Video of man tasered at Vancouver airport released

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Video of man tasered at Vancouver airport released

By | December 6, 2018

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A video showing a man being tasered by police and subsequently dying at the Vancouver International Airport has been released to the media. The cause of his death has not yet been determined.

Robert Dziekanski, 40, was immigrating from Pieszyce, Poland to live with his mother, Zofia Cisowski, in Kamloops, British Columbia. He did not clear customs at the airport for over eight hours and his mother was unable to locate him when she went to meet him at the airport. Since Dziekanski did not speak English airport security guards were unable to properly communicate with him. He started yelling at the airport staff because of this. He used chairs to prop open a door between a customs clearing area and a public lounge, he then threw a computer and threw a small table at a luggage section window.

He had calmed down and was standing with his hands at his side in the customs room until four Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) officers arrived and tasered the man, at least twice. Dziekanski began to convulse and was tasered a second time after falling to the ground, where the four officers pinned him down and handcuffed him. He screamed before he stopped moving. Paramedics arrived at the scene, but were unable to revive him and pronounced him dead.

Dziekanski’s mother had told him to wait in the luggage area where she would meet him, not realizing that this was inside the airport’s security zone, which was inaccessible to her. Arriving international passengers need to pass through customs first, before being able to meet people waiting to pick them up. His mother had tried in vain to get a message to him and eventually left the airport when told by airport staff that he wasn’t there.

Paul Pritchard, who had just arrived from China back to Victoria, shot a video of the incident and gave it to police. The police promised they would return the video within 48 hours. They gave him back his camera without the video.

Pritchard immediately hired a lawyer, held his own news conference, and threatened that he would take them to court to get it back.

CBC, CTV and Global television paid Pritchard several thousand dollars for the video, and he says he will use the money to take care of his father.

“It was against his [Pritchard’s father] wishes completely and my lawyer’s wishes as well. Profit is such an ugly word, and I hope people realize that it’s not a personal profit,” said Pritchard.

“I extend my heartfelt condolences to Mr. Dziekanski’s family, knowing that I could not hope to speak to the loss that they have suffered. I would also like to express my concerns for those people who were in any way touched by this extraordinary and tragic occurrence – our employees working that night, the various agencies involved, the emergency responders and the passengers who may have come across the scene,” Larry Berg, President and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority said on November 1.

According to a RCMP spokesman in Vancouver, the four officers involved in the case will testify in court under the coroners request, but it is expected to happen sometime next year.

Polish ambassador to Canada, Piotr Ogrodzinski, said “Mr. Dziekanski (was) a person who was agitated, frustrated, I think terrified, but not aggressive. He was not making a gesture that he intended to fight anybody” and “he didn’t know what to do. In fact, he was in search (of) help. That is why it is a really very sad and deeply moving film to watch.”

The incident is being investigated by the RCMP, the British Columbia Coroner’s Service, the Vancouver International Airport Authority, and the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP.

Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

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Sweden’s Crown Princess marries long-time boyfriend

By |

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sweden’s first royal wedding since 1976 took place Saturday when Crown Princess Victoria, 32, married her long-time boyfriend and former personal trainer, Daniel Westling, 36. The ceremony took place at Stockholm Cathedral.

Over 1,200 guests, including many rulers, politicians, royals and other dignitaries from across the world, attended the wedding, which cost an estimated 20 million Swedish kronor. Victoria wore a wedding dress with five-metre long train designed by Pär Engsheden. She wore the same crown that her mother, Queen Silvia, wore on her wedding day 34 years previously, also on June 19. Victoria’s father, King Carl XVI Gustaf, walked Victoria down the aisle, which was deemed untraditional by many. In Sweden, the bride and groom usually walk down the aisle together, emphasising the country’s views on equality. Victoria met with Daniel half-way to the altar, where they exchanged brief kisses, and, to the sounds of the wedding march, made their way to the the silver altar. She was followed by ten bridesmaids. The couple both had tears in their eyes as they said their vows, and apart from fumbling when they exchanged rings, the ceremony went smoothly.

Following the ceremony, the couple headed a fast-paced procession through central Stockholm on a horse-drawn carriage, flanked by police and security. Up to 500,000 people are thought to have lined the streets. They then boarded the Vasaorden, the same royal barge Victoria’s parents used in their wedding, and traveled through Stockholm’s waters, accompanied by flyover of 18 fighter jets near the end of the procession. A wedding banquet followed in the in the Hall of State of the Royal Palace.

Controversy has surrounded the engagement and wedding between the Crown Princess and Westling, a “commoner”. Victoria met Westling as she was recovering from bulemia in 2002. He owned a chain of gymnasiums and was brought in to help bring Victoria back to full health. Westling was raised in a middle-class family in Ockelbo, in central Sweden. His father managed a social services centre, and his mother worked in a post office. When the relationship was made public, Westling was mocked as an outsider and the king was reportedly horrified at the thought of his daughter marrying a “commoner”, even though he did so when he married Silvia. Last year, Westling underwent transplant surgery for a congenital kidney disorder. The Swedish public have been assured that he will be able to have children and that his illness will not be passed on to his offspring.

Westling underwent years of training to prepare for his new role in the royal family, including lessons in etiquette, elocution, and multi-lingual small talk; and a makeover that saw his hair being cropped short, and his plain-looking glasses and clothes being replaced by designer-wear.

Upon marrying the Crown Princess, Westling took his wife’s ducal title and is granted the style “His Royal Highness”. He is now known as HRH Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland. He also has his own coat-of-arms and monogram. When Victoria assumes the throne and becomes Queen, Daniel will not become King, but assume a supportive role, similar to that of Prince Phillip, the husband of the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II.