RCMP officers planned to taser Robert Dziekanski, e-mail suggests

An e-mail suggests that the four RCMP officers involved in the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski discussed using the stun gun before they confronted the newly arrived Polish immigrant at the Vancouver airport.

The e-mail sent by RCMP Chief Supt. Dick Bent to RCMP deputy commissioner Al Macintyre was disclosed today (June 19) in what was supposed to be the first day of closing submissions at the Braidwood inquiry.

Testifying before the inquiry, the four Mounties had said under oath that they did not talk about how to deal with a man who was reported to be causing some commotion at the airport.

Dziekanski was zapped repeatedly with a Taser by Const. Kwesi Millington seconds after he came face to face with the RCMP team led by Cpl. Benjamin Montgomery Robinson.

The four Mounties had claimed that they feared for their safety when Dziekanski picked up an office stapler.

“Finally, spoke to Wayne and he indicated that the members did not articulate that they saw the symptoms of excited delirium, but instead had discussed the response en route and decided that if he did not comply that they would go to CEW,” stated the e-mail read at the inquiry by commission counsel Art Vertlieb.

CEW stands for conducted energy weapon—an innocuous-sounding name for the weapon that shoots up to 50,000 volts of electricity into a person’s body.

Bent was referring to Supt. Wayne Rideout, then head of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team that was investigating Dziekanski’s death, in the e-mail he dispatched on November 5, 2007, about three weeks after Dziekanski died at the airport.

Retired judge Thomas Braidwood decided to adjourn the inquiry until September 22, saying the disclosure of the e-mail will require further testimony.



Stan Wright

Jun 19, 2009 at 5:07pm

In my recollection, the gentleman who recorded the famous video also told the press at the time he made it public that he had heard the cops discuss their tasering plan as they arrived on the scene.


Jun 19, 2009 at 8:12pm

Is it too soon to say definitively that the miraculous appearance of this email is how someone above the rank of Corporal doesn't get demoted or shit canned for this atrocity?

Values & Ethics

Jun 20, 2009 at 8:14am

To some this might seem unbelievable. But there is at least one other incident that indicates the RCMP might well be making premeditated decisions to use the Taser regardless of the situation. On July 21, 2007 Adam Dormer was Tasered five timed by Constable Casey Murphy in Banff Alberta – his crime, making friendly overtures to the officer. Murphy was with another constable, Marc-Andre Fournier. Dormer has always believed that Murphy was out to impress Fournier by using the Taser. Why else would he have been Tasered? He was not hostile, combative, argumentative or intoxicated.

Dormer was issued a by-law infraction and charged with resisting arrest. He was ultimately found not guilty, Judge John Reilly said the officers had no reason to arrest him in the first place, that his charter rights had been violated and that Constable Murphy provided deliberately false evidence. The Crown moved to appeal the verdict but on June 12, 2009 the Appeal Court judge dismissed the motion, agreeing with the Trial Judge. Judge Marsha Erb specifically asked the Crown why the Taser had been drawn; the Crown Attorney response was “I don’t know.” Now we know – it was predetermined by Murphy that Dormer, or someone else was to be Tasered that fateful night.

Interestingly, the RCMP Taser attack on Dormer was four months before the attack on Robert Dziekanski. Had a video been available of his attack, or had he died, Mr. Dziekanski might still be alive.

Those officers that attacked Dziekanski and Dormer should suffer the full force of the law.


Jun 20, 2009 at 6:02pm

According to the Vancouver Sun, the email was disclosed to the federal lawyers previously. The question that needs to be asked is why the lawyer did not disclose it before hand when the RCMP gave it to them. Its their responsibility to evaluate and disclose the information. No wonder she was in tears before the inquiry.