Did you see the footage showing RCMP officers in the Vancouver airport using stun guns to shoot an unarmed Polish immigrant who then collapsed and died?

The video – broadcast repeatedly on Canadian and U.S. television networks – showed Mr. F. Dziekanski, a 40 old immigrant who had come to Vancounver to be met by his mother, shrieking in agony after he was hit by 50,000-volt blasts fired by the police. After he was stunned and had fallen to the ground, at least three policemen could be seen kneeling on the man. It is reported the RCMP did everything possible to suppress the video.

The video also shows the man, who did not speak English and could not find his mother, gesticulating, waving a chair, sweating, upset and obviously confused.

The Polish ambassador to Canada was shocked by the reaction of the RCMP: « What I’ve seen was that Mr. Dziekanski (was) a person agitated, frustrated, I think terrified, but not aggressive. » Bystanders in the airport say the man was not a threat.

Judging by the response on radio talk shows today Canadians are outraged by what happened to this confused and helpless man. Imagine anyone anywhere in the world who has a plane ticket to Vancouver. How would they feel?

Surely this is a blot on Canada’s international reputation. The RCMP say they are investigating. Not good enough. The government announced today they will launch an inquiry into the use of tasers. About time.

Were you as horrified as I was by this dreadful video?

Do you think tasers should be banned?



  1. 1
    Chimera Says:

    I saw the video. I’m not convinced it was the taser that killed him. In the aftermatch, it’s possible that he suffocated. Or had his neck broken. The video does not show enough to make an educated guess. And I’m trying not to make an uneducated, visceral guess.

    I don’t think yet that tasers need to be banned. Perhaps dialed back a bit (50,000 volts seem like an awful lot, but it’s not purely the voltage that needs to be considered, as any electrician will tell you). Out of hundreds, and maybe thousands of uses in this country, only 16 deaths related to tasers — not necessarily « caused by » — have occurred.

    That is fewer than any iatrogenic deaths. Or nosocomial deaths.

    Should we also ban doctors? Or hospitals?

  2. 2


    Perhaps a moratorium until the current investigations are completed. I am surprised that more people have not expressed their outrage at this lamentable event even if the taser did not k ill the poor man directly.

  3. 3
    Debra Says:

    I’m also surprised at the lack of outrage on the part of this country to the outlandish number of black men who are shot to death by police — you’d think they’ve been trained to unload their guns as if they were in target practice — only use blacks as targets. This is modern-day lynching. Now the family doesn’t have to gather the kids, grandma and Uncle Bobo to go down to the « noose-hanging tree » for Sunday afternoon entertainment. They can just turn to CNN.

  4. 4
    Chimera Says:

    Oh, lovely. The obligatory « we’re all racists » comment.

    May we get back to regular programming, now that you’ve got that out of your system?

  5. 5
    Oscar Says:

    Debra obviously has a chip on her shoulders. Give me a better, fairer, more tolerant and racially diverse country than Canada and I will move. The truth is this is the greatest country in the world and I have lived in, and travelled to, many countries.

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