Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...

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The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Monday, December 31, 2007

SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL SELL !!!!!

Recent Insider Trading Activity: TASER International Inc
Date Name Transaction Shares Price Value
10/26/07 KROLL MARK W Sold 25,000 $16.54 413,500
10/10/07 SMITH PATRICK W Sold 250,000 $18.61 4.65 Mil
10/10/07 SMITH THOMAS P Sold 125,000 $18.61 2.33 Mil
09/14/07 CULVER BRUCE R Sold 50,000 $14.31 715,500
08/15/07 CULVER BRUCE R Sold 50,000 $14.15 707,500
08/10/07 SMITH PATRICK W Sold 250,000 $15.85 3.96 Mil
08/10/07 SMITH THOMAS P Sold 250,000 $15.85 3.96 Mil
06/11/07 CULVER BRUCE R Sold 97,666 $11.45 1.12 Mil
05/31/07 CULVER BRUCE R Sold 100,000 $10.53 1.05 Mil
05/23/07 SMITH PATRICK W Sold 100,000 $9.53 953,000

It all adds up to about $20M. At least a couple of these sales were automatic.

But still, these guys are cashing in pretty fast...

The advantage of being ignorant...

Taser wins another case.

"...Taser argued that it did not know that the muscle contractions produced by the weapon were strong enough to cause a fracture."

See? If you're a moron you can get away with almost anything.

Link= Taser - the advantage of being ignorant

Here's the point: A careful engineer would have consulted a medical expert and they could have made a list of risks liable to occur when high voltage is applied to a human. This list would likely be several pages in length, and self-fracturing of bones would be on the top half of page 1.

Has anyone subpoenaed Taser's design files?

Don't worry, eventually one of these lawsuits will stick.

Taser news on YouTube

Link= YouTube

Taser's reaction to this incident would probably be the normal Charlie Brown's Teacher's voice, "Wah wah wah wah wah wah wah wah."

Note the recent upswing in deaths as tasers become more common. Unless something changes, it is only going to get worse.

So tasering helps the adminstration of justice exactly how?

Link= Chronicle-Telegram

"DUI charges were dropped by Sheffield in that incident in exchange for Fretter’s promise not to sue the village [over the crazy tasering incident]."

That's a pretty sleazy deal isn't it? No one should feel proud of the way that turned out.

And watching the video, one really needs to ask... What sort of puffter police are we hiring so that two burly policemen and one policewomen can't put a cuffed woman in a cell without resorting to using a taser?

Have all the police gone wussy?

What? If the batteries in the taser were dead, would this cuffed woman have cleared out the town police station and then gone on to rampage across the state?

Puffters. Go take an afternoon Judo class. Two hours should be enough to gain your self-confidence back.


Update 2008 Jan 03:

Link= Another similar case

Taser - the new SCO ?

Now that the SCO company is slowly submerging beneath the waves in a sea of lawsuits, it seems that Taser is the new lawsuit-happy litigator and strangely-proud full-time defendant.

They proudly issue a press release every time they bamboozle their way out from under yet-another product liability lawsuit. 50, 60, etc. their press releases trumpet these successes as if they're proud of them.

But slowly but surely the charges are getting more and more serious. I predict that the bamboozling will eventually become less and less effective.

The altered state that is Taserville

Link= Steve Tuttle quotes

My fav: “It's like a lightbulb. Once it stops (sending the electrical impulse), it's off, ... There are no lingering effects, none."

Right... just like an Electric Chair. Once it is off, it's off. Right...

Sheer genius.

Yes, I know that the taser is much less powerful than an Electric Chair. But the point is that if the taser affects the heart, it is entirely possible that the death might be delayed. Read the chart in the Spectrum article (see above) where it says "Causes heart to behave erratically". If the heart is acting erratically (premise), then who knows what might happen, and when?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Controversy documented on Wiki

Link= Taser Controversy

The section 'Use in schools and on children' is especially charming...

"TASER International asserts that the taser is safe for use on anyone weighing 60 pounds or more."

It certainly shows the lack of common sense, and poor training based on misinformation from Taser.

WHERE ARE THE REGULATORS? HELLO??

Why not include a simple timer chip?

2005

An example of obvious misuse. Where is Taser on this incident?

