Understanding Police Deviance and Accountability

Posted: January 17, 2013 by pmaharaj91 in Robert Dziekanski

As I was registering for my classes one night for the spring semester, I stumbled upon Police Deviance and Accountability, not to mention that I had no idea Kwantlen offered this class. Nonetheless, as an aspiring police officer, I knew that this class would be extremely beneficial to me because it would give me a better insight into how police deviance and accountability behaviours work that is inconsistent with the norms and values, or ethics from a societal standpoint. Moreover, the “ethical” and “ideal” police force would be one with integrity and there would be nothing puzzling about it. However, today, the police are evenly despised, or respected by the general public. I believe that not every single encounter with the police is a positive experience; some individuals usually come into contact with them when they are in trouble, or if they have been a victim of a crime. I hope to expand my knowledge on the topics of corruption and excessive force by the end of this semester and as well as the rights and freedoms that individuals possess as citizens of Canada.

The Robert Dziekanski Taser incident has received a lot of media attention over the years and on the topic of “use of force”. He was a Polish immigrant who died after he was hit with a “stun gun” by the police at Vancouver International Airport. He did not speak English, the RCMP found him acting strange and on the aggressive side, mainly because he was lost in the airport’s international arrivals area. I think due to the fact that most individuals carry smartphones with cameras in it, a lot of more footage of wrongdoing by the police is caught on camera. Furthermore, according to http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/14/bc-dziekanski-taser.html, a two-part inquiry into Dziekanski’s death set out recommendations for the use of Tasers and cautioned against multiple stuns. A report indicated that Taser use in B.C. declined by 87 percent since his death. The province has also introduced the Independent Investigations Office, a civilian-led oversight agency that reviews police incidents involving fatalities, or serious injury. I think holding the police accountable for things they do wrong is important, using their discretion wisely and respecting the rights and freedoms of individuals is extremely substantial. No human being deserves to be attacked and killed for an illegitimate reason. Nevertheless, there also is the media who over analyzes specific events and “twists” stories around and the general public seem to believe it and this is where confidence in policing goes down.

With many pros and cons facing policing, it definitely is a fascinating area of study!



5th anniversary of Robert Dziekanski’s Taser-related death. In CBC News. Retrieved January 16th, 2013 from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/10/14/bc-dziekanski-taser.html.



  1. Mike Larsen says:

    A good first post!

    You note that “However, today, the police are evenly despised, or respected by the general public.”

    How can we determine if this is in fact the case? Where can we find information about public perceptions of policing organizations?

    If public opinion is indeed this polarized, why might this be the case?

    Your commentary about the Dziekanski case suggests that you will find our exploration of ‘policing’s new visibility’ to be interesting.

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