Officer acquitted in Dziekanski case suing government
One of the officers acquitted of perjury following the Taser-related death of Robert Dziekanski has filed legal action against the federal and provincial government.
In a civil claim, Constable Bill Bentley is seeking both general and special damages, past and future loss of income, diminished loss of earning capacity and punitive damages, after a years-long investigation into his conduct following Dziekanski’s death ended with an acquittal.
“It was a direct and forseeable consequence of the negligent conduct of the RCMP and members of the RCMP, either individually, or in combination, that the plaintiff would sustain severe psychological injury,” reads the claim filed by Bentley’s lawyers.
“The effective of the extremely critical, persistent, national and international reporting of the plaintiff’s involvement in the incident at YVR and subsequent perjury charge has compromised his effective career in the RCMP.”
Const. Bill Bentley was among four officers who confronted Dziekanski at Vancouver’s airport in October 2007, when he was stunned with a Taser and died.
They were all charged with perjury after a public inquiry, when the Crown claimed they all colluded on a story to tell investigators and later the inquiry.
But Bentley, along with Const. Gerry Rundel, were found not guilty in 2013.
“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,” the claim reads.
“As a result of the negligent conduct…the Plaintiff’s career with the RCMP has been effectively destroyed and any other future career path seriously and adversely affected.”
None of Bentley’s allegations has been proven in court.
– With files from The Canadian Press