Just who are these men?

Brian Hutchinson, National Post, March 26, 2009

RCMP Constable Kwesi Millington, top left, Constable Bill Bentley, top right,
Constable Gerry Rundel, bottom left, and Corporal Benjamin Robinson, bottom right.
Photos: Kwesi Millington by Bill Keay, Canwest News Service
Bill Bentley by Jason Payne, Canwest News Service
Gerry Rundel by Ian Smith, Canwest News Service
Benjamin Robinson by Andy Clark, Reuters.


Before slamming his Jeep into a young motorcyclist, the off-duty RCMP corporal had been drinking. Only two beers, consumed at a late-afternoon party, insisted Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, to a Delta, B.C., police officer who attended the fatality.

But his eyes were bloodshot, according to the officer’s written report. His speech was slurred. A “strong” smell of liquor emanated from his breath and from his person.

This was in October, 2008, one year after Cpl. Robinson and three other Mounties had confronted an agitated Polish traveller at Vancouver International Airport. Robert Dziekanski died after receiving five jolts from an RCMP-deployed Taser and being man-handled on the ground.

Cpl. Robinson was the senior officer in charge and the most experienced of the four. He came under special scrutiny this week at the inquiry now underway into Mr. Dziekanski’s death. His three subordinates testified before inquiry commissioner Thomas Braidwood earlier. All four officers admitted to making erroneous statements about the Taser incident to investigating officers, making Mr. Dziekanski out tobe an attacking, stapler-swinging adversary. The officers blamed their flawed statements on fatigue, confusion, and an inability to “articulate.”

None of the officers have been formally accused of any wrongdoing in connection to the Dziekanski death. The B.C. Crown announced late last year that no charges are forthcoming, much to the dismay of many observers. Public anger rises with every new revelation made at the inquiry.

Just who are these men? They are still Mounties, although none of the four work at the RCMP’s Vancouver airport sub-detachment any more. All four have been reassigned, at least three of them to indoor duty.

Still in his twenties, Constable Bill Bentley is the youngest of the four. A former Canadian Border Services officer from Windsor, he arrived at the RCMP’s Regina training depot in 2005. After the Dziekanski incident, he was removed to a desk job and works with the RCMP’s 2010 Olympic Games detail. Constable Gerry Rundel, 48, is the oldest of the four. A former fish farmer from Vancouver Island, he had only two years of RCMP service the night that Mr. Dziekanski died. He has been reassigned to Vancouver Island.

Constable Kwesi Millington, 32, is physically the largest of the four officers. Holder of a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, he attended depot training from 2004 to 2005, and began working at the YVR sub-detachment in July 2006. Const. Millington is the officer who deployed a Taser five times at Mr. Dziekanski. He has been reassigned to desk duty. Of aboriginal ancestry, Cpl. Robinson is a graduate of Trinity Western University in Abbotsford, B. C., and is a 13-year RCMP veteran. He’s been in at least one legal tussle before.

In August, 2005, a B.C. man named Greg Garley launched a civil lawsuit naming eight defendants, including Cpl. Robinson. The lawsuit was briefly mentioned during a lawyer’s cross-examination of Cpl. Robinson at the Braidwood inquiry on Tuesday.

Mr. Garley is a former pizza parlour operator who claims to have had many unsatisfactory encounters with RCMP officers. In fact, in 2004 he was unlawfully struck with a Taser while detained in an RCMP jail cell, in Princeton, B. C. The Taser was ordered deployed by a Mountie who later pleaded guilty to assault with a weapon. The officer received a conditional discharge in court and was reassigned to a neighbouring detachment. Mr. Garley is suing him.

In an unrelated, 2005 lawsuit, Mr. Garley alleged he was assaulted by other defendants, and that Cpl. Robinson and another officer failed to respond to his medical needs. Mr. Garley later checked himself into a hospital for treatment. Mr. Garley’s lawyer, Robert Levin, says the allegation against Cpl. Robinson was essentially one of “neglect.” The matter has been settled. Terms cannot be disclosed, says Mr. Levin: “It was not really a big deal in the grand scale of things.”

The death in October of 21-year-old motorcyclist Orion Hutchinson [no relation to this reporter] certainly is. Cpl. Robinson still faces a possible charge of impaired driving causing death.

Allegations and findings of fact contained in a Supreme Court of British Columbia file paint an ugly picture. According to the police report made the night of the accident, Cpl. Robinson claimed that he’d left the fatality immediately, before investigators arrived, and walked home, where he downed two shots of vodka and then walked back. All in 10 minutes.

