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Saturday, 18 November 2017 14:33
 

A statement of the Canadian Polish Congress on the decision of the B.C. Ministry of Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Branch in Robert Dziekański’s case

As President of the Polish Canadian Congress, I wish to express the dissatisfaction of the Canadian Polish community with regard to the Clear Statement issued by the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch regarding the death of Robert Dziekanski and its decision not to lay criminal charges against the R.C.M.P. officers involved.

Mr. Dziekanski died after being tasered five times, three of them after he was on the floor, being physically subdued by an officer kneeling on his chest and neck area. Yet the Crown Attorney finds that “the officers in question were lawfully engaged in their duties when they encountered Mr. Dziekanski and the force they used to subdue and restrain him was reasonable and necessary”.

Further, the Statement of the Criminal Justice Branch disproportionally emphasises the deceased victim’s alleged history of alcohol abuse even though toxicology results showed no trace of drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of death.

We are dismayed at the outcome of the review by the Criminal Justice Branch. It is our hope that the Braidwood commission which resumes hearings in January will look more closely at all of the circumstances of the case. Many questions remain to be answered, and someone must be held accountable for the death of Robert Dziekanski. The policies and procedures that allowed an innocent man to needlessly lose his life only hours after landing on Canadian soil cannot stand. New policies need to be written so that an incident like this does not occur again.

My deepest sympathy goes out to Mrs. Zofia Cisowski, not only on the loss of her son but also as she revisits this tragedy time and again without satisfaction.

The Canadian Polish Congress is the voice of close to one million Canadians of Polish origin or descent. We will continue to demand answers until all the circumstances surrounding this tragic incident are fully exposed and explained.

Władysław Lizon

National President

Canadian Polish Congress

 


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