RCMP admits mistakes in Dziekanski case
Published Friday, June 18, 2010 6:13PM PDT
The head of the RCMP acknowledged for the first time on Friday that the organization mishandled the situation that lead to the death of Robert Dziekanski more than two years ago.
This follows the release of Thomas Braidwood's final report on Dziekanski's death on the same day.
"I apologize unconditionally for the role the RCMP, including individual RCMP members, played in his tragic death," RCMP Commissioner William Elliott said.
"It's clear our policies and training in place at the time were deficient. We acknowledge the actions of the members who dealt with Mr. Dziekanski also fell short."
Elliot says the cornerstone of good policing is public trust.
To rebuild that, a professional integrity officer has been appointed who will hold officers accountable.
The RCMP will also work with any independent civilian body the province creates to look into cases of police misconduct.
The BC Civil Liberties Association has been waiting for years to hear this news.
"We feel it's the final nail in the coffin of the idea that the police can properly investigate themselves and maintain the confidence of the public," David Eby of the BC Civil Liberties Association said.
Whether the four RCMP officers involved in Dziekanski's death will face consequences remains unknown. The B.C. government has appointed Vancouver lawyer Richard Peck as special prosecutor to review the case and determine any possible charges.
Elliott refused to confirm whether he plans to take any internal action against the officers involved, one of whom is suspended for another incident while the other three are on desk duty.
"We will review the report, which like you, we only got today," Elliott said. "We will work with the special prosecutor when they are appointed."
Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski, says she is still waiting for answers about what might ultimately happen to the officers involved in her son's death.
The lack of internal accountability doesn't sit well with Walter Kosteckyj, the lawyer representing Cisowski.
"I am at least glad the RCMP have admitted now that mistakes were made...that this was bad policing," he said.
"The measure of an organization is its ability to be dynamic. It's taken almost three years for those admissions to take place."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Leah Hendry