Monday, November 26, 2007

Canada Border Services to talk about tazing death

Today Canada Border Services is expected to finally issue a report and talk about what went wrong within their system that eventually ended with the tazing and death of Robert Dzieskanski at YVR:
"The Canada Border Services Agency is expected to face tough questions at a news conference Monday about the circumstances surrounding the death of a Polish immigrant at Vancouver International Airport last month.

Border Services officials are expected to give for the first time their account of an alleged communication breakdown on Oct. 14 in the hours before Robert Dziekanski's death." [...]

The incident, which was captured on video by a witness, has sparked fierce debate over the officers' actions and the use of Tasers by law enforcement agencies across the country.

Yet it is unclear where Dziekanski was during his 10 hours at the airport, what he was doing and why no translators or airport staff were on hand to assist him."

Foremost of the "tough questions" Border Services has to answer should be "Why did it take over 6 weeks to say anything about the incident?" Apart from that, which in itself looks extremely suspicious, some other questions I'd expect to be answered are
  • Where were the translators?
  • Where were the airport staff that are supposed to be keeping an eye on people?
  • Why was RD not assisted by airport staff for 10 hours?
  • Why was RD's mother told he wasn't in the airport?
  • Why did airport staff find it necessary to call the RCMP?
  • And I'm sure there are many other questions about the breakdown of procedure and communications that led to this tragedy. Heads should roll over this.

    But while it'll be interesting to hear Border Services finally take ownership of their monumental fuck-up in this situation, it won't exonerate the RCMP of theirs. By setting up the situation, Border Services only loaded the metaphorical gun, it was still the cops that fired it.

    Update: News conference cancelled, no reason given. But it's not hard to figure out why, just look up at those hard questions. According to what I just heard on CBC, their report made recommendations for more cameras and more translators, but did little to explain what went wrong. So there you have it, your New Authoritarian Government in action: "We don't need no stinking questions..."

    Reupdate: CBC details the timeline for the Robert Dzieskanski situation given by the CBSA gave in today's report. It sounds like a crock to me...