Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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


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.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Otto Zehm

Within 30 seconds of [Officer] Thompson's arrival, the video shows him striking Zehm with a baton and Tasering him. Zehm was knocked to the floor and struck at least six times by Thompson's baton. A second officer, Steve Braun Jr., used the touch probes on his Taser to zap Zehm two additional times with 50,000 volts of electricity.

The enhanced video shows Zehm holding a 2-liter bottle of soda -- not as an offensive weapon "lunging at an officer," as police administrators initially contended but in an apparent defensive posture in front of his head to block the officer's baton, according to sources. The video also shows the "hobbled" Zehm spent most of the time on his stomach -- a contributing cause of his death, according to the medical examiner -- and not on his side as senior police administrators initially described.

As part of the FBI investigation, the videos are being reviewed by experts in police procedure and use of force, sources said. The investigation also could include a review of the records of the officers involved and how many times they each have used force on the job. Braun had used his Taser in three earlier incidents, according to department "use of force" records. One of those, in July 2004, involved a mentally ill man who was carrying methamphetamine. Before the Zehm encounter, Thompson had used his Taser seven times since Jan. 1, 2003, the records show, including once on a handcuffed, mentally ill woman.

Read the entire story here: [LINK]

It is worth noting the misinformation:
1) "lunging at an officer" versus defending himself
2) Hobbled on his stomach, versus on his side
3) Taser: "Tasers replace guns" - seven times for Thompson I guess.

This level of misinformation seems to be all too common in such cases. The same sort of thing happened with the Robert Dziekanski incident where the RCMP spokespuppet made some outlandish claims later shown to be false. You should keep this level of propaganda in mind when sifting through the news.

The insane degree of haste is another common feature (30 seconds, 24 seconds).

Police should do a lot better. It seems that at least some require a major attitude adjustment.

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