man deserved it were similarly nonsensical, based primarily, it seems, on the responders' immediate feelings about your initial statement (and others like it).

    Yet some people still prefer to reserve judgement, knowing that they do not have enough information with which to make a reliable one.

    << Right. Then it turned out it was a "tragic mistake". Well, that's at least manslaughter then, if not murder. >>

    Possibly - but this forum is not a board of inquiry, and therefore declarations of guilt like this are inane at best.

    << So excuse me if I judge the video I see in front of me for what it is: >>

    You have made it quite clear that you will judge it in accordance with what you expect and want to see: evidence in support of your prejudices and your predetermined opinions. As I said, you have a truth already - it's clear you don't want another one.

    --

    * For those not subjected to the British press, a young British girl who went missing on holiday 200 days ago, whose parents are alternately praised and vilified in the tabloids, depending on which position the editors feel is more newsworthy.

  123. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Taskis

    "You have made it quite clear that you will judge it in accordance with what you expect and want to see"

    No, I judge it in accordance with the law (local and international) and the information at my disposal at that time, both being in the public domain.

    What do you see when you watch that video? Do you not see a man who, despite his complying, receives violence (independently from its nature and effects) from 4 policemen?

    Do you deny the documented fact that Ian Blair went to great lengths to delay the IPCC? Do you deny that the policemen who shot de Menezes agreed on a version of events (strangely in their favour) that conflicts with all independent witnesses?

  124. Liquid

    He wasn't "crazy"

    It seems to myself, that most of you like to place the term "crazy" or "nuts" on this man. He was NOT crazy or nuts, HE HAD A MENTAL DISORDER. It's by using terms like that, that people get a stigma attached to mental illness and won't get the help they deserve and dearly need. This man was closed off from anything for 10 hours. No medication, no food, no water. That will drive a person with mental illness to their trigger points in no time, especially without their medication.

    Let's say it's you as a healthy individual stuck there for 10 hours with a splitting migraine. You would be pretty agitated too. Now think about someone without their medication to help them think rationally and it becomes very easy to show he wasn't "crazy" or "nuts"

    Maybe you should read up on mental illness's and become more informed on what they really are http://www.nimh.nih.gov/

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He had not a mental disorder either

    Can someone please cite a source for that? Thanks.

  126. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    four taser shots ... or whatever witnesses seen

    According to Sima Ashrafinia (who also recorded the incident, although only on a cell phone) there were 4 shots - see http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2007/10/15/taser-death.html - two officers tasered this poor guy at the same time. Well, one thing I can say about Canadian police - cowards beyond imagination. I can imagine they will stay faithful to this role till the end of inquest. BTW, I checked how long he would have traveled to get to the the airport in Poland - 6 or more hours, most probably at night (the plane departed in the morning)

  127. Michael

    @ Alan

    "If I get into a fight in a bar and punch someone and they die, I will not get done for murder, as there is no way one punch SHOULD kill someone, but I will still be done for manslaughter. Just because the police didn't mean to kill him doesn't mean they are free from blame, or consequences."

    Fair enough, but they don't deserve to be crucified either.

    "Being a member of the police force doesn't give you carte blanche to assault people,"

    I never implied that it did.

    "just the latitude to deal with circumstances in a reasonable manner. And that means bringing the SITUATION under control, not as too many police think these days, the PERSON under control."

    I can think of lots of cases where the easiest way to control the situation IS to control the person. Particularly situations where the person and their actions ARE the situation.

    "These "officers" didn't do that. They had no reason to taze the man. If he had been held for hours in this room, then all they had to do was leave the room when he became agitated. No danger to their lives was present."

    Yes, but police are also charged with protection of property, which this man was wilfully destroying.

    "If the penalty for vandalism is now death, with no judge or jury involved, then welcome to the middle ages."

    Again, tazers are in the vast majority of cases non-lethal. You're making the same argument that because the outcome was death, that the action was too harsh. By your same argument, if I get shanked whilst spending an overnight in jail for petty theft, the punishment was too severe, because it resulted in my death. The logic just isn't there. I'm not saying your conclusion is necessarily invalid, merely that you've got to come up with a better way to substantiate it.

    "And ironically, the fundamentalist moslems claim this type of action as the preferred one for the decadent west to adopt. Looks like they're getting their wish. Soon we'll be cutting off hands for crimes of theft (again)."

    Sensationalism, so I'll ignore it, as it ultimately has no bearing on the discussion.

    I'll tell you one thing, if I'm ever in the situation where it looks like I'm going to get hit by a tazer for no reason, then you can bet I'll make sure I get my punch in first, as it could be a fight to the death."

    Throwing the punch will justify the tazer hit, so any sympathy or legal ground you will have had to stand on will vanish. Throwing a punch seems kind of silly vs a tazer, so this strikes me as being equally sensationalist.

    "Or maybe I'll start to travel armed. Why should one side have all the firepower?"

    By all means, do so. But that doesn't give you an excuse to 1) throw shit around in an airport, or 2) fire on police, so I again, fail to see the merit of the comment.

    "The bloody police are supposed to work for US!"

    First the technical argument: The RCMP work for Canadians, which this man was NOT.

