Sgt. Brad Fawcett, a Vancouver police expert on the Use of Force (noun), came to the conclusion that the four RCMP officers involved had used "appropriate force" while killing Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver Airport on 14th October 2007.
Sgt Fawcett came to this conclusion while:
- not interviewing any of the officers involved
- not interviewing any of the airport staff
- not interviewing any of the bystanders who witnessed the incident
- relying on written statements provided by the four officers
- ignoring that they changed their accounts
- ignoring the contradictory video evidence
- characterizing bald false statements as "minor discrepancies"
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
"What really matters is the officers' perception." - Sgt. Brad Fawcett [LINK]
Here is the complete list, in order, of what matters:
1. The officers' perception
2. The Blue Brotherhood
3. Sheer Laziness
4. The Facts (a.k.a. "minor discrepancies")
My perception is that Sgt. Fawcett is, perhaps unintentionally, a key part of the Brotherhood of Blue whitewashing process that is perfectly inherent when one police officer reviews the actions of their fraternal brothers.
Keep in mind that the RCMP tried to withhold the all-important video and Mr. Pritchard actually had to hire a lawyer to get his video back. Keep in mind that the RCMP spokesman made several statements later shown to be false. Keep in mind that all four police officers' reports contained the same factual errors about Mr. Dziekanski's actions. [LINK] Etc.
Innocent here, innocent there - but it makes a large steaming pile when viewed together.
There are two possible solutions to this mess:
1) Separate the police review and oversight function from the police
2) Mandatory 5-year sentence for any unintentional involvement in whitewashing police actions. And make it 20-years if the whitewashing can be proven to be intentional.
Option 2 would certainly force such reviews to be taken more seriously. Right now there are, apparently, zero penalties and much benefit for being involved in the Blue Brotherhood.
Here is another recent example from Orange County, CA, USA: [LINK] [LINK]
By the way, I've heard a story about one case where the investigating officer would like to 'hang' (criminally charge) the offending police officers involved in the incident-in-question, but is prevented from doing so by circumstances and/or his chain of command.
The whole system needs an major overhaul.
And some of those involved need a keelhaul.