Monday, November 19, 2007

The Dziekanski investigations[sic]: What do we know NOW?

Since RCMP Commissioner and weaselly little ratfuck William Elliott seems determined to investigate the murder of Robert Dziekanski to death (no pun intended):

  • A comprehensive probe by the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team in B.C., made up of members from the RCMP and four separate police forces;

  • An inquest by the B.C. Coroner's office;

  • An independent investigation by the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP is conducting; and,

  • An internal investigation by the RCMP into how officers should use the Taser.

it should be obvious to everyone that the plan here is to drag this thing out until it just withers of its own accord and the media has conveniently forgotten all about it. So here's my suggestion.

That same easily-distracted media should press (hard!) to establish what facts all parties can agree on now. And I don't mean anything which is open to debate or interpretation.

Given that the RCMP is already asking the public not to jump to conclusions based on what it can see on that damnably inconvenient video of Dziekanski's murder, the media should sit down and come up with a list, present that list to Elliott, and ask him on which "facts" he is prepared to irrevocably and irreversibly sign off.

Those "facts" might include (based on the incontrovertible evidence from the video) such howlingly obvious admissions as:

  • There were four officers that went to confront Dziekanski.

  • Dziekanski was in a glassed-in area, inside of which there were no other people.

  • Dziekanski was Tasered at least twice (a more accurate number can be presented here, based on what can be concluded from the video.

  • Less than 30 seconds passed from the time the officers entered to when Dziekanski received the first Taser shot.

And so on, and so on.

Other "facts" that can be presented for Elliott's approval might include easily-verifiable information such as when Dziekanski's flight landed, how long he had been incarcerated in one form or another at Vancouver airport, whether he had been offered anything to eat or drink that entire time, whether he had ever been presented with an interpreter, etc, etc. You get the idea. Facts.

Almost certainly, Elliott is going to beg off confirming anything, spouting the standard bullshit line that, well, you know, can't comment on anything during an ongoing investigation. But that's where the media -- the nutless wonders that they are -- should finally grow a pair and demand to know why Elliott won't even confirm, say, the number of officers that went in to confront Dziekanski. I mean, you can count them on the video, fer Chrissake! Does Elliott think that number is going to change over the course of the investigation or what?

It's way past time for serious journalists to stop putting up with this "No comment, ongoing investigation" weasel excuse. Regardless of how long the RCMP intends to drag this out, Canada's media should demand that Elliott at least verify the most fundamental facts that any sentient person can see for themselves.

After all, what is it Canada's dingbat Right love to keep lecturing us on? Oh, right ... accountability. And transparency. That, too.

Time for a little transparency here, don't you think?

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