VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – One of the RCMP officers acquitted of perjury in the Tasering death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport has settled a lawsuit against his employer.
In the lawsuit Constable Bill Bentley accused the RCMP of mishandling the case, and throwing him under the bus.
Bentley filed a notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court in June 2016 alleging the RCMP made him a “scapegoat” for public criticism.
In its response to the civil claim, the RCMP denied that it misled the public or did anything to make Bentley a scapegoat, saying it had no control over how the media reported on the case.
The lawsuit has been settled out of court, and the RCMP says the terms will not be made public.
In a statement to NEWS 1130, Bentley said: “There were many reasons why I chose to settle the matter out of court, but the main reason was for my own mental health and the ability to finally move on with my life after 12 years.”
A bystander’s video of the incident, viewed millions of times on social media, showed Bentley and three other RCMP officers approaching the troubled man at the airport in October of 2007. Dziekanski was in the process of emigrating from Poland to live with his mother in Kamloops, and had caused a disturbance.
Within minutes of the officers’ approach, he was jolted several times with a Taser and lay dead of a heart attack on the floor.
Kwesi Millington, the officer who fired the Taser, and Benjamin Robinson, the senior officer at the scene, were found guilty in B.C. Supreme Court of colluding to make up testimony presented at a 2017 inquiry into the incident.
The officers said they perceived Dziekanski as a threat when he picked up a stapler.
The Crown’s case, based on circumstantial evidence, alleged the officers first concocted a story to tell investigators and then lied at the public inquiry to cover it up.
Millington and Robinson were convicted, while Bentley and his fellow officer, Gerry Rundell, were both acquitted of the charge.
The other three officers have also filed lawsuits, but the cases are still before the court.
With files from the Canadian Press.