Wednesday, November 14, 2007

the video

I chose not to watch the video of the death of Robert Dziekanski that was so heavily advertised on the radio today. The half hour and hourly news kept mentioning that the video would be broadcast for the first time on the 6 o'clock news. Every time I heard it it made me angrier because it clearly did seem like an advertisement inviting people to watch this man's death.

Should the video be made public? I suppose it should as long as there is an investigation taking place. The need to make the video public was only heightened by the fact that the police kept it to themselves for so long saying that they needed it as part of their inquiry into how this happened and if the taser was used unnecessarily. The need to make the video public was also heightened by the video owner coming forward to the media to let them know that the police had yet to return his property. With this in mind it was only a matter of time before some version of the video would be seen. In a way it had to be made public since by now we were all wondering what happened to this man and how could it all go so wrong?

The questions will continue to be asked as they should. Will the video help clarify? I would guess somewhat. However, keep in mind that like the Rodney King video we need remember how the police used that particular video to show that they weren't using excessive force and in fact King was fighting back. In other words depending on who is doing the viewing and thus drawing the conclusions, events that happened separate from the reality of what actually happened can be interpreted. I guess the advantage of making the video public works to help clear the police of any sort of cover-up, but with the King video setting a kind of precedent, it is hard to imagine that they can be cleared of using excessive force (tasering unnecessarily).

Of course I haven't seen the video so I can't draw conclusions based on video evidence, but I can say that it would seem that an unarmed man who spoke no English was frustrated and confused at the Vancouver airport. Police swept in and tasered the man more than once that caused his death. What do I see? That there is something very wrong with this picture.

1 comment:

Red said...

This story; the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes in London; the shooting of a guy sleeping in the back of a car while on his way to a football match in Italy... they all go to show that if the real criminals don't get us, the police might.

Scary times.