Peck to revisit decision
on Taser-death charges

Suzanne Fournier, Vancouver Province, June 30, 2010


Special prosecutor Richard Peck says that the decision not to charge four RCMP officers involved in Robert Dziekanski’s death should be “revisited.”

Peck, who was appointed June 18, said Tuesday that he has concluded his review of the Thomas Braidwood inquiry’s final report and decided that he must review all evidence and reexamine why the four Mounties were not criminally charged.

Peck has the mandate to lay criminal charges against the RCMP officers and conduct the prosecution himself.

Peck’s statement was immediately hailed by Walter Kosteckyj, lawyer for Dziekanski’s mother, Zofia Cisowski, and Polish government lawyer Don Rosenbloom as an indication Peck will thoroughly re-examine RCMP behaviour.

“My client has been calling for a review of the decision not to prosecute the four officers’ conduct since they were cleared of all wrongdoing by the [B.C.] Criminal Justice Branch in 2008,” said Kosteckyj.

“What always mystified me was that the branch had the benefit of the [bystander Paul] Pritchard video and the officers’ conflicting statements, yet they never requestioned the four officers.”

Rosenbloom said: “The Polish government welcomes the fact that Mr. Peck feels it appropriate to . . . revisit the issue of criminal charges.”

Peck said he now has the benefit of “factual material that was not available to the branch at the time . . . including but not limited to expert video analysis and expert opinions relating to the reasonableness of the escalation and de-escalation of force.”

Former B.C. Supreme Court justice Thomas Braidwood found that the RCMP used excessive force when officers confronted Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant, at the Vancouver airport on Oct. 14, 2007. He was Tasered five times and died.

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Richard Peck sidesteps the central issue
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Is special prosecutor Richard Peck
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