A man who wants the mystery cleared up over what happened to a Polish man who died after being zapped by an RCMP Taser is suing to get his video back.
Paul Pritchard says he took high-quality video of the Oct. 14 incident where police confronted 40-year-old Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport and just minutes later was dead.
The Victoria lawyer acting for Mr. Pritchard says the video is an excellent version of events, clearly indicating what happened in the minutes before police arrived, the use of the taser and Mr. Pritchard's realization he had just seen a man die.
Paul Pearson says his client willingly surrendered the video to RCMP and was assured it would be returned, but was contacted the next day and told investigators would not hand it back.
Mr. Pearson says Mr. Pritchard's only option is to ask the courts to intervene and he'll apply for a judge's order to return the property before the end of the week.
"It's less that he wants it back for himself and more that he wants it to be released and have the public have access to this videotape," Mr. Pearson said Tuesday.
He noted there has been a great deal of interest about the man's death and many explanations from police and other witnesses about what happened.
"This isn't a situation where everyone's hush-hush about what happened. The public is very interested in this," Mr. Pearson said in an interview.
A lawyer for Mr. Dziekanski's mother told the media last week that no drugs or alcohol had been found in the man's system.
Witnesses to the early morning incident say Mr. Dziekanski had been in a rage, throwing a computer and sweating profusely.
He had been waiting for about 10 hours in the airport for his mother to pick him up after a long flight from Poland.
Mr. Pritchard was at the airport because he had just returned from China where he was working as an English instructor.
"Mr. Pritchard has no difficulty whatsoever with the police having a copy of the footage that he took," Mr. Pearson said. "The difference here is police have taken the original and aren't giving it back."
Mr. Pearson said Mr. Pritchard had only seen the video once while watching it with police officers.
"There certainly are discrepancies between what some of the witnesses say, what the video may show and what my client may recall occurring," he said.
Mr. Pearson said the video would be an exact record of timing and what happened at the international arrivals area of the airport.
"It will help, I hope, to clear up a lot of the concern and mystery about what occurred that day," the lawyer said.
Mr. Dziekanski had planned to move from Poland to live with his mother in Kamloops, B.C.