A Lancaster County Sheriff's deputy shocked a jail inmate for an uninterrupted 2 minutes, 49 seconds before he collapsed and died during a fight with four officers in July, according to an autopsy report the Observer obtained Tuesday. Tasers are designed to paralyze a person's muscles for five seconds by firing two probes into the clothing or skin that deliver a single electrical blast. But the devices can shock a person longer if the user continues to hold down the trigger after the probes embed.

WHY? What moron designed such a stupid system?

The minutes-long jolt came after Maurice Cunningham was shocked five other times, ranging in length from five to nine seconds each, the report said. Tasers are equipped with a device that records [but doesn't control? Why not?] the time and duration of each shock.

The probes that embedded in Cunningham's left thigh and left arm completed a circuit in his body that disrupted the electrical system that controls the heart, the report said. Pathologists at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, who conducted the autopsy and wrote the report, found Cunningham's heart suffered damage at a cellular level, said cardiologist Michael Rinaldi of the Sanger Clinic in Charlotte. Rinaldi explained the findings after being read portions of the report.

The autopsy report said Cunningham, who'd never attacked officers before, had been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, possibly schizophrenia. The night before the attack, Cunningham complained that he was seeing snakes in his cell, the report said.

Cunningham had been prescribed Abilify and Risperdal, two drugs used to treat psychiatric disorders, the report said. Pathologists also examined jail records that showed Cunningham was given the drugs as prescribed through the day of the incident. Neither of the two drugs, however, were found in his system, the report said.

Officers tried to subdue Cunningham July 23 after he stabbed two officers in the eyes with pencils and lunged at two others, according to the Sheriff's Office and two inmates who witnessed the attack.

The Observer obtained the autopsy report via mail from the Lancaster County Coroner's Office after filing a request under South Carolina's Freedom of Information Act. Coroner Mike Morris has ruled that the Taser caused the 29-year-old's death. He could not be reached for comment.

Tasers says the Taser has never been shown to be a factor in deaths. Lies.

Cunningham's family declined to comment.

The Sheriff's Office has declined to comment further on the case and has declined to release the names of officers.

Cunningham was in jail awaiting trial on a charge of assault and battery with intent to kill. Three days before his arrest in September 2004, his mother asked a judge to have him checked into a mental health clinic, according to a city police report. Deputies said they could not find him before he was arrested on the assault charge.

Ed Jackson, an Amnesty International spokesman who follows Taser-related cases, said a two-minute, 49-second shock would be the longest he'd heard. The only other death attributed directly to a Taser was a case in Chicago in which a suspect was shocked for a little more than 50 seconds straight, he said.

That makes AT LEAST two.

Jackson said the shocks are consistent with the way many officers across the country are trained.

"They train officers to shock them until they comply ... Officers think that as soon as you turn the electricity off, that people will be fine," he said. "There needs to be a serious examination of training programs to make sure they're consistent with what we now know about Tasers."

Taser International has said its devices are safe and cannot cause heart problems.

In June, though, the company released a bulletin warning officers to avoid uninterrupted and multiple shocks. The warning said certain people could suffer from "potentially fatal health risks" as a result of over-exertion or impaired breathing.

It's unclear whether Lancaster County deputies received that update and what their training entails. Officials there say they'll answer questions about their training when they respond to an Observer FOIA request filed Sept. 26. By law, they have 15 business days to respond.

Officers at some departments in the Charlotte region say they try to limit multiple shocks. Rock Hill and Gaston County police said they train officers to try to physically restrain suspects before resorting to multiple Taser blasts.

Link= Design Defect


Comment:

Do you think that Taser would have something to say about this incident?

Your search - Cunningham site:www.taser.com - did not match any documents.
Your search - Morris site:www.taser.com - did not match any documents.

Shhhhh! Maybe it'll just blow over...


Fast forward to late-2007:

Cunningham v. Taser International, Inc.

Plaintiff: Corrie Cunningham
Defendant: Taser International, Inc.
Case Number: 1:2007cv06927
Filed: December 10, 2007
Court: Illinois Northern District Court
Office: Chicago Office
County: XX US, Outside the State of IL
Presiding Judge: Honorable Marvin E. Aspen
Nature of Suit: Torts - Injury - Personal Injury- Product Liability
Cause: 28:1441 Petition for Removal- Wrongful Death
Jurisdiction: Diversity
Jury Demanded By: Defendant
Amount Demanded: $75,000.00

Prediction: Taser will settle out-of-court for the bargain basement price of $75,000 and there will be an airtight non-disclosure agreement. No admission will be made that the design of the device is defective.

