On October 14th, a newly arrived Polish immigrant died at Vancouver International Airport after being Tasered by the police.
Taser is an electroshock weapon that is used by the police to fire a high-voltage electric shock at the victim in order to subdue his muscles. “Electroshock weapon technology uses a temporary high-voltage low-current electrical discharge to override the body’s muscle-triggering mechanisms. The recipient feels great pain, and can be momentarily paralyzed while an electric current is being applied. It is reported that applying electroshock devices to more sensitive parts of the body is more painful.” (Wikipedia)
Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant arrived at Vancouver, Canada after his first international flight. Speaking only Polish, he was left helpless at the airport arrival lounge for over 10 hours. This left him frustrated, he turned violent, and was left dead when the police fired Tasers at him aiming to control the unarmed man. The whole incident was captured by an eye-witness Paul Pritchard on his camera.
While I strongly condemn the Taser incident there is something in the Canadian society that I think is worth appreciating:
- I respect Paul for handing over the video to the police in order to help the investigations. Note that this incident involved the police, who, were also the investigators of the incident.
- I respect the faith a common man has in the police and law enforcement officers here.
- I respect the fact that the police returned the video back to Paul, fully knowing how humiliating and embarrassing it would be – not just to the RCMP, but to Canada itself.
- I respect the freedom of press here and how the matter is being discussed openly and transparent manner.
- Finally, I respect the fact that the common here man believes that justice will be delivered, despite the police themselves being involved in the incident.
The video is here. Content warning.
Indeed, there are many things we (Indians) need to learn…
Image from CBC News