This is why Canadian crime writers need lots of weapons research...


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Yes, that was a tragic and horrific incident in our history, and I would not mean to make light of it, or any other like it.

 

Or the Toronto or Montreal, or really any police force if you're a minority or you look at them closely enough.

And it's too bad the Vancouver airport incident wasn't looked at more closely with a proper inquiry that included airport security and how such a simple situation escalated to the point the police were called in.

Maybe that kind of backstory is something for a fiction writer to explore.

This is the first I've heard of the incident, but anything happening at an airport is beyond logic. So it's not surprising. Nice to see the ape mentality isn't limited to airports in the States.

 

If I can help it, I try to stick to rural airports that connect into big metro ones. The security is staffed by reasonable folk. I had my knife on me one early morning while going through security. The TSA guys just told me to put it back in my car, which was parked about 50 feet beyond the entrance. Try doing that in a major airport.

Getting shot repeatedly with a taser is bad -- and suggests some impulse control issues on the part of the police involved. Getting shot with a bullet is worse and often only requires one hit to be fatal. If someone comes at you with something that looks like a gun, how many seconds do you have to make up your mind whether or not it is a gun? If you're on the receiving end, wouldn't you rather the cop shoots a taser?

 

We (society) give the police power so that they can protect us (collectively) and our property. Sometimes that power corrupts. Sometimes it creates heroes. That's reality and the stuff of storytelling.

So, are you suggesting that it's acceptable for four fit young cops to Taser a confused and frightened man who doesn't speak their language ?  The incident lasted long enough for them to determine that he was NOT brandishing an offensive weapon.

It is not in the least bit acceptable. That is not my point. What they did was wrong. That doesn't mean that every instance that the police use excessive force is a sign of the moral breakdown of law enforcement or that the misuse of a tool a good reason to discard the tool.

 

I'm glad to see this discussed somewhere because we never got past the surface of it in Canada when it happened.

 

Then, and now, I still ask how so many hours passed in the airport and then the why RCMP were called in. When did it go from being a simple case of someone not able to speak the language lost in a huge and confusing airport to a police matter? Was it ever really a police matter?

 

It's sort of a case of "if your only tool is a hammer you see every problem as a nail."

 

My brother spent 39 years in the RCMP and my nephew has been in for six. I like the organization, but like all big organizations it has its problems. Still, I think it would have been good to have an inquiry that looked into what happened starting with when the plane landed, not just when the police arrived.

 

But maybe that's the kind of backstory that is best for fiction.

 

Policemen are human beings.  They overreact. They are as frightened as any of us would be, perhaps more so, seeing what they face every single day.  In the U.S. a lot of them die every day.

With respect, I'd suggest that you haven't read fully about this or other instances where the RCMP, in particular, have killed rather than wound or disable in similar instances.  

Yes, policemen are human and generally do a very good job, but in Canada we have many police forces yet these incidents inevitably happen when the RCMP is involved.

I wouldn't be able to judge that without the circumstances. It's surely true that it takes more time and a steadier hand to merely hit an arm or a leg.  And if under attack by an armed opponent, I don't think it's recommended to take time out for careful aiming.
In this particular case the issue is really when did "the circumstances" begin. There was an inquiry that looked into what happened when the four police officers arrived on the scene. Those circumstances aren't in dispute (they're on video, afterall).

But the reason I think this is the kind of thing where fiction can go along way to explaining, or at least looking into, is all the stuff that wouldn't go into an official inquiry.

Starting with airport security. Or maybe syarting withbthe hieghtened sense of paranoia around airports. Was there enough staff todeal with all the new rules around airport security and were they trained well enough?

Many hours passed between this man getting off the plane and the tragedy. This never should have got to the point of being a police issue.

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