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Mother of Polish immigrant who died at Vancouver airport criticizes RCMP

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - As a public inquiry continues into the use of Tasers by police, the mother of the man who died after being jolted by an RCMP Taser at Vancouver airport says she still suffers months after the incident.


KAMLOOPS, B.C. - As a public inquiry continues into the use of Tasers by police, the mother of the man who died after being jolted by an RCMP Taser at Vancouver airport says she still suffers months after the incident.

Zofia Cisowski says the death of her son, Robert Dziekanski, last October has drained her but she has no resources to discover for herself what really happened.

And she says she's very angry that Mounties sent a team of officers to Poland earlier this year to investigate her son's background.

"That is not fair at all because they have power, RCMP, and they have money from government but I can say I am poor. I have no money to hire investigators," Cisowski said.

Dziekanski had been wandering, lost in the arrivals area of Vancouver's airport for hours after arriving on what his mother says was his first international flight. She had told him she would meet him there but was unable to pass through into the secure area, and instead was waiting for him outside.

Police were called when he began throwing computer equipment and within seconds of the arrival of four officers, Dziekanski had been twice jolted with a Taser.

A video shot by a bystander showed him screaming and writhing in agony before four officers pinned him to the floor in front of horrified onlookers.

A public inquiry into the general use of Tasers by police in now underway in Vancouver, in the wake of Dziekanski's death. A second phase of the inquiry will look specifically at his case.

Cisowksi says RCMP should be investigating their own actions at the airport that day, rather than her son.

She says the damage occurred in Canada and investigators should be spending more time checking why officers deployed the Taser just moments after coming across her agitated son.

"It makes me very angry and disappointed. That damage is done here in Canada from four RCMP officers. They should look for themselves what they did."

Cisowski, who lives in Kamloops, B.C., about 350 kilometres northeast of Vancouver, says she suffers from post-traumatic stress symptoms and sleeps only a few hours each night.

"I am so tired because that come back to me every day, every minute what they did," she said, breaking down into tears.

She says she sometimes doesn't want to go on but that she does want to fight for change.

"I sometimes think I don't want to even live but I know I should live and do something better for the future about this Taser, for another mom, another mom's family."

 
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