Dziekanski Mountie files suit alleging RCMP made him a scapegoat

Nanaimo RCMP officer says he suffered irreparable harm from the force's statements and actions in the wake of 2007 Taser death

One of the four RCMP officers at the centre of the Robert Dziekanski scandal is suing the government after the force allegedly threw him under the bus.

Gerry Rundel, an RCMP constable, has filed suit against the B.C. Minister of Justice and the Attorney-General of Canada alleging RCMP actions and statements in the wake of Dziekanski’s death by Taser have caused him irreparable damage.

“The plaintiff has suffered permanent and irreparable harm including extreme embarrassment, loss of reputation, extreme stress resulting in disabling psychological and physical injury, personal expense and financial loss and he will continue so to suffer,” a claim filed Monday in Nanaimo B.C. Supreme Court states.

“As a result of negligent conduct of the defendant, the plaintiff’s career with the RCMP has been effectively destroyed and any other future career path seriously and adversely affected.”

The suit states the defendants made Rundel a scapegoat by failing to publicly support him in the aftermath of the incident, by not making it clear he was not involved in any use of the Taser, and by not correcting misinformation reported in the initial press conference.

It further alleges they made public statements critical of his actions and suggested he had been disciplined despite the fact they knew, or ought to have known, he had acted appropriately according to his training and the policies in place at the time.

The Dziekanski case made international headlines after the Polish citizen was Tasered during a police incident at the Vancouver Airport on Oct. 14, 2007, and died.

Initial police statements regarding the incident conflicted with evidence that later surfaced, including a highly publicized video recording.

This led to allegations of a cover-up and a high-profile public inquiry into police conduct.

Rundel, who has been a member of the Nanaimo detachment and a city resident since being transferred from Richmond in the incident’s immediate aftermath, claims he has been exposed to public contempt and shamed despite the fact investigations by both the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team and the Criminal Justice branch cleared him of wrongdoing. He was also later acquitted of a charge of perjury.

“As a result of the RCMP’s mismanagement of information to the media and their persistent refusal to set the record straight there was increased international public perception of a cover-up of wrongdoing by the members involved,” the suit states.

The suit also claims Rundel has suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and sleep disorder and “his credibility and his ability to function as an officer within the RCMP organization had been compromised.”

Off-duty on long-term sick leave, Rundel also alleges being pressured to return to work and threatened with a Code of Conduct investigation for making the following 2015 public statement:

“The RCMP need to publicly back their officers when they act according to training, policy and procedure, in order to prevent falsehoods from spinning out of control.”

The suit seeks unspecified compensation for past and future loss of income, as well as punitive damages.

None of the allegations contained in the suit have been proven. The B.C. Justice Ministry issued a statement to Black Press indicating they have yet to see the claim and will not be responding at this time.

 

Just Posted

Victoria Women’s March draws hundreds

Pink pussy hats aplenty as demonstrators took to downtown streets

Oak Bay Council agenda at a glance

Regional Transportation Service, major reserve funds, and Oak Bay Heritage on tonight’s agenda

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

School fence damaged by soaring sailboat

One boat owner advised, Transport Canada responsible for second boat

Backyard of $2.2M Uplands property bulldozed for BMX jump track

34-year-old financial advisor fulfills childhood dream

VIDEO: Fuel truck and train collide in B.C. causing massive fire

More emergency crews are still arriving on scene of a massive fire at the Port Coquitlam rail yard.

Back to work: U.S. government shutdown ends after Democrats relent

Short-term spending measure means both sides could see another shutdown stalemate in three weeks

Man lives despite malfunctioning defibrillator at B.C. arena

A middle-aged man went into cardiac arrest after at game at Pitt Meadows Arena last Wednesday.

Reynolds, Edward Milne capture titles at Esquimalt hoops tournament

Host Dockers take fourth in senior girls draw

Cause of Northern B.C. seaplane crash released

TSB releases report on seaplane crash during a water landing in 2016 near First Nations community

Vancouver police crack down on pop-up pot vendors

Officers raided merchants’ tables on Robson Square late Sunday

Bell Media, NFL take appeal over Super Bowl ad rules to top court

At issue is a ban on substituting American ads with Canadian ones during the game’s broadcast

Crown seeks 4.5 years jail for B.C. woman convicted of counselling tax evasion

Debbie Anderson the latest from group to face jail for teaching debunked ‘natural person’ theory

Most Read