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.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's Summary

I wish to make this fundamental point very clear.

If the taser was actually being used as a replacement for a police revolver, then it is obviously much safer than being shot with a revolver.

But that is not how tasers are actually being used in the field. They are being used on innocent victim for the most minor infraction. They are being used as a pain compliance device (usually illegal). They are being used as an on-the-spot extra-judicial excruciating pain punishment device (always illegal). Just look at YouTube.

So, for that purpose they are not fit-for-purpose.

They are far too dangerous.

Taser has contributed to this fiasco because they initially claimed that the taser is pretty-much perfectly safe (which it obviously isn't). And they continue to do so - the recent IEEE Spectrum article can be 'Exhibit A' in the very next lawsuit.

Also, there are holes that can be poked in the design itself.

Where is the simple control circuit to prevent the trigger from being held down and the Taser grinding away for nearly three minutes?

Why is the applied current so much more than required to lock-up the victims? It seems obvious that Taser could reduce the juice by a factor of 'several' and it would still lock-up the victims perfectly well.

And why do you need to jolt the victim 19 times per second? Why not 3? Is the victim going to be able to do anything in less than one-third of a second?

Where are the safety factors? Bridges are built many time stronger than they need to be, and this rule is applied several times over. Same with airplanes. But Taser is cutting pretty close to the line with their design currents. And that lack of multiple safety factors is another dangerous issue.

Have they ever done a complete end-to-end statistical analysis where every variable has a tolerance band associated with it and the one-true-answer grows wider and wider and less and less certain as the equations are multiplied through? Can they produce a Monte Carlo statistical analysis (preferably with dry ink)?

But the most important point is that tasers are being misused and the design was never intended for this purpose. But if taser tracks their own sales, they would know or should have known, that the product is being applied outside its design scope.

The next rounds of lawsuits should focus on the Taser manuals and Taser training materials. And the changes in those manuals over time. Every change indicates an 'Oops, sorry', especially when graphed over time with the 'coincidental' deaths.

'Who knew what, and when?' is always an interesting line of questioning.

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