Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The Word Of A Mountie

Thank god for video. Otherwise this Mountie would have been taken at his word (The added emphasis is mine.):

Const. Kwesi Millington, 32, became the third officer Monday to acknowledge his notes, his statements and the report he was required to make after deploying the conducted energy weapon were riddled with errors.

He admitted at the public inquiry into the tragedy that you would have a “distorted view” of the incident if you read his accounts as opposed to viewing an amateur video that captured what happened Oct. 14, 2007.

Millington didn’t even get right the number of times he zapped the 40-year-old Polish immigrant with the conducted energy weapon.

After watching the video of Dziekanski screaming in agony, collapsing to the floor writhing in pain, Millington maintained he was justified in jolting him — again, again, again and again.

In all, the weapon’s internal memory showed the officer deployed the Taser five times. And he said he’d do it again.

After the first blast, Dziekanski ended up on the floor with his feet in the air but Millington said he “perceived” him to be still standing.

“From my training, the effects of the Taser being fired are that the person being applied against is supposed to fall immediately and supposed to immobilize them,” he told the inquiry.

“It didn’t have that effect on Mr. Dziekanski so I fired again.”

Millington said during his third attempted discharge of the Taser he heard a clacking noise that indicated the weapon wasn’t working properly.

He then removed its probe cartridge, applied the Taser directly to Dziekanski’s back and deployed it in what he called “pain compliance” mode.

“He was still kicking and fighting and struggling with members,” Millington explained.

The Mountie, who is six-feet-one inch, 205 pounds — about four inches taller and 30 pounds heavier than Dziekanski — insisted throughout that he was scared for himself and the safety of his colleagues.

This was the first and only time he has ever used the device.

Like the others, he wore a Kevlar vest, carried a firearm, a baton and pepper spray. Nevertheless, he thought Dziekanski was dangerous.

“He had the stapler open, his other fist raised; he was in a combative stance as we call it, and was approaching the officers, I believe with the intent to attack so I deployed the Taser,” Millington said.

“I thought he was going to attack. I acted to stop the threat.”

It was an appalling performance by a professional police officer and sparked chortles and guffaws from some in the audience.

As noted at Excited-Delirium, tasers have no "pain compliance" mode. Their output and lethal potential are is the same whether the probes are fired or used in touch mode.