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.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

NYC takes a cautious approach

New York Times (15 June 2008) - ...The weapon has not been fully embraced by the [NYC] Police Department, the nation’s largest police force, partly because of the difficulties in maintaining the devices and in training officers. But it is also because Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly has looked cautiously at Taser technology. Stun guns have a troubled history here: An early model was at the center of a scandal in the early 1980s when it was used to force drug suspects to confess. Mr. Kelly, then a deputy inspector, was assigned to clean up the mess. ... Several high-ranking officers and sergeants were transferred from the 106th Precinct in Queens after officers were charged with using stun guns on drug suspects during interrogations. Mr. Kelly was assigned by Commissioner Benjamin Ward to clean things up.

Perhaps spurred by memories of that scandal, Mr. Kelly added a cautionary line to the new rules of engagement for the Taser. The order, published on June 4, said that putting a Taser directly against someone’s body should not be the primary method of use and that such cases of “touch-stun mode” would be investigated.

It is very interesting how NYC Police Commissioner Kelly is proactively discouraging use of the 'torture-stun' mode. His cautious approach is to be highly commended.

The next logical step would be to realize that if the barbs are fired and the weapon goes through the 5-second cycle without any police officers taking advantage of the resultant period of subject incapacitation, then there's no practical difference between that sort of useless deployment (5-seconds of remotely-delivered pain for no beneficial effect), and the Touch-stun (sometimes called Drive-stun) mode that he is discouraging. (More details: [LINK])

In other words:

By the time that you disallow all the possible civil-rights-violating modes of deployment of the taser, it becomes about as useful to the police as a flamethrower.

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