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.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Victoria Police Board approves CRIMINAL Taser Use Policy

Victoria News, May 16, 2008 - The Victoria police board needed minimal discussion this week to approve a policy amendment that clears the way for police to use a 50,000-volt Taser shock for 'pain compliance.'

Last month, the Victoria News reported that the department's use-of-force policy governing Taser use was silent on the weapon's 'push stun' mode. The written policy only endorsed the use of Tasers as a 'force presence' or for an officer to deploy the weapon's barbed probes to disrupt a subject's muscle control.

In push-stun mode, electrical contacts at the weapon's tip are placed directly against a subject. According to training slides provided to the News by the Victoria Police Department's Taser program co-ordinator, Const. Mike Massine, "the push-stun mode affects the sensory nervous system ONLY, making it a pain compliance weapon that will not cause (loss of muscle control)."

The policy now contains a clause that reads "a push stun can be used to cause localized motor dysfunction or to gain compliance [USING TORTURE] from a subject who is displaying active resistance."

[Moronic decision #1]

Police define 'active resistance' as any situation where a subject is refusing to comply with demands, including turning away or saying 'No.'

[Moronic decision #2. Refusing to comply may be perfectly passive.]

In a four-minute discussion at Tuesday's meeting, none of the board's seven members questioned the amendment or what differentiates push-stun use from probe deployment.

Before the board passed the amendment unanimously, provincial appointee Catherine Holt asked for clarity as to whether the terms 'push stun' and 'drive stun' are used interchangeably and was told they are.

Esquimalt Mayor Chris Clement questioned other other sections of the policy. In response, interim Chief Bill Naughton said 120 of the force's 220 officers are trained in Taser use. He said the term 'lower lethality' used to describe the Taser indicates "the likelihood of death is remote but possible."

An analysis of 183 Victoria police incident reports from 2005 to 2007 revealed the device was used in push-stun in 57 per cent of all cases where police activated their Tasers. Often, it was used to get a subject already pinned to the ground to produce their hands for cuffing.

Naughton told the board that he expects the Taser policy will need to be amended again after the ongoing Braidwood inquiry into Taser use by police forces in B.C. Twelve other inquiries are ongoing or scheduled across Canada.

[LINK]

Compare and Contrast the above to the following Law of the Land:

Criminal Code of Canada on torture

269.1 (1) Every [Peace Officer] who inflicts [severe pain] on any other person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.

I've [rolled up] some definitions for your convenience. Please refer to the complete section for details. Note that the only possible exception is as a 'lawful sanction' which appears to be intended to permit prisons and fines (unless the police duties now include handing out sanctions - no need for the courts I guess...).

So congratulations to the Victoria Police Board - You've just passed a policy that directly violates the Criminal Code of Canada. In a just society, you would be jailed.


Note - Victoria is the center of Taser LokoLoko land in Canada. It is where the Canadian Taser distributor is located. It is where the earliest ethical violations (apparent conflict of interest) occurred.

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