…or “Why People Like Canadians Anyways”

A couple of weeks ago a Polish man, Robert Dziekanski, aged 40 died after being shocked with a taser twice by airport security at Vancouver International Airport. He spoke no English, was waiting for his mother by the baggage carousel not realizing she couldn’t get in there past security, and spent 5 or 6 hours just hundreds of feet away from her while she desperately tried to get help to locate him.

There’s been an amazing display of public sympathy and outrage, with hundreds gathering at a memorial service for a man who knew almost no one in the entire country. Video here. There was even a vigil at the airport. I would hope there would be a similar reaction in the States, but somehow, I’m not so sure.

Interesting development, a man in the airport filmed the tasering and had handed the tapes over to police after being told they’d be returned to him in 2 days. What a lie that turned out to be, they later said they could legally keep them for as much as 2 years! The man who filmed it is now taking the police to court to get it back, insisting it should be made public. Authorities counter that could compromise their investigation of the incident.

And of course, despite the many voices now calling for the banning of the use of tasers these days, Quebec at least says it won’t discontinue their use.