One of the Mounties convicted of perjury in the 2007 tasering death of Robert Dziekanski at YVR is suing the force for “breach of statutory duty.”
The suit names the Attorney General of Canada on behalf of the RCMP, along with BC’s Minister of Justice.
Benjamin “Monty” Robinson claims he’s suffering from PTSD and emotional distress after being essentially scapegoated by the RCMP.
Robinson claims starting immediately after the incident, and continuing on during the Braidwood Inquiry and through to his perjury trial, the RCMP has publicly and inaccurately maintained “misinformation,” that he and the other three officers involved in the Taser incident acted inappropriately.
His lawyer, Sebastien Anderson, explains the allegations.
“[The RCMP said] they had acted in a manner that exceeded their authority and that they had used excessive force. And didn’t correct the record to reflect that their actions had been in accordance with their RCMP training.”
The suit claims that an investigation by IHIT into the incident was explicit that the officers had followed RCMP training, and that the force never initiated a Code of Conduct review against Robinson in the wake of the incident.
“He did nothing wrong, in fact, he hasn’t been disciplined with respect to any of his actions, with respect to the RCMP’s response at the airport that day. Yet the public wouldn’t know that from the position that the RCMP has maintained publicly.”
Instead, the suit claims the RCMP’s failure to correct the record created a public “perception of a cover-up and allegations of wrongdoing by the Plaintiff and other RCMP members.”
It alleges as a result they were subject to public hostility, death threats, and contempt, “while their careers and professional reputations languished.”
The suit also claims Robinson was essentially muzzled during his perjury trial, with the threat he’d lose his legal funding if he spoke out, while the force continued to make disparaging comments about him.
None of the claims have been proven in court.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice’s office could not be reached for comment by deadline.
40-year-old Polish man Robert Dziekanski, who spoke on English, arrived at the Vancouver International Airport in 2007 and spent 10 hours inside before police were called when he became agitated.
Shortly after four Mounties arrived, they surrounded and stunned him multiple times with a Taser. He collapsed and died.
Two years later, at the Braidwood Inquiry called to review the incident, the four officers were accused of colluding to get their stories straight and lying under oath.
Robinson, who was the officer in charge the night of the incident, was convicted in March of 2015 and sentenced to two years less a day, plus 240 hours of community service. It came three years after he was medically discharged from the force.
Constable Kwesi Millington was also convicted of perjury in February of last year and sentenced to 30 months behind bars. He lost his B.C. appeal this summer, and is weighing taking his case to the Supreme Court of Canada.
He claims he has sought medical attention to deal with the psychological impact, and that since the 2007 ordeal there has been misinformation about him spread through the force and in the media.
Robinson also ran into legal trouble in 2008, when he was involved in a fatal crash with a motorcycle.
The court heard there was evidence he’d been drinking before the crash, but in the wake of the accident he drove home and put his kids to bed then claimed he drank vodka to calm his nerves before returning to the scene. He was handed a one year conditional sentence in 2012.