October marks ten years since Polish immigrant’s death at YVR

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – This month marks the tenth anniversary of the abrupt end of a Polish man’s dreams to restart his life in BC.

But while a decade may have passed since Robert Dziekanski’s death at Vancouver International Airport, yet another chapter in the saga is about to be written at the end of the month.

Two RCMP officers who responded to the disturbance at YVR that night and who were then convicted of perjury related to their testimony in a subsequent inquiry are about to have their appeals heard at the Supreme Court of Canada.

Walter Kosteckyi, who represents Dziekanski’s mother, looks back at the last decade and still considers the inquiry pivotal.

“The inquiry was a momentous moment in Canadian legal history. It required this complete review of the RCMP.”

The inquiry led to the creation of the Independent Investigations Office in BC – a civilian-staffed agency to investigate the actions of police officers.

It also resulted in the four responding police officers getting charged with perjury. Two of them, Kwesi Millington and Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were found guilty of colluding to make up testimony. Millington was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Robinson was sentenced to two years less a day.

The other two officers were acquitted of the same charges.

Kosteckyi wonders whether the story would have ended that night at YVR were it not for a bystander and his camera.

“The reason why we’re still talking about it and the reason the entire case came forward was because there was actual video tape of this particular case.”

Dziekanski was Tasered five times by officers after creating a disturbance at the airport.

His death also led to tightening regulations on Taser-use by police departments.

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