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, March 24, 2008

Updated summary

Most of the arguments presented by Taser and the police fall to pieces with even a cursory examination.

Better than a gun? Don't be stupid. Taser deployments are about two orders of magnitude (~100:1) more frequent than the historical/accepted rate of police shootings (varies by jurisdiction). It’s not even a good lie that tasers replace the gun. Tasers replace talking; to just 24 seconds in the Vancouver Airport incident for example.

Tasers are safe? The technical details are a bit too complicated for the average person. Putting it simply, the characteristics (frequency spectrum of the waveform current) that Taser claims are safe on the older, less-common M26 model are the opposite for the newer, more-common X26 model introduced in 2003. It appears that they wanted to ensure that the newer model would ‘drop’ more criminals, but perhaps they overshot the mark a bit?

The statistics are certainly going the wrong way as the X26 model becomes more common. Taser has certainly been in the news a lot more after 2003.

Ethics and money? Taser shows some signs of being an ethically-challenged organization. A former director facing 142 years worth of criminal charges. Stock options everywhere you look (millions). Promoting 'Excited Delirium" as some sort of fantasy explanation for why taser-victims fell over and died shortly after being tasered. Friendly coroners accepting paid travel, but those coroners that make findings that are not aligned with the company position are sued. So-called “independent” (sic) director being heavily involved financially while sitting as Chair of their in-house so-called Medical Advisory Board.

The police also have major issues to address.

Their 'Scale of Force' tables appeared to be legally flawed. They appear to have confused lawful ‘force’ (noun) with illegally ‘force’ (verb) and thereby stepped over the fine line between The Rule of Law and A Police State. Example, “Do what I say or I will taser you” is illegal on several counts (Criminal Code of Canada 269.1 for example).

If someone is illegally disobeying a lawful order, then add that charge to the list and bring them before the court using reasonable force (not torture). Nobody ever gave the police the right to apply ’severe pain’ to ‘intimidate’, or to ‘coerce’ obedience (read 269.1). Even the courts cannot apply electric shock as punishment. What lunatic police officer was the first to make the assumption that he now has more power than even the courts? Idiots.

Note - The above point is in the situation of passive resistance or failure to cooperate. If the subject is violent, then the police are obviously allowed to defend themselves. So please don't bother us with that straw-man argument - that's not a point of contention. But don't think for one second that tasers are only ever used in violent cases - follow the news do you?

For more, keep reading...

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