Saturday, November 17, 2007

On the Skids

When you're on the way down, it seems that misfortune piles on misfortune in a karma pay-back of sorts. And so it is with Canada's RCMP.

The latest bead on the forces rosary of peccadilloes happened in Vancouver Airport recently.

A polish immigrant who didn't speak english and who had been acting badly after a 10 hour wait in the 'secure area of the airport was tasered by RCMP and died as a result.

Investigations are pointing up a number of problems that happened that day. Lack of a polish speaker, poor security, logistics etc in the secure area, inadequate security training and an overpowering police response ... all leading up to a needless death. The man's mother who was in the terminal to meet him was sent ho9me by airport personnel who didn't realize the man was being held after his arrival from Poland. No one who spoke polish was available although onlookers told authorities they thought he was speaking Russian, apparently no Russian speakers were available either.

Initial reports of police conversation about using the taser before they approached the man were rebutted by police sources. They were unaware hat the incident had been taped by an onlooker and that video has recently surfaced. It shows the officers deploying the taser within 30 seconds of approaching the man, who is knocked down and tasered again before being 'subdued' by 4 officers.

It seems that Canada's national police force is becoming noted for professional bungles and spectacular funerals. On the scale of of screw ups they're not where the Airborne Regiment got to, yet. But given the great wheel of Karma, they've could have a few more embarrassments to get through to atone for a century of pomposity and prevarications. the RCMP needs a culture-readjustment that it won't get from within.

The civilian appointed to head the force seems to be cruising down to pension, or something since he has remained well off the radar since he took the job.

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