Tuesday, July 22, 2008

 

Premier Goddam Campbell gets involved in supporting the 4 Constables while Taser death is still under investigation

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Who: Four RCMP constables, Premier Goddam Campbell, Gary Bass, the RCMP deputy commissioner for the Pacific region, and the late Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant who did not speak English, who died on October 14, 2007 after being shot with a Taser stun gun at the Vancouver International Airport by RCMP officers called to help deal with the man, who had apparently become agitated after spending 10 hours there.

What: allegations of collusion or interference between the premier of the province and the police force on November 24 while the death was still being investigated. "Tell me what I can do," said Campbell who himself is the focus of allegations in the BC Rail trial.

Where: at Vancouver International Airport, scene of the Taser death

When: November 24, 2007

Why: to be determined.


[Glossary: The quid pro quo is an offer of help given with an understanding that help will be received in exchange. Commonly known as "You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours."]


The BC Taser Inquiry is a serious, painful public inquiry made necessary by the tragic death of a man in Vancouver International Airport, who was expecting to start a new life in Canada. Instead he died. YouTube showed us that he died unarmed, backing away from four RCMP, and Tasered either one time or 4 times, then knelt upon. We all saw that. We saw the distraught mother who had waited hours to welcome her son, was sent home to Kamloops, then called back to Vancouver and told that her only son was dead.

We saw the reaction of horror ricocheting across Canada and around the world that such a thing could have happened in Canada. We saw the Dziekanski funeral in Poland.

So this is a serious public inquiry with a far-reaching audience. It's important for B.C., for the R.C.M.P., and for Canada that such an inquiry is seen to be fair, impartial, honest. It is doubly important for people (including Basi and Virk) waiting for resolution of the BC Rail Case to be able to look to a Public Inquiry to finally open the books on that mystery, too.

The presiding judge on the Taser Inquiry is retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice Thomas Braidwood. And yet here we have Premier Goddam Campbell -- always refusing to speak about the BCRail Case because "it's before the courts" -- assuring the top cop for the Pacific Region what kind of Public Inquiry it will be: "the inquiry will not be a negative attack on the force," Campbell is alleged to have said. How would he know that? And shouldn't he just stfu while the Taser Inquiry is doing its work? Like, man, "It's before the courts"?

CBC did its homework and obtained, by means of a Freedom of Information request, an e-mail written by Gary Bass, the RCMP deputy commissioner for the Pacific region, on Nov. 24, [which] indicated that Campbell was "highly complimentary" of the police force despite the fact Dziekanski's death on Oct. 14 was still under investigation.

"I just ran into our premier at the airport and we had a great 20-minute discussion on this issue generally.… He was highly complimentary of the force, disappointed over the degree of criticism and wants to support the members involved somehow," Bass wrote in an e-mail addressed to RCMP Commissioner William Elliott and Bill Sweeney, a deputy commissioner and special adviser to the commissioner.

"He [Campbell] asked me to think about what he could do in this regard. … He supports the continued use of Taser and any other tools which support and protect our members. Quid pro quo.

"He said the inquiry will not be a negative attack on the force but a focused examination of all the issues," Bass wrote. What kind of man would express such thoughts on the very site where a Polish man had died after being Tasered?

The B.C. Taser inquiry, headed by retired B.C. Court of Appeal justice Thomas Braidwood, was called after Dziekanski's death. It is one of a number of probes into the use of stun guns by police forces that were launched after the death, including an internal investigation by the RCMP and an investigation by the RCMP public complaints commissioner.

Campbell said Friday the public inquiry will consider how to ensure a similar event never happens again.

http://www.vancouveriam.com/articles/shane_b/apparently-gordon-campbell-feels-worse-for-officers-that-killed-robert-dziekanski-than-dziekanski-himself
See from CBC.ca:
Apparently Gordon Campbell Feels Worse for Officers that Killed Robert Dziekanski than [for] Dziekanski Himself .

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Well done, CBC. - BC Mary.

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Comments:
Mary,
Wasn't John Les the solicitor general at the time of the YVR incident? [He's since been sent to the penalty box but I thought he was still the guy with the ostensible authority to call an inquiry. Correct?]

Now, let's assume Les was in charge at the time, I think there were statements from him in the week or immediately after Mr Dziekanski's death that there WOULD NOT BE AN INQUIRY...

I could be wrong, but I believe the inquiry itself was actually called only after the kerfuffle about the withheld video recording (which the cops initially embargoed - an embargo lifted only AFTER the witness lawyered up and went before a judge).

What I'm really looking at here are timing issues and further evidence, once again, that Campbell's Office continues to RUN all the functions of government in this province.

Campbell's choice of words (as reported by Bass) is interesting.

Bass did not say that the inquiry 'called' by the Solicitor General - who has, I believe, the legislative and administrative (not to mention the legal) authority to call such an inquiry could NOT be properly or legally exercised by either the Premier or the Executive Council.

And yet, that seems to be what's happened.

I've always believed that Geoff Plant had more than personal reasons for not running in 2005. I think he knew, as Attorney General and legal advisor to Cabinet, that things were not being run properly by the Campbell government.

I think Campbell's indiscretion in even speaking to Deputy Commissioner Bass is more clear evidence of exactly how unethically and improperly this government is behaving..

Wish I had more time to parse this more clearly, I hope you understand what I’m driving at. Especially in terms of the Premier’s involvement and attitude concerning Basi/Virk and BC Rail, it certainly does give one pause that the man hasn’t learned a thing since he came to power.
 
Mary, I try to go back further in July,oast the 23rd,and I am unable,help?
 
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