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.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Something I've noticed...

I've seen a few tasering videos recently, and there is a common thread on many of them.

Typically, even while the person (victim, possible criminal, or whatever) is being tasered, the police officer(s) are very excited; almost delirious. It gives the impression of them being extremely unprofessional.

The officers often continue to yell commands, even as the person being tasered squirms on the ground. I doubt that the person being tasered can even hear them. And even if they can, they're not exactly in a position to obey. This constant yelling-while-tasering accomplishes nothing except perhaps to build frustration on both sides.

The taserer is thinking to himself, "Why isn't he obeying me? I'm tasering him and he still won't obey. What an asshole."

The taseree is probably thinking, "How the hell do I put my arms behind my head when he's tasering me? What an asshole."

So the yelling probably leads to more aggression on both sides, and thus to multiple taserings (far too common), and thus increased risk.

So, if you're tasering someone, then why not stop all the foolish yelling?


junya said...

The yelling is not as haphazard as it may seem. Police are trained to continually shout verbal commands, as a way of asserting control of the situation. In practice, that means shouting commands (that can't be obeyed) provides justification for charges of resisting, and protects the police from accusations of excessive force. This has become even more important with the ubiquity of video. When a jury is presented with a low-resolution video, where the police are positioned to obscure the person they are applying force to, their main impression is of police shouting commands. To the type of people who are carefully selected to serve on that type of trial, those verbal commands reinforce the authority of that force application, which leads to police-favorable verdicts.

It would be dangerous to underestimate the courtroom and media savvy of today's police in US and Canada.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

[Repost with minor corrections]

Goods points.

And you've raised an important point with "...justification for charges of resisting..."; which is the role of the public prosecutors in this whole issue. Far too often, the public prosecutors are overly friendly with the police.

There was a case where the public prosecutor used threats of piling on more charges to get the victim of taser abuse to drop all the accusations against the taser-abusing police.

What should happen in such cases is that the corrupt prosecutor should be charged and jailed for such behavior.


AllanDuke said...

Very very true