UN: "Tasers a form of torture that can kill"

November 24, 2007

TASER electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America.

"The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,'' the UN's Committee against Torture said.

"In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,'' the committee of 10 experts said.

Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

The man, Robert Dziekanski, 40, fell to the ground and died after the police officers piled on top of him.

There have been three deaths in Canada after the use of Tasers over the past five weeks.

The company that makes the weapons has said that similar deaths have been shown by "medical science and forensic analysis" to be "attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the Taser".

The UN committee made its comments in recommendations to Portugal, which has bought the newest Taser X26 stun gun for use by police.

Portugal "should consider giving up the use of the Taser X26,'' as its use can have a grave physical and mental impact on those targeted, which violates the UN's Convention against Torture, the experts said.

Link= Article on-line

Acute Effects of TASER X26 Discharges in a Swine Model

Link= Real Science, not sock-pocket pseudo-science propaganda.

"Conclusions: Immediately after the discharge, two deaths occurred because of ventricular fibrillation."

Oink, oink.

Taser VP slapped around

Steve Tuttle, VP of Communications for Taser International dared to stick his head into a public discussion group about tasers. He got slapped into the next galaxy.

Link= Taser VP gets slapped

Link= Original Article

Crazy...

Link= An article that has many examples of complete insanity

One of the people making any sense in this article is Alex Neve, Amnesty's secretary general. "It's gaining credence as a well-documented [sic] and established [sic] medical condition, that people walking around on the streets are likely to drop dead at any moment of excited delirium. That's clearly not the case."

Also, Dr. Eugene Crystal, an electrophysiologist at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto, believes a Taser could cause arrhythmia. "The amount of energy Taser uses may cause the heart to contract inappropriately," he says.

All the arguments on the other side are completely insane. Have a read if you can stand it.

"The exact cause of his death has not been determined."

2007 Dec. 29 RATON, N.M. — Two Tasers were fired 23 times in the case of a Raton man who died after city police used the Tasers to subdue him, state investigators said.

An autopsy found that Jesse Saenz was hit three times by Tasers.

The exact cause of his death has not been determined [...probably coincidental Excited Delirium... yeah, right...].

The officers using the Tasers said the devices malfunctioned [both of them? What an amazing coincidence...].

Saenz was struggling and fighting with police Nov. 18 as they attempted to take him into custody, authorities have said. Raton police Capt. Mike Galardi has said that officers had no choice but to use force to get Saenz under control.

Saenz died after being transported to the Colfax County jail [as opposed to the Colfax County HOSPITAL?].

Nothing to see here, move along...

Yeah right...

Saturday, December 29, 2007

How Tasers should be treated by the police...

Sgt. - "Good evening officers. Some of you will be issued with Tasers tonight. Please be aware that the Taser is a very dangerous weapon. It can kill. The Taser should be used only as a last resort and treated with as much respect as your sidearm. In other words, if you're almost at the point where you have perfect justification to draw your gun, and if you have time, and if the situation is appropriate, then if you can use the Taser instead, then that might be a good decision. Keep in mind, you will have to formally justify your actions and sworn statements will be taken from you and all witnesses. Have a good night, and Hey, be safe out there."

Friday, December 28, 2007

A very powerful and personal blog against Tasers

Link= Truth not Tasers

Personally, I'm just a normal, middle-class, Canadian that is disgusted beyond words and outraged beyond measure by the recent usages of Tasers on people in Canada. The approach being used has been inhuman and intolerable. It makes me cringe that good cops have gone bad. Anyone that cannot see the issue is blind.

The recent Kennedy report is a very good first step. I agree with it almost 100%, except there should be a ban on Tasers until the medical science is in (not the crap pseudo-science coming from the manufacturer and their sock-puppets).

For those that blindly and ignorantly think that Tasers are not a very bad thing, well the Kennedy report has taken a position that is virtually all the way towards a better (more Canadian) position. So there! Reasonableness is already being mandated by a cooler head. Now, why didn't this come from WITHIN the police force?

The blog linked above is well worth reading. It comes from people that have been directly impacted by the lies told by Taser, and the foolish police that believed them.

