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Cop not certified with Taser

The RCMP officer who gave the order to jolt Robert Dziekanski with a Taser stun gun lacked the proper certification to fire the weapon himself, the inquiry into the Polish immigrant's death has heard.

RCMP Cpl. Benjamin 'Monty' Robinson is the last of four officers involved, and the most senior, to testify before the Braidwood Commission.

Robinson testified Monday he was first trained in the use of Taser weapons in March 2003. But by the time of the Oct. 14, 2007 incident at Vancouver International Airport that left Dziekanski dead, Robinson had let his certification expire. He re-certified one month later in November 2007.

Even so, Robinson testified he ordered a subordinate to use his Taser after seeing Dziekanski grab a stapler.

Like his fellow officers, Robinson described Dziekanski's behaviour as aggressive and a possible danger to the public.

Also, like his fellow officers, Robinson admitted he made mistakes in his original statements taken shortly after the incident, in which he described having to "wrestle" Dziekanski to the ground and that the Polish immigrant was "swinging" the stapler wildly.

In fact, Dziekanski fell on his own power after he was jolted with a Taser weapon. And though Robinson used the word "swinging" 12 times in his statement, he admitted yesterday it was inaccurate.

"Just because I was mistaken doesn't mean I was lying," Robinson said.

Prompted by his lawyer, Robinson said he thinks about the incident every day.

"This never should have happened," he said, before insisting he didn't contribute to Dziekanski's death.

Outside court, Dziekanski's mother, Zofia Cisowski, tried to confront the officer.

"I wanted him to look at me," she told reporters later. "To see my face. My sorrow."

She later declined an offer to meet with Robinson privately.

The inquiry continues.

Irwin Loy reports for 24 Hours Vancouver and appears regularly on The Hook.

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