The infamous video of the encounter between Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski and the four RCMP officers should not have been publicly released as long as there was a possibility of criminal charges being laid, a top investigator with the Mounties said yesterday.
Supt. Wayne Rideout told the Braidwood Inquiry that he believed the video should have been treated as evidence.
He was called to testify after inaccuracies between the video and the RCMP officers’ reports emerged during the inquiry.
Among the erroneous information initially released by the RCMP’s media spokesman were that the Taser was only fired twice and that Dziekanski was fighting and resisting arrest.
In fact, the RCMP knew after testing the weapon that the Taser had been deployed five times and the video clearly shows that Dziekanski dropped to the ground almost immediately after being hit.
Don Rosenbloom, the lawyer representing the Polish government, said the RCMP have acted in a self-serving manner.
“When it was in their interest to go to the media and inform the media of their position, they did so,” said Rosenbloom.
“When it wasn’t in their interest to correct the untruths stated by the RCMP media people in the early stages, they didn’t.”