The attending officer was skeptical. “Police opinion [is] that symptoms far more set than two shots in that time period should indicate,” she noted.

Cpl. Robinson was administered two breath tests. He blew well over the legal limit for alcohol both times, according to the police report. His blue, 2002 Jeep was impounded.

One month later, in November, 2008, Cpl. Robinson applied to have his 90-day driving prohibition reviewed. His lawyer argued that the Delta police evidence was unreliable.

An adjudicator from the Office of the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles disagreed. He found Cpl. Robinson’s story about consuming alcohol after the fatal crash incredible. “I note that there is nothing in the [police] report that the witnesses [at the scene] indicated you left the scene,” wrote the adjudicator. “I find it unlikely that after witnessing you having a collision that the witnesses would then allow you to leave the scene.”

But Cpl. Robinson didn’t accept the decision. Last month, he petitioned the Supreme Court of British Columbia to overturn it. Mr. Justice Mark McEwan refused. The petition was dismissed three weeks ago.

This week, Cpl. Robinson came before the Braidwood inquiry, where he acknowledged his having made statements to police that bore little semblance to the truth. Pending any new development, he will return to his assignment with the RCMP’s Vancouver 2010 Olympics detail.

Go to News and Comment page


Killer Kwesi Millington found guilty

It took seven years but one member of the RCMP’s Robert Dziekanski
death squad has finally been convicted—of perjury, however, not manslaughter.
Even for that we should be relieved that Millington’s staunchest supporter,
B.C. police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe
, had no part in the decision. More…

Killer Kwesi Millington gets 30 days for perjury

Judge calls his lies “preposterous”—but so is the
seven-and-a-half-year delay since Robert Dziekanski’s death. More…


More news about RCMP Corporal
Benjamin Monty Montgomery Robinson’s
deadly career

Robinson remains on paid leave
while a decision on Orion Hutchinson’s death
keeps dragging on. More...
And on... More...
The charge is merely obstructing justice. Sounds like
Robinson is getting a really sweet deal. More...
The manner in which the criminal justice system
handles fatality cases involving police officers
is driven by anything but the principle
that we are all equal in the eyes of the law. More...
Robinson proves himself to be
one cunning, callous cop. More here and here.
What constitutes gross misconduct for the RCMP? More...
Incredible! The RCMP complaint commissioner
concedes what everybody else knows
about Benjamin Monty Montgomery Robinson
and the Dziekanski death squad. More...
Two and a half years after Orion Hutchinson’s death
Robinson finally faces a watered-down charge. More...
And three and a half years after Robert Dziekanski’s death,
another watered-down charge. More...
Robinson won’t go to trial on his watered-down Dziekanski charge
until April 2013. The other three cops have court dates spread out
between October 2012 and October 2013. Why so late?
Because justice delayed is justice denied. More...
Robinson has been off work with full pay since October 2007.
So far that’s a four-year, four-month paid vacation while he faces
two criminal charges resulting from two deaths. More...
Robinson finally gets convicted of something,
even if it’s a watered-down charge. He continues to draw
full pay, full benefits and yearly raises while doing absolutely nothing.
He might even stretch that out until retirement. More...
By continuing to pay Robinson, the RCMP flouts public outrage.
They should just fire the bastard. And now. More...
As for the other three members of the Dziekanski death squad,
they’ll never even be suspended. They’re not fit to carry weapons,
conduct investigations, testify in court or even deal with the public.
But they have safe jobs and guaranteed pensions thanks to the RCMP.
Monty Robinson just got a pay raise.
RCMP salary increases apply to all Mounties, even the
convicted criminals who spend years on paid vacation. More...
Robinson actually resigned. Has the two-time killer,
convicted criminal, disgraced police officer and tax-funded parasite
suddenly discovered principles? Or is he striving to stay out of prison?
Nevertheless, RCMP brass gave this sack of shit glowing references.
Justice for Orion Hutchinson? Not even close.
“Be home by 9 now, Monty!” More...
“The various legal woes of Monty Robinson exposed
nearly everything that’s wrong with our ‘justice system.’” More…
Who’s the special prosecutor in this case? Richard Peck,
the cops’ unethical but well-paid go-to guy. More here and here.
Another criminal conviction for RCMP disgrace Benjamin Montgomery Monty Robinson,
this time for perjury. He’s always gotten away with radically reduced charges
for the deaths he’s caused. This time, like the last time, the full-pension criminal will likely
get an exceptionally lenient sentence, once again demonstrating that Canadian police
are held to much, much lower standards than normal people. More…