Why Have Taxpayers Spent Half A Million $ To Defend RCMP Officers Who Killed Dziekanski?
By James Keller (CP)
"VANCOUVER, B.C. — The federal government spent more than half a million dollars defending the RCMP and the actions of the four officers who stunned Robert Dziekanski with a Taser at Vancouver's airport.
The force and each of the four officers had lawyers at the public inquiry into Dziekanski's death, which began in January and finished with closing submissions last week.
The Polish immigrant's fatal confrontation with police on Oct. 14, 2007, has been a source of intense criticism for the RCMP and the four officers and for police use of Tasers, fuelled in large part by an infamous amateur video of the incident.
The Justice Department had billed the RCMP more than $373,000 in legal fees to represent the force at the inquiry as of July 31, according to documents obtained under federal access to information laws.
Lawyers for the officers had together cost about $200,000 by the end of August, according to the documents.
Those figures were tallied during a three-month summer break, which was ordered in June to investigate an internal RCMP email that raised questions about the officers' testimony. Since then, there have been several days of hearings in September and final submissions this month."