Expert says Dziekanski lunged at police
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Screen captures from the Paul Pritchard video of the taser death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport.
Photograph by: Handout , The Province
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An expert forensic video analyst testified on Monday that Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski made a move towards RCMP officers seconds before he was hit with the first of five Taser jolts.
Grant Fredericks said he stabilized a three-second clip that showed Dziekanski swaying left and right with his back to the camera during a confrontation with two Mounties at Vancouver International Airport.
"I observed the step to the right, to the left, to the right . . . the motion of the shoulders that were turning inward as movement occurred, which is consistent with walking," Fredericks told retired judge Thomas Braidwood at the public inquiry probing Dziekanski’s death.
Fredericks, a former TV reporter and Vancouver police constable who is now a forensic video analysis instructor at the University of Indianapolis, said his subjective observation was validated when he compared Dziekanski’s size at the beginning and at the end of the clip, measuring the pixels from his collar to the bottom-most part of his jacket visible in the video.
He said the same area of Dziekanski’s jacket dropped to 74 per cent of its original size, suggesting the Polish man was advancing on the Mounties.
His statement supports earlier testimony by the four police officers that Dziekanski was combative and a threat to their safety.
Frederick was contacted by lawyer David Butcher, who represents one of the Mounties involved in the incident.
Don Rosenbloom, the lawyer representing the Polish government at the inquiry, objected to Frederick’s testimony, saying he has no background in biomechanics. “How can you conclude that torquing of the shoulder blades is necessarily the advancement of the feet of the body?” he asked during cross examination.
He also cited reports by two experts which criticized Fredericks’ methodology as flawed.
“All we’re left with is your subjective opinion that there has been some movement forward and you can’t say how much,” said Rosenbloom.
Mark Hird-Rutter, a certified photogrammetrist and geomatics instructor at BCIT, said Fredericks was only able to compare a single point on Dziekanski’s collar. “The size was not measured,” he said.
“All we know is that Mr. Dziekanski’s collar has dropped by a few pixels.”
A second expert is expected to testifty today that the perceived change in Dziekanski’s size could be due to vertical motion, not movement away from the camera. Today is the last day of testimony in the inquiry.
Closing arguments are scheduled for late June.
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May 26, 2009 - 11:17 AM
How about admitting you made a mistake and apologizing. It would be cheaper in the long run and the RCMP could hire the fired Members on future contracts. Better than making the entire RCMP look incompetent.
May 26, 2009 - 10:34 AM
This analysis comes right out of desperate,and hard up for any kind of an attempt to justify the RCMP oversimplification of their wrong doing.This resulted directly in the death of an innocent,tired,frustrated individual,who could not even speak english.There is no excuse or plausible reason for the four RCMP officers actions that fatal night.There has been excellent testimony and video,revealing that the incorect and contradictory testimony by the actions of the four officers.Coupled with the senior RCMP staff attempted to stall,sieze video,and any thing possible to redirect attention from their irresponsible actions that night.They even went out to Poland in an attempt to belittle and taint this mans reputation and medical condition,all at very expensive taxpayer expense,talk about far reaching!!! The testimony of the an expert that contradicted the RCMP actions that night,who has been utilised by the RCMP for over 20 years,who was then fired Attempts were then made to hire an apparently incompetent so called expert to smear previous expert testimony.The RCMP's treatment of the puiblic and this case in particular only displays their contempt for the public and this countries laws.The RCMP has a very poor record of performance of their required responsibilities,with their position that there are two standards,#1 -a set of laws that we all in this country must adhere to,and # 2 - the RCMP standard that they apparently believe that these very same laws do not apply to them. This is wrong and until they are to be held to account,as we the public are,we will continue to have the same mistrust,and lack of respect for the RCMP.Until they fire incompetent senior staff,review and reset the standards that apply to all in this country,there will no further trust given to this Keystone cop attitude displayed by the RCMP. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
May 26, 2009 - 9:42 AM
Dziekanski's was clearly a nut case and had a heart problem. It was a tragic incident. Let's get over it!!
May 26, 2009 - 9:16 AM
Why does the RCMP keep digging a deeper whole with more "purgy under oath" Their head guy should apoligize for the mistake, fire the men envloved and give the poor mother a settlement. This will not bring her son back but at least give her some closure. Four Citizens off the street could have handled this situation with a postive ending. The lies and attempted cover ups all ready exposed in RCMP statements todate is an embarrassment to the City and the Force itself. Its sad to see over the years the detoration of this once proud and respected police force turn into the focus of the public distane and ridicule caused by numerous public debacles in the last 20 years.
May 26, 2009 - 8:29 AM
To all of you that are sick of the story and want to move on to other "news" NOBODY ASKED YOU TO READ IT AND POST A MESSAGE! If you are sick of it, then stop reading it. You're posts remind me of when someone opens a bag of food that smells so bad it make them throw up then passes it on and says - here, smell this! On to the actual story - no wonder cops have such a bad rap - how much is the inquiry costing us tax payers anyway?
Where is M.A.D.D.?
May 26, 2009 - 8:18 AM
How come every R.C.M.P. witness has some financial connection to Tazer International. I hope the family sues YVR, YVR Administrators, Canadian Border Services, The R.C.M.P., the four officers, the YVR security company & Tazer International as they all played a role in the death. The four officers should be charged for involuntary manslaughter because they did not provide adequate care for their client. If the three officers do not testify that their commanding officer Robinson did not allow them to perofrm basic fisrt aid on the client they are as guilty as Robinson. Also where is M.A.D.D. to condemn Robinson, a mother's son was taken in the prime of his life by a drunk driving cop. I think M.A.D.D. is just a civilian branch of the R.C.M.P. who will protect cops and vilify everyone else.
May 26, 2009 - 8:16 AM
Well put Richard, some police are scum taking down the system! This expert idiot is nothing but a paid smokescreen for injustice. WELLCOME TO THE BROTHERHOOD> The testimony of a blood spatter expert from the RCMP in the IAN BUSH murder was discounted by the LEADERS of this fake system of justice. Perhaps this lowlife expert will fall in disgrace the same way.
what a crock
May 26, 2009 - 8:01 AM
Man I'm not even going to read this whole article cause I sense a B.S. lie coming anyway s., I've seen how cops use this an excuse (SHOOT HIM NED HE'S COMING RIGHT AT YA) in the past and say the person was resiting arrest which is a crock of *** if you ask me. I still think it's a case of over zealous cops thinking they're above the law and can use any means they think they should. I for one hope they're all charged with murder cause that's exactly what they did.
May 26, 2009 - 7:52 AM
Enough already. RCMP you screwed up. No matter how much you try you will not sway us. SO APOLOGIZE ALREADY!
May 26, 2009 - 7:40 AM
Are you kidding me! This will never go away until the truth is told and punishment is handed out. The Rcmp SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF ITSELF.
May 26, 2009 - 7:02 AM
The lawyer for the Polish government (Don Rosenbloom) blew the so called "expert" out of the water yesterday by pointing out he has no qualifications to make these kind of pronouncements. He's an expert in pixels, but not in body mechanics.
May 26, 2009 - 6:53 AM
Eventually the story will change to say that Dziekanski tasered the cops who heroically fought through th epain to peacefully subdue the mass murderer. It will end by saying that Dziekanski committed suicide while in police custody. The lying cops will get medals, trauma counselling and early retirement with extra pension benefits. They will go on to become commissioners appointed by the government to ensure neutrality in future police incidents involving deaths of innocent citizens.
Last edited by china; May 26th, 2009 at 09:11 PM..