Robert Dziekanski

“And I fell down on the floor. He was so strong, so beautiful, and I loved him so much.”

Cisowski had worked two jobs for seven years to save enough money for her only child to join her in Canada.

“I was waiting for my beautiful boy [to arrive],” she said. “I don’t know how I will live without him.”

Robert Dziekanski waited 10 hours in the Customs’ area of the YVR International Arrivals Terminal.
He could not speak any English ~ only Polish.
He did not pose a police threat.
He needed a translator ~ someone to explain WTF was going on.
Instead the RCMP killed him.
They made no attempts to revive him after suffocating and tazering him.
Watch the video.
Its all on tape.
Its chilling and brutal.

crisis intervention, RCMP style

This man was an only child.
His mother is devastated.
She waited 8 years for this day.

the CBC story
the same video from 24 as a podcast

question ~ how many RCMP’s does it take to kill an unarmed, frightened man who speaks no english?

answer ~ 4.

i hope the 4 of you rot in hell.
i hope you hear that man’s screams every night
when you go to sleep.
i hope this haunts you all your days.


~ by frizzyscissorhands on November 15, 2007.

13 Responses to “Robert Dziekanski”

  1. Mantissa, I saw the video and read the story in the morning. They gave me a terrible headache which won’t subside. What a sad story.

  2. They just showed a clip of the incident on the news here. It’s not just sad. It’s bloody outrageous. Couple that with the death earlier this year of Carol Gobaum (sp?) in Phoenix, and it’s starting to look like a trend.

    All in the name of security, huh. Unfortunately, I can only hope Gotbaum and Dziekanski can find some restitution in the hereafter. Whatever they can find, if they can find it, if there is a life beyond this one, one thing they didn’t find at an airport was security.

    Worse yet, I’m sure we’ll hear a lot of police spin, and a lot of media support for that spin.

  3. my brother-in-law just arrived from the uk last nite. he saw the clip … in fact he walked the same area where the pigs killed dziekanski. it was sorta weird. martin and i sorta made a joke out of it … yeah … we’ll have a visitor for 2 weeks, assuming the cops don’t tazer him, sit on him or whatever. i know its not something to joke about … but honestly, i have no trust in cops as of now. they are not our friends. they are a threat … like most everything else.

    i’m outraged. and … i really think it has little to do with the tazer and everything to do with incompetence at handling mental illness/psychosis/delirium. the cops should all be ashamed! every single cop everywhere should be.

    when you take 4 big guys, and sit on someone … shoving all their collective weight on the dude … HELLOOOOO? YOU WILL KILL THAT PERSON! DUH!

    the funeral is in kamloops on saturday. that mother should sue YVR, RCMP, including and especially the individuals who were just downright neglegent.

    watch the video in its entirety. study it. you will see how the RCMP turned from cops into predators …watch the way they circled “their prey” its clear they had the savage anger of a predator ready to mount a vengeful attack.

    its sick and grotesque and those cops should get their fucking asses fired. the RCMP can try to talk their way outta this one … it ain’t gonna work. they tried to ditch the tape, lied about the circumstances (b4 legal action forced them to release the tape) and on it goes. they’re full of shit … they are shit.

    comments and entries and communication in general for me in the cyber world and blogosphere will be sketchy for the next two weeks, because i have a house guest.

    i’ll be around a little … not sure when tho.

    enjoy the weekend!

  4. red it was horrible. i hadnt seen it…im on a new ban…i find mmy neck is less “tight” when i filter it out and have only music. and i have a cd i am learning the song of every bird. (you would like this too i bet) anyway, the video. i just am speechless. makes me want to stay at chickory and never come out.

    so so sorry about the wolfs arm…he has the best nurse ever though. i am way busy trying to make up for lost bad neck time….ive got my annual studio sale in two weeks. its a big deal. anyway i wanted you to know ive been thinking about you. xo

  5. x. dell: funny you mention the Gotbaum story. I just posted a comment on the NYTimes “Cityroom”
    blog. I’ve checked several time but they haven’t posted it yet.

    Here it is:

    Apparently this was a train wreck that happened. Mrs. Gotbaum was fit but unable to travel. She already had the equivalent of six drinks before her encounter with the airport police.

    So, was the police negligent, therefore responsible for this senseless death.

    Once a person is taken into custody the authority doing the arrest “owns you” so they are willing and prepared to “protect and serve” you.

    Rookie policemen on their first day on the streets already have been trained in the urgent ways of detainees in a fighting mood. Many people at the time of arrest are intoxicated, overwrought, delirious, psychotic, highly motivated to fight or flee. It is part of police training and shared knowledge that not all people undergoing detention behave the same. Arrests can lead to death quickly, for no “apparent” reason at the victim’s home, before arriving at the police station, at arrival at police premises or while in a holding cell before being processed, etc. They know that a detainee can have hidden medical or physical conditions. Agitated, incoherent, disruptive, flailing subjects are an evident sign that permanent supervision should be established until EMS or a doctor stabilizes the subject. This was the case with Mrs. Gotbaum.

