Sunday, November 18, 2007

Robert Dziekanski Incident

I had to take a few days to write this post because it was hard to put into words. If you're Canadian then you'll have heard about the tasering death of Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski that took place in Vancouver Intl. Airport last month. And even if you're not Canadian, you may have heard about it. This story has circled the globe.

So why has this story suddenly become front page news for the world a month after the incident? Because a bystander caught the entire incident on video.

To me, the taser is just a replacement for the gun. And you know that there are plenty of people walking around with undiagnosed heart problems. What happens if they happen to get tasered? Who knows.

My issue with the entire incident is that this man spent hours upon hours in the airport and not once did anyone approach him to offer assistance. On the video you could clearly hear bystanders saying to the police that he was speaking Russian, which was obviously incorrect. At an airport with an international clientele surely there would be someone on staff who would have recognized his distress and been able to help him.

I didn't think the news would air the footage. They did mention that all of the major news groups had met and decided to air the footage. I think they were doing it in the name of the public's right to information. You see, the police had confiscated the video and promised to return in within 48 hours. They didn't return the video when promised and it started to look like they were just trying to cover up the incident.

In hindsight I think I should have changed the channel or turned off the tv. I can't tell you how chilling it was to hear Dziezanski screaming and then grow quiet. The idea of seeing a man literally die on public television is repulsive and nauseating. And the police, those officers, how can they justify what they've done? How can they live with themselves?

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