Symposium aims to ... white-wash taser deaths ?

Link= Article at Truth not Tasers

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Respect for the police

Police should be respected. They are heroes. They should be respected because they do a dirty, thankless, and dangerous job.

Oh, wait a minute....

No they don't anymore (at least some). They stand back and press the button and taser citizens. They've reduced the risk that they might break a nail, or have someone plunge a dirty needle into their eyeball. Makes the job rather simple now doesn't it? Couldn't we just give tasers to the Citizens On Patrol and lay-off all the police?

Since the taser is also good corporal punishment, we could also lay out a schedule of taser jolts for each crime. Speeding, one jolt. Drunk driving, five jolts. Sex crimes, twenty-seven jolts to the gonads. This would eliminate the requirement for all that expensive legal system.

Ottawa police, "What he was doing was incorrect..."

Link= CBC News

Ottawa police defend using Taser on teen

Yeah, those unarmed teens can be very dangerous...

Staff Sgt. Couillard said that if Ottawa police issued a news release every time a Taser was used, "we'd be writing them 10 times a day."

Oh dear. I guess they haven't read the Kennedy report, eh? If it wasn't for the taser, they'd be shooting ten citizens per day? What sort of country are we running here anyway? Just walk over and talk to the teen, and then arrest him in the old fashioned way if necessary and if justified.

"What he was doing was incorrect, and he was taken into custody with the appropriate manners, and he was provided the attention that he required."

INCORRECT? Hell, I act 'incorrect' four times a day. Hey, don't taser me bro. This attitude by the police is simply disgusting. They are using the taser as a torture device to induce compliance. Has the teen even been charged with any crime?

The company that manufactures Tasers stresses the devices have never been directly blamed for a death and it has defended them in several lawsuits.

Well, we know about their approach. Lawsuit happy...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tasers don't reduce shootings, despite claims...

Link= CBC News

So, why bother?

Why are 18^h^h 20 people in Canada dead?

Let's go back to police officers that can fight (if, and only if, required).

Reported RCMP self-Tasering nearly ends in disaster...

Rumours are swirling about an incident this weekend where a local RCMP officer accidentally tasered himself (a situation that absolutely begs for further details). Apparently, because of the seriousness of the effects, he had to go to a local hospital. Reportedly he was sent on to a specialist cardiac unit in a downtown hospital due to an irregular heartbeat.

It is a damn good thing that he is a strong and healthy police officer, as opposed to the average citizen where the risk of death would obviously be much higher.

We wish him well and hope that he makes a full recovery.

No further details are available at this time.

Update: Apparently it was simply an accidental tasering of his leg in push-mode where the probes are only an inch apart. And he still had to go to the hospital. And his heartbeat was irregular.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

RCMP to limit Taser use after critical report

"...Dziekanski is recorded as the 18th person in Canada to die in recent years after being hit by a Taser. Taser International, makers of the device, claim that the weapons have never been directly linked to a cause of death."

Link= CBC News

EIGHTEEN people killed^h^h^h^h^h^h died (coincidently I'm sure) shortly after being tasered.

That's quite some coincidence isn't it?

Yeah... right...

At least there's some good news recently. Mr. Kennedy's report is being largely accepted. We will see the death rate from these taserings drop off. Not because the weapon is 'perfectly safe', but because they'll keep it holstered more often.


Update: Apparently the RCMP is not adopting all of Kennedy's recommendations, I guess because they know better. Just like they knew better in August 2007 when they decided to recommend the use of multiple shocks, followed by a flurry of deaths in late-2007. Yeah, real experts...

Well, we have a Parliament that might be able to step in here a clarify a few things for the RCMP senior management.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The skill of standing in a bucket of turds...

...but never mention the bucket of turds. The senior Bush cabinet officials have this skill too.


CBC News - "Taser International, makers of the device, claim that the weapons have never been directly linked to a cause of death."

Here. I'll link it for you:

People get Tasered and then they (sometimes) die.

It happens.

It's a fact.

It's not likely to be a series of coincidences.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A GREAT! report from the RCMP Watchdog

Link= CBC News Report

Link= Executive Summary

Paul E. Kennedy, Chair, Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP

He is GOOD.

UPDATE: See comment by 'Russtopia' (thank you!) for updated links.