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, June 7, 2008

Malfunctioned vs. No Effect

#348 [LINK]: June 6, 2008, Donovan Graham, 39, Meriden, Connecticut

Meriden police used a taser while trying to subdue Graham late Thursday night, after they'd been called to the apartment building on a complaint of threatening. The taser did not work in subduing Graham, police said. He died shortly after arriving at MidState Medical Center. [LINK]

There are some discrepancies in the various reports surrounding this recent taser-associated death. At least one headline is using the word malfunctioned. Most reports are quoting the police as saying that their taser had no effect on Graham.
  • Taser malfunctions, man dies after struggle with Meriden police [LINK] (Headline for video link)
  • Police say the Taser gun had no effect on Graham. [LINK]
I've reviewed many versions of this tragic story [LINK], and it seems that the word malfunctioned has been derived from the reported facts which are that the taser had no [apparent] effect on Graham. In other words, the word malfunctioned might be getting ahead of the facts-so-far.

If it is true that the taser had no [apparent] effect, and assuming that it was properly deployed, hit the target and operating as designed, then that would mean that Taser (and Kroll) might also be wrong on their claim that the taser shock is sufficiently strong that nobody can fight through it. Perhaps they're tripping over yet another Bell Curve tail.

It is perhaps worth highlighting that the reported facts that the taser "had no effect" is based on the police officer's observations (with their eyes) and this does not logically preclude some hidden internal effects. Taser's worst nightmare would be to have an incident where the taser was not only ineffective, but also a contributing cause for a taser-associated death. The available facts do not (yet) support such a conclusion in this case, but it seems to be a possibility.

No comments: