Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Citizen Hero Recognized . . . .


UPDATED
: CBC's The Current audio here. (Paul Pritchard, 1st segment)


The citizen hero who filmed Robert Dzianski's violent death was properly recognized for his responsible and commendable actions.

Per the CBC today:

Man who shot Dziekanski video gets journalism award
By CBC News |
October 28, 2009


The man who used a digital camera to record the death of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport says he feels guilty he didn't try to help the Polish immigrant even though others honoured his actions Tuesday with a citizen-journalism award.

The man who used a digital camera to record the death of Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport says he feels guilty he didn't try to help the Polish immigrant even though others honoured his actions Tuesday with a citizen-journalism award.

Dziekanski, 40, died Oct. 14, 2007, following several shocks from a Taser four RCMP officers used to subdue him after he caused a disturbance.

The incident might never have received much attention if Paul Pritchard had not decided to grab his digital camera and start recording the actions of the distraught Dziekanski before police arrived.

_______________


After the incident, Pritchard, who was on his way
to his family's home in Victoria and had been waiting in the international arrivals lounge at the time, handed his video over to the RCMP to use in their investigation. The police promised it would be returned in 48 hours.

But when the RCMP's public statements about the incident conflicted with what Pritchard and other witnesses said they saw, Pritchard demanded the RCMP return the video so that he could release it to the public.


When the police refused, saying releasing the video would compromise their investigation, Pritchard hired a lawyer, held a news conference and threatened to use legal action to get it back.

Th
e release of the 10-minute video, which contradicted the police version of the incident, led to widespread public outrage around the world and diplomatic tensions between Canada and Poland. It also resulted in the deepest scrutiny of the RCMP in decades in the form of a special inquiry into the incident, led by retired British Columbia Appeal Court Justice Thomas R. Braidwood.

Citizen journalism award

On Tuesday evening in Toronto, Pritchard's work in documenting what happened and waging a legal battle against the RCMP for the release of his video was honoured by Canadian Journalists for Free Expression.

The organization gave Pritchard its first-ever award for citizen journalism, which recognizes the contributions of ordinary people in the field of journalism.

_______________


"I don't consider myself a hero, and to be honest, I'm not completely happy with the fact that I did that," said Pritchard. "Maybe instead of grabbing a camera, I could have gone and talked to him.

"If I feel I did something wrong, or feel I didn't do enough, I think the effort I put in afterwards is enough for me to live with that ? I did everything I possibly could do."


Personally, I consider Paul a hero for what he did.

Without his responsible actions, the whole affair would have been swept under the proverbial rug . . . .


2 comments:

Gazetteer said...

And police departments in this country would still be buying electroshock devices hand over fist to use on the goddess only knows whom....

Raging grannies, perhaps?

All snark aside, Mr. Pritchard did all Canadians a great service by doing the right thing after the fact.

(and I, for one, most definitely remember all the puffed-up punditry that floated unsubstantiated rumours that he was only in it for the money)

.

West End Bob said...

I remember those insinuations, too, Gazetteer.

Wonder who those "talking heads" are denigrating these days ? ? ? ?