Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dziekanski Inquiry - distance from farce to stupidity gets shorter

The disaster that has been the Dziekanski Inquiry got even worse for the RCMP - if that can be imagined - when Cpl. Dale Carr, the senior, lead spokesman for the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team in B.C admitted during his cross-examination that he provided "misinformation" to his subordinate, Sgt. Pierre Lemaitre who conducted a media briefing 2 days after the death of Mr. Dziekanski.

Despite realizing that there had been errors he decided to hold off correcting the false details of Dziekanski incident on the basis that it might compromise the investigation. This is a easy kneejerk reaction as most often it is correct - except not in the circumstances surrounding Dziekanski's death. Carr was then asked if NOT CORRECTING the clear mischaracterizations and errors after he saw the video would have also affected public opinion of what really occurred and the investigation - and after a lengthy pause - he agreed it would have. By this I understood him to mean that he had only just then, on the witness stand, considered and comprehended that by mis-stating the facts as he did, all he suceeded in doing was to re-inforce negative public opinion that the RCMP had something to hide because they knew they were negligent. It is shocking relalation that this enlightening moment arrived too late.

Yesterday, Lemaitre said that his personal reputation suffered because he was the public face of the first police accounts of the incident. Carr also admitted that he did not listen closely to what Lemaitre said. The two had agreed at the outset the best strategy was to get timely and accurate information out to the media without compromising the investigation. [Editor: Which sounds like a sensible idea until one realizes in the course of this inquiry that these clowns despite supposed professional training, have lost the ability to "filter" information in a useful manner.] "Very commonly, we never talk about all our evidence that we have gathered. We just don't do that."

This testimony comes after weeks of embarrassments about how the RCMP officers responded, contradicted themselves when shown vital video evidence and how senior officers have stonewalled any responsibility for how they have mishandled every aspect of the incident - from taser training protocols, procedures, inflated and misrepresented Dziekanski actions - in order to exonerate themselves and "spin" the media.

This inquiry is an absolute disgrace to the RCMP and yet it appears NO ONE in the force has the balls to admit they screwed up. It is also very telling that they fail to understand the fatal damage they are sustaining in public support. This indicates the expectation gap is unbridgeable.

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