March 10 Update:

Here is the touching song by Kendel Carson and Chip Taylor called “I Don’t Want to Live on a Street”:


As the Braidwood Commission of Inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski plods along, one thing should be apparent to the most casual observer; when the RCMP investigates itself, the interests of justice are not well-served.

Strip away the obfuscation created by a couple of dozen lawyers and their well-rehearsed clients, and the basic facts are now pretty clear. Four burly, well-armed male members of Canada’s national police force confronted a confused, weary, disoriented, unarmed immigrant and immediately shot him repeatedly with the “less than lethal” Taser. He expired as the RCMP stood around waiting for medical attention to arrive. Incidentally, these basic facts do not resemble the self-serving description that RCMP media spokesperson Pierre Lemaitre gave the public after the event, and before bystander Paul Pritchard’s video surfaced.

Were it not for the amateur video, the RCMP would have successfully covered up the fatality, like so many others, and there would have been no multimillion dollar public inquiry into the affair. Sure, this inquiry will have a predictable result; the Commissioner will be urged to put himself in the police officers’ shoes – they didn’t know how much of a threat they were facing, Dziekanski was non-compliant and combative, they followed their training, blah, blah, blah -and there may be some recommendations about better airport services, better communication, better police training etc., but hopefully the public will see the single biggest issue.

Our criminal justice system is biased in favour of police officers. They get breaks and benefits that no other civilians receive. When they make serious mistakes resulting in a civilian death, their colleagues close ranks around them and ensure that they will not face the accountability that the law demands of the rest of us.

We need a new system and we need it now, before the next unfortunate person, like Robert Dziekanski, Ian Bush or Kevin St. Arnaud, is killed by the RCMP in this province. We need to have immediate independent investigations performed by a civilian investigative team that reports to an independent prosecutor. This isn’t rocket science, but the powerful police lobby will fight these necessary changes tooth and nail.