    Secondly, I agree, the police work for us. All of us. And that means getting a man who is becoming more volatile and potentially dangerous, out of a situation where can cause harm to others.

    Perhaps this should have been accomplished by removing the public from the area.

    Perhaps the RCMP should have merely guarded the man, to make sure he did not cause harm to anyone, pending the arrival of someone who can speak his language, which could take even longer.

    Perhaps there was only one way out of the international terminal, and a few hundred people were waiting, and so to expedite things, the decision was made to detain the man (he DID break the law, after all) and then sort out an interpreter.

    Ultimately, when you break the law and refuse to comply with police orders, you'll be detained, forcibly if necessary. Though what happened is tragic, and in hindsight, subjectively better methods of detainment may have resulted in a better outcome, given the information the RCMP would have had, in my opinion, their actions were not excessive.

    As far as manslaughter goes, you're only likely to be charged if the death is a result of malice (you punch someone, and by some chance, it kills them), or negligence (you drive drunk and kill someone). The question of whether they were malicious or negligent, however, is one to be answered by the legal process, and not the court of public opinion.

  128. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Correcting a persistent error

    No Mental Illness. None.

    No alcohol or drugs found in his body either. He had recently quit smoking. He'd been unemployed for a while, was leaving a relationship with an alcoholic woman, had been living in a deplorable building, had never been outside Poland, was looking forward to being reunited with his mother. His father had died when he was young, no siblings. Mother had taken a foreign job that was supposed to be temporary, but her stay had lengthened due to a relationship. He was looking forward to a fresh start and seeing her again and had apparently been reading up on Canada.

    We have the winter Olympics here in 2010. We're just practicing so we'll be ready when you smartasses who complain about cops come to visit.

  129. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Filth

    The filth got it very wrong. Taser the bugger once, then 4 (for those who can't do the math, the Pole was outnumbered by apparently TRAINED professionals), coppers cuff the convulsing man and lob him in the van. Job done.

    Not:

    taser taser, cuff, taser, taser, whack with batton.

    I have seen 4 Brit transport coppers take out a guy at a station. They pinned him down, cuffed him and took him to the van. He was swearing at them and threatening then for the duration. Thats how professional coppers do it. Are mounties "coppers lite" or just girly-men?

  130. Taskis

    @Anonymous Coward (For Last Time)

    << No, I judge it in accordance with the law (local and international) >>

    You've already declared it 'manslaughter', and that without the benefit of all the facts. This board's contributors don't even know the full circumstances: as shown by the disagreements over whether or not the man was mentally ill. But your confident declaration of the officers' guilt shows me that you judge the situation in accordance with your own immediate feelings and preferred interpretation of the law (local and international); not to mention your existing opinion of the police. The same applies to all those who are here making absolute statements in either direction about the incident.

    My argument is that one video clip and a few lines in a news article do not constitute the basis for a sound judgement; but that those who already entertain a specific agenda use what they have in the way they wish to use it. Based on your comments I stand by that argument.

    << What do you see when you watch that video? Do you not see a man who, despite his complying, receives violence (independently from its nature and effects) from 4 policemen? >>

    I see the culmination of a situation the bulk of which I was not there to witness; and I see the tragic death of a man who, as I've repeatedly stated, should not be dead. Note that nowhere have I claimed that the officers were NOT culpable, nor that action should not be brought against them. My position throughout this discussion has been that one's immediate emotional response, or one's feeling about law, or the police in general, should not be used as the basis of a conclusion; and that those (such as yourself) who happily rely on their emotions to judge this situation are liable to reach unreliable conclusions, albeit ones that satisfy their own preconceived ideas.

    << Do you deny the documented fact that Ian Blair went to great lengths to delay the IPCC? Do you deny that the policemen who shot de Menezes agreed on a version of events (strangely in their favour) that conflicts with all independent witnesses? >>

    I deny neither. See above. Now, how would you regard a legal system that, faced with, say, a burglary suspect, found him guilty on the basis of the established guilt of another man, in another country in an otherwise unrelated case? I suspect that any good libertarian would protest such a system fiercely. Yet this is the argument that you offer here: because the Metropolitan Police behaved dishonestly over de Menezes, so the Canadian police are guilty of manslaughter in this case.

    Again, for clarity, and as my last comment on this article, if the police officers involved in this case are found guilty of a disciplinary or criminal offence after a *thorough independent inquiry* has weighed all the available facts, then let them face the consequences. However, I continue to believe that our society's current obsession with and preference for immediate and superficial emotional expression rather than considered evaluation is deeply unhealthy.

  131. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No right to an opinion?

    So let me get this right Tarski, are you objecting to people having an opinion of their own and interpreting the World events according to it in a public forum?

    You will notice that none of us posting anonymously on a blog - which incidentally is obviously very likely to attract POLARIZED opinions on the subject - influences the jury.

    I think nobody suggested that de Menezes implies guilt of the Canadian police, merely I believe it was argued that even after a verdict is reached some questions may remain unanswered, because "all the facts" are NEVER known.

    Therefore, you are welcome to wallow in your solipsism, but you have no right to ask anybody to refrain from expressing their judgment at any time.

  132. JeffyPooh Silver badge

    Another one, just down the road from here...

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2007/11/22/taser-death.html

    Not even 12 miles from here. Geesh.

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