I Was Murdered Today

Just as surely as Robert Dziekanski was, I was murdered today.

Public reaction to what some commentators have compared with the videotaped Rodney King beating in Los Angeles has been strong and varied.

“I was truly shocked and saddened by this terrible incident at the airport,” a reader wrote to The Canadian Press.

“Why was the Taser used at all?”

Wrote an Alberta man referring to the RCMP: “Mr. Dziekanski was posing no threat to these Rambo wannabes.

I am mentally ill, as many of you know.  I suffer from Type One Bipolar disorder, and there have been times, when enraged, or threatened, or distressed, when I have been like Robert Dziekanski- disoriented, aggressively confused, acting out in a frantic state.

And today, I watched myself die on video.

Oh, it wasn’t my face.  It was the face of Robert Dziekanski.  And, when he went down beneath the Tasers of the murderous RCMP cowboys, I died.

Whether he was just an exhausted and confused traveller, disoriented in a strange place filled with alien languages and voices, or whether he was a man in throes of a mental disorder, he was weak, and he was vulnerable.

He needed protecting, and treatment.

Instead, he was brought down, the sick wildebeast beneath the glinting fangs of the raging pride.

And he was devoured.

I watched the video, though I knew I shouldn’t have the very first few seconds when I saw Robert Dziekanski building his imagined barricade against what horrors in his mind I know not…but I watched anyway, knowing what I would see.

Who can look away from one’s own murder?


I was murdered today.

And, a few days ago, Robert Dziekanski was, by the people who are trained served to protect people like Robert Dziekanski, from themselves and others.

I was murdered today…


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    • Tigana on November 16, 2007 at 04:51

    TMWAP, both psychiatry and the justice system are cash cows – and unnecessary. When we understand that what we eat can make us well and change our thinking for the better, we will be able to change the world.


  1. What was the red headed guy using? Was that a Taser?

    Did he pujil him in the head or neck with the Bataan-like object?

    Isn’t the stabbing motion unnecessary? And, Why would he do such a thing if his life was not threatened by the subject?

  2. Why do people get so overly concerned about getting something “done” in a situation like this.  We are all human beings, we have nothing but time to treat each other with decency.  I noticed the regular security people getting nervous when bystanders were making impatient phone calls about getting this “situation” under control.  The man was obviously very confused and disoriented, you didn’t need to be able to speak Polish to clearly see and understand that.  I have no other words.  It’s a shocking video.

    • KrisC on November 16, 2007 at 15:24

    “We as citizens of this city, province, country and world rely on the efforts of the RCMP … to protect us from those viewed as a threat to our safety.

    Since when does “safety” trump anothers life?  This poor man, confused and alone in a foreign airport, wasn’t threatening anyone’s life.  Society is “afraid” of the boogyman.  Stop being cry-babies!

  3. precipitated his frightened and disoriented condition, but it really doesn’t matter.  He could easily enough have been restrained by the security guards, without the use of the taser.  Better, they could have gotten someone who speaks Polish to intervene in the situation.  This is a horrible and tragic event.  It is outraging!

    The use of tasers should be outlawed.  Tasers are used indiscriminately — how do those who use them know the medical condition of an individual?  They don’t!  

  4. Thanks for writing this, MWAP.  I don’t see where the commenters have addressed YOU, and so I’m going to try.

    There is no way to know, on the face of it, whether this PERSON was mentally ill.  Mental illness is a qualitative thing, and we “know” it by the effects it leaves.  Who is to say who is mentally healthy?

    Look who’s occupying the White House, for Pete’s sake. In all of my horror at what Bush and Cheney have done and continue to do, there is a part of me that is very sad that neither had obtained any therapy. If one believes in the inherent worth of every individual, to lose anyone due to mental or emotional pathology is a loss. I would like to think that redemption of the soul is possible for everyone (not in a religious sense).

    What is so frightening, is the societally sanctioned and institutionalized dehumanization.  In this case, it resulted in a surprise attack against a defenseless person, and it resulted in death.

    There are recognized ways to de-escalate the behaviors of someone in crisis.  And I would posit that the poor man was in crisis.  Alone, not able to speak the language, not knowing the unstated “rules” of airport behavior, not knowing airport architecture and how to navigate.  he was lost, alone, frightened and stressed beyond his capacity and resources to deal with his situation.

    And he was attacked and killed.

    So, MWAP – you weren’t the only one killed – we are all that man at one point or another.

    And that means that we must all protest, all must work together to assure that humanity reigns over inhumanity, and that we must all commit to not walking by those who are invisible, not speaking for those who are without a voice, and not hearing the calls from those in distress.

    Thanks for writing this post.  It’s important.

    • Tigana on November 16, 2007 at 20:03


    Murray Dobbin of the Council of Canadians http://canadians.org

    says we might win this one if we write LTE’s. The points he suggests we stress are these:

    “Currently, police departments across Canada, including the RCMP, rely on the National Use-of-Force Framework as a guide to training officers in how to respond to potentially dangerous situations.

    The framework calls on police to assess a situation quickly, and then use an

    escalating series of responses, depending on the actions of the subject with

    whom they are dealing.

    According to a paper by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, passive resistance can trigger a soft physical response, which might involve an officer placing a hand on someone’s shoulder, or putting them in handcuffs. A subject who offers active resistance, by backing away, running or hiding, can be met with hard physical control, which could involve joint locks, punches or strikes with open hands.

    It is only when a subject becomes “assaultive,” however, that the framework

    calls for the use of intermediate weapons, such as the taser or pepper spray.”

  5. to be using to shield himself as he, apparently, felt threatened, as well as frightened and disoriented.  I will say it again, if three men cannot restrain one man who has no weapon, then something is wrong.  

    • Bikemom on November 17, 2007 at 04:46

    from the company producing them.  I wouldn’t be surprised – the way they are abusing them.

    Glad to see all your posts here MWAP and really like your new username!  Don’t visit here or DKos much anymore – my new job is sucking up all my energy right now.

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