Thursday, November 15, 2007

I Don't Speak English, Please Don't Kill Me!

That subject title may be a necessary T-shirt slogan for all foreigners arriving at Vancouver's International Airport to wear.

I've long been a supporter of the police in our society. While I've never been naive enough to think that any officer is perfect, I've always believed that each of them tries their best each & every day. My faith in this has been badly shaken after watching this video of Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski, being killed (2nd Degree Murder?) via a taser, used by 4 RCMP officers at YVR:

The video speaks for itself. No negotiations were attempted. How difficult would it have been to hand the man a phone to a translation service? In fact, it's clearly heard on the video that the decision to use a taser was decided upon before the police even reached the man. They surrounded him the way a bunch of young thugs would do to a helpless animal in a pen. And then they killed him. After they realized he had stopped breathing, they did absolutely nothing to revive him. Aren't all police officers trained in basic CPR?

Equally appalling was what happened after the fact. The RCMP lied about what really went on there. Then they told the videographer that he wouldn't be getting his footage back for 1 or 2 years. He had to threaten to sue them in order to recover it. After that, the damage control spinsters of the RCMP reminded us that what we saw "was only from one man's perspective". Is their opinion of the public's intelligence really that low?

I lived in Mexico City for a year. From that experience I know first-hand what corrupt police are like and the effects that such corruption have had throughout the entire fabric of Mexican society.

It is thus absolutely imperative to Canadian society that these 4 officers be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Failure to do so will forever destroy the faith that the Canadian public has in our police forces. Police are not given a badge and various weapons with blanket permission to do whatever they want, in a very similar way that BC Ferries workers are not given control of a ship to do with it whatever they want.

This is a pivotal litmus test in the history of our country as to whether people in power will be held accountable for the responsibility they hold. Sadly, I strongly suspect that nothing of consequence will happen and our society will slip deeper into the abyss of incompetence and lack of accountability that we've been heading toward for decades.

Update: An abridged version of this was kindly read by Jon McComb on his show (56:35).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a website that is selling that exact t-shirt.