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.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Public inquiry into Taser use begins on Monday

VANCOUVER - A public inquiry into the use of the controversial Taser in British Columbia begins Monday. Headed by retired B.C. Supreme Court judge Thomas Braidwood, the first of two phases of the inquiry is a study into the use of the conducted energy weapons. ... Braidwood is set to hear from electrical engineer J. Patrick Reilly Monday morning and biomedical engineer John Webster Monday afternoon. He will also hear from a prison warden, doctors, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association, police forces and the manufacturer of the guns, Arizona-based Taser International Inc. ... [LINK]

Here is what I found on John Webster and his so-called "independent" $500,000 study in just a few minutes searching:

The Huffington Post - "When PETA revealed conflicts of interest involving the project—including Webster’s cozy connection with Taser International - one of Webster’s paid consultants, Robert Stratbucker, disappeared from the project. Stratbucker is employed as Taser’s medical director but failed to include that critical piece of information in his curriculum vitae, and Webster failed to mention it in his grant application to the government. This is not the first time that Stratbucker’s failure to disclose his affiliation with Taser has gotten him in trouble—his expert testimony was thrown out of the JonBenet Ramsey murder case when he did something similar. ... Webster now advertises himself as an expert witness/consultant in Taser safety and is busy telling newspapers that “Tasers are safe!” [LINK]

Taser Employee Discovered in Webster’s Touted “Independent Study”! [LINK]

Robert Stratbucker was kicked off the experiment as a result of his being outed as a Taser employee! Although Stratbucker’s is the most obvious Taser affiliation, his is not the only one. Even if his Taser-funded cohort, ...Wayne McDaniel, is also given the boot, there are more connections to Taser International - and the vital fact remains that this would still be a study intended only to confirm Taser safety. [LINK]

More Taser ties into this "independent" study - "Stratbucker is gone, McDaniel hangs on, and now the spotlight is on Dorin Panescu, who has collaborated on numerous publications with Stratbucker and Webster, and who has been retained as an expert witness by Taser International in a wrongful death suit." [LINK]

USA Today - Fairness of Taser study in question - "An adviser to a federally funded study concerning the safety of stun guns made by Taser International also is a paid consultant to Taser, the Justice Department acknowledges. The situation is raising questions about potential conflicts of interest in the $500,000 study, which is being done amid reports that dozens of people have died after being shocked with stun guns. ... Webster said his premise [starting point] was that "Tasers do not kill..." [LINK]

Ruggieri on Webster (.pdf) [LINK]

This type of "independence" seems all-too-common with this issue. And this is just what has been uncovered. Remember that 90% of an iceberg is hidden under the water's surface. The exact ratio of uncovered to undiscovered taser-connections may vary, but the trend of unethical non-disclosure is crystal clear. [LINK]

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