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

Sounds like an expensive process...

Federal taser trial gets underway Monday [LINK]

Associated Press - 21 March 2008

An Austin police officer and two former police officers will be in a federal courtroom on Monday. William "Brad" Heilman, Christopher Gray, and Joel Follmer are being sued for tasering Ramon Hernandez in September of 2005.

Hernandez claims the officers tased, punched and kicked him while he was in handcuffs. The incident was caught on video and was used in a criminal trial against the officers in 2006, but a jury acquitted Gray and Heilman. The charges against Follmer were eventually dropped. Follmer was fired following the incident. Heilman quit the force and Gray was suspended but he's since returned to the force.

This case will be tried in a civil courtroom.

I'm thinking that perhaps other approaches might be a bit cheaper in the long run. Can any jurisdiction actually afford to provide tasers to their police officers if this sort of aftershock follows? Each example of misuse ends up dragging through the legal system for years afterward. Officers being fired and suspended.

Where's the savings?

Perhaps if the training (annual 'Use of Force' refresher training, as opposed to mindless corporate brainwashing) is brought up to a reasonable standard, there's a reasonable chance that it won't be a financial fiasco. But since a reported 95% of agencies simply cut-and-paste their taser Use Policies from Taser's own propaganda, what would you expect?

The advantage of a normal gun, is that even the most thick-headed police officer perfectly understands the consequences. With a taser, his training may have misled him that it is almost perfectly harmless and almost always perfectly legal. In some cases, these assumptions are not correct.

In my opinion, Taser International Inc should be a co-defendant in these sorts of cases. These actions may be traceable to training and policy, and the training and policy are probably traceable back to Taser.

Imagine if the makers of high performance motorcycles were advertising to excitable young men that their products were perfectly safe, and perfectly legal under all circumstances. What sort of misuse would flow from such a marketing campaign? You can imagine the carnage.

This image of customers being led down the garden path somehow seems familiar...

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