    The police are trained to be observant of this manifest signs of distress and medical supervision is required, always.

    Dr. Wecht wasn’t just dramatizing what was maddenigly lacking by the attending police. If the Phoenix airport police didn’t have to help the victim out of simple human compassion, they did have to do it out of professional adherence to their training and their sacred vow to “Protect and Serve”. They were trained to preempt this type of death. All rookie policemen know this.

    Here’s another statistic: England-Wales had 54 police custody deaths in 2001 (pop. 52 million), Arizona in 2003 had aprox.62 deaths (pop. 5.1 million). The death rate per capita in Arizona is more than ten times higher than for England-Wales.

    search: “custody deaths”.

    At least in this blog about her, people have been allowed to publish statements for and against the victim and the airport police.

    My posted comments on the Nov.9 blog about Carol Gotbaum at first were leaning against Mrs. Gotbaum but in this last week I’ve learned a lot more about “positional asphyxia”, overwrought detainees and the role of police in the middle of it all.

    Their lack of compassion and not following established police procedures for disruptive, confrontational persons is the prevailing reason why she died.

  6. I’m so sorry to read about Martin’s injury. Thursday I had an accident (nothing major) and fell on my elbow- and I swear I saw stars! I thought of Martin immediately 😦 It’s still very sore today- Saturday!
    I’m up to my ears in life at the moment and it sounds like you are too.
    I’m thinking of you- and hubs…

  7. Mantissa, I went over to your lullabies blog and it drew me tears. You will be glad to read the CBC comments about this outrage. I posted this at Nov.17 12:59PM:

    To me, these four so-called policemen seem like four cowards rearing to use their shiny new Tasers. The murdered victim was hyperventilating and deeply anguished. Are policemen now taught to disregard people as fellow humans and think of them instead as targets to be brought down as savage prey, unworthy of compassion? Country and property were defended! Good for the RCMP! Damn the dead. He was only Polish.

    Fortunately, as Laura says (Nov.17, 12:15 PM), these four cowards didn’t have to “mess up their hair”.

    It is amazing that the Nov. 9 article about the same video drew 3 comments and the current Nov. 14 article has drawn 1330 comments and counting!

    Maybe you should post something there.

  8. Cops? My “About Me” in my profile already says it all.

    Detroit cops actually aren’t so bad. (the white suburb cops surrounding the city are terrorists who beat children, however. We call them “the border patrol” because they act like everyone belongs in their own area. Jim Crow laws of the north, basically) Unless you’re a drug dealer. Then, get this, the D cops don’t arrest you, they just take all your money and your drugs (they will insist on going to your house sans a warrant) and leave a person squirming in debt to real killers. But that is still preferable to going to jail, so thats why folks go along with it. I’ve met people that have had this happen to them up to seven times.

    Of course, back in late June, they did shoot a suspect. What did he do? He stole a car radio and he was running. He was armed, but it was not brandished. But he ran into a crowd in front of the ball park downtown. His head was blown off in front of men women and children. They also could have died had the officers missed.

    I wrote a poem about it, and even got into a fight on my blog over it with another Detroit blogger. I can’t believe he was defending cops who murdered a suspect.

    Here’s the link to the poem.

  9. Mantissa, this comment at CBC that is truly moving:

    Pierre Davidson (Oliver_bc) wrote:


    In the end, this is an accumulation of errors on all sides, until the last fatal error of not even trying to revive Robert…

    Posthumous letter…

    Dear Robert

    I apologize, as a Canadian citizen and as a human compatriot, the despicable way the people at the Vancouver airport had treated you, and also how they had treated your mother …

    I know that it is now too late for you, you are no longer of this world … But you are still in our midst, as much as your death is tragic, there is a bit of hope that can emerge from the inhumanity that you and your mother have faced …

    In your death you can remind the world, to everyone, that a simple gesture of kindness, of empathy, of human compassion of any of those who were working that day at the airport would be sufficient to nullify the tragedy that has followed …

    In hope that your death is an awakening for all those who know your tragic end to be more open to gestures of kindness …

    It was posted Nov. 17 2:00 PM

  10. thanx for all your comments. martin’s brother is visiting from the uk … i had all of 2 days’ notice to clean up the house and prepare for a two visit. all my attention is turned to this these past few days. so … in case you’re wondering that’s where i’m at.

  11. that was just terrible..
    i wish i could say it was unbelievable.
    but the way things are these days…

    i’ve been thinking about you.
    i know you’ve been busy with nursing and having company.

  12. The visit from Martin’s brother probably comes at a real good time. My best to you all, but especially to you.

  13. i did not know he was polish.

    i am polish

    it takes a lot to piss off a pole.

    10 hours of english would do it.

    i did not know the story, just the video, and that jerk who commented that they used less force than the situation called for.

    you have a great discussion here, i have missed you.

    back so very soon as soon as exams are over.

    please do not feel ignored.

    have to keep swimming or i will sink, i think you know what i mean.

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