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Canada inquiry told of Taser use

Police restrain Mr Dziekanski. Credit: CBC
Police pinned down Robert Dziekanski after he was stunned several times

A Canadian police officer who killed a Polish immigrant with a Taser stun gun said he believed the man had intended to attack officers with a stapler.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Kwesi Millington told a public inquiry that Robert Dziekanski had shown "an intent to attack".

Mr Dziekanski was repeatedly stunned at Vancouver airport in October 2007.

His death led Canadian police to tighten up procedures for the use of stun guns on suspects resisting arrest.

The incident was filmed by a bystander and broadcast around the world.

Pc Millington told the provincial inquiry in Vancouver that Mr Dziekanski "picked up a staplerů and started to approach us with his hands up".

"When he threw his hands up I interpreted that he didn't want to listen to us," he said.

Video footage showed Mr Dziekanski, 40, writhing on the floor and screaming after being stunned, as four officers restrained and handcuffed him. He fell still and died minutes later.

Records show that Pc Millington's Taser was used five times for a total of about 30 seconds, the inquiry heard.

Emigrating to Canada

Mr Dziekanski, a construction worker, was emigrating from Poland to live with his mother in Canada's western province of British Columbia.

Zofia Cisowski
Mr Dziekanski was emigrating to be with his mother, Zofia
The inquiry, headed by retired judge Thomas Braidwood, earlier heard that Mr Dziekanski was a nervous first-time traveller.

He spoke only Polish and had earlier struggled to communicate with airline and arrivals staff.

His mother had mistakenly told him to meet her in an airport arrivals area closed to the public, the inquiry heard, and Mr Dziekanski had waited there for hours.

When he finally emerged to find his mother gone, he apparently became distraught. Police were called when he started shouting and throwing items from a desk.

The inquiry is examining the safety of the Taser weapon and police actions during the incident.

SEE ALSO
Canada investigates Taser death
20 Jan 09 |  Americas
Taser ban threat to Canada police
18 Jun 08 |  Americas
Taser death sparks Canada debate
28 Nov 07 |  Americas
Canadian stun gun death on video
15 Nov 07 |  Americas

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