VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – One of the officers on scene at Vancouver International Airport when Robert Dziekanski died in 2007 is accusing RCMP top brass of interfering with criminal prosecutions that saw officers tried for perjury – and he’s accusing the force of ignoring concerns.
The claims are found in a complaint from Constable Gerald Rundel to the body tasked with reviewing RCMP conduct, the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission.
Filed on June 5, Rundel’s complaint states past and current members of the Mounties have “interfered with a number of legal processes since Oct. 14, 2007.”
It says: “Rather than take responsibility for their flawed taser training and policy they chose to redirect the blame and assisted to fabricate a crime against 4 of their own officers.”
A bystander’s video of the incident, viewed millions of times on social media, shows Rundel and three other RCMP officers approaching the troubled man at the airport in 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.
Rundel’s complaint says: “An ensuing coverup of [sic] failing to disclose documents and properly investigate my complaints over the years is concerning and more importantly unlawful. The resulting damages that continue to this day are insurmountable.”
Rundel, one of two officers aquitted of perjury, has already filed a lawsuit against the RCMP. A similar suit filed by the other officer found not guilty was settled out of court last month for undisclosed terms.
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 Rundel and his fellow officer, Bill Bentley, were both acquitted of the charge.
With files from the Canadian Press.