Has anybody else been following this?
A man who witnessed a Taser incident at Vancouver International Airport last Sunday said security at the facility and RCMP are to blame for the death of a distraught man in the terminal who didn't understand English.
Lorne Meltzer insists the RCMP were too hasty to use the Taser. Lorne Meltzer insists the RCMP were too hasty to use the Taser.
Lorne Meltzer, a corporate valet, told CBC News Thursday he was at the airport picking up a client just before 1:30 a.m. Sunday and found himself facing Robert Dziekanski.
He said he tried to calm an agitated Dziekanski, 40, in the public arrivals area and unwittingly let the Polish immigrant back into the secure international arrivals area, using his pass to open the one-way doors.
Meltzer has a security pass to the secure international arrivals area, as a personal assistant to a Vancouver businessman who often has clients fly into town.
"I think the responsible parties are the Vancouver Airport and the RCMP for not having other negotiating tactics once he's at the heightened state," said Meltzer, who was the person who called in RCMP.
He said he clearly warned them the man didn't speak English.
Meltzer claimed the officers gave Dziekanski two commands in English and within seconds Tasered him after he held a stapler in an apparent threatening manner.
Robert Dziekanski, seen in this picture taken in Poland, was a construction worker in his home country. Robert Dziekanski, seen in this picture taken in Poland, was a construction worker in his home country.
"He [Dziekanski] raised the stapler in the air and they [RCMP] said, 'Put your hands on the desk,' in English," Meltzer said.
Meltzer said the RCMP were too hasty to use the Taser and he refutes the police claim that the area was too crowded to use pepper spray, because "it was empty."
Dziekanski was Tasered by RCMP and later died. Police and a witness conflict in the number of jolts the man is alleged to have received.
RCMP insist that the man was zapped two times, but Sima Ashrafinia, who was at the airport and recorded the incident on her cellphone, told CBC News on Monday that RCMP officers stunned Dziekanski four times.
An autopsy by the B.C. Coroner's Service on Tuesday did not find the cause of death, citing no trauma or disease was found. Officials are still waiting for the results of toxicology tests and microscopic examinations.