One of the former Mounties responsible for the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver International Airport in 2007 has settled a lawsuit filed against Canada’s attorney general and the province of B.C., according to his lawyer.
Kwesi Millington sued the governments in 2019, claiming RCMP negligence and conduct that resulted in personal injury and damage, including PTSD, depression and anxiety.
Lawyer Sebastien Anderson wouldn’t discuss the details of his client’s settlement, saying only that as part of it, the RCMP provided Millington with a letter in support of an application for a pardon.
“I’m sure he’s not happy, but he’s relieved that this chapter of his life has come to a conclusion,” said Anderson of his client.
Dziekanski, who did not speak English, was moving to Canada to live with his mother when he arrived at the Vancouver International Airport in 2007 and spent hours in customs. He became agitated and was Tasered by RCMP multiple times after four officers responded to reports of a man throwing furniture.
All four officers were charged with perjury following the inquiry into Dziekanski’s death, for testimony inquiry commissioner Thomas Braidwood called “patently unbelievable.”
Millington and his senior officer, Benjamin (Monty) Robinson, were found guilty in B.C. Supreme Court of colluding to make up testimony at the Braidwood inquiry into the death of Dziekanski.
Anderson noted that the two white men charged with perjury in the case were acquitted, while Millington and Monty Robinson, both people of colour, were convicted.
‘It was very traumatic’
Millington was sentenced to 30 months in prison. He has since been released.
“It was very traumatic, in fact for a considerable portion of his sentence he was held in isolation and had no contact with his family or anyone else outside the institution,” said Anderson, adding there was no good reason given for the isolation given.
“It was something that was totally unnecessary in the circumstances,” he said.
In his lawsuit, Millington had alleged the RCMP defamed him on a number of occasions publicly, while his actions during the Dziekanski incident were found to be consistent with the training he received.
CBC News contacted the offices of B.C.’s attorney general and solicitor general for a comment on the settlement, along with the federal attorney general’s office. None provided a comment by deadline.
Anderson said Millington has gone on to take courses and has become a resiliency coach to help others faced with traumatic circumstances.
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