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, November 16, 2008

Proving negatives and other logical errors

The headline reads:

Autopsy: Tasers' shocks didn't kill man [LINK]

Well, maybe. But the logic used to reach this conclusion is not in accordance with the basics of Philosophy 101, and it bears the fingerprints of Taser's not-so-secret campaign to promote Excited Delirium as an alternate conclusion to explain away taser-associated deaths.

First of all, the basics: You cannot prove a negative.

The coroner might prove that something else is the more likely explanation. Such alternate explanations in many cases of taser-associated deaths tend to be, ah, a bit weak. It's not often that there is a alternate explanation (like a detached head) that is perfectly clear-cut and inarguable. I'm happy to accept those ultra-clear explanation in those rare cases when they occur in coincidental association with a taser deployment.

The autopsy report, obtained Friday, cites complications from excited delirium as the cause of death. Dr. Deborah Radisch of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh said excited delirium "causes the sudden cardiorespiratory collapse and arrest following an agitated state necessitating the use of restraints, and is generally seen in the context of the use of a stimulant such as cocaine." [ibid]

Excited Delirium is also generally seen in the context of the use of a taser. At the top of my blog is a news headline scroll display tracking various topics including Excited Delirium.

Over the past year or so, I would have to estimate that 90% (roughly) of the news stories involving Excited Delirium have also been involving the deployment of a taser and with a fatal outcome.

Just like this case...

The next point is that, in a hypothetical taser-caused death, the taser would leave no clear-cut internal postmortem evidence. This is the 'proof issue' that has plagued the taser issue since the outset (it has been discussed on this blog several times before under the heading What would you be looking for? [LINK]).

But a primary characteristic of Excited Delirium (and the reason that Taser chose it) is that it is a mysterious, ill-defined cause of death that also leaves no clear-cut internal postmortem evidence. No evidence - just like a hypothetical taser-caused death.

What an interesting coincidence...

The last and most revealing issue is the strange story of exactly who is promoting Excited Delirium as an alternate explanation for mysterious in-custody deaths (often taser-associated).


You're either in on it, or you're being played like a trumpet.

You can't make up stories as good as this reality.

If you've been a brainwashed pro-taser fan-boy up to now, then you might feel a bit like vomiting and taking a shower right about now. Go ahead - we understand.

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