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.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

"Contributed to, but didn't cause"

In short - some aspects of these findings are a crock of sh_t. And obviously so.

Let's review the list of contributing factors and see how 'dangerous' each one might be.

Robert Dziekanski's death was not directly caused by the Taser jolts but they were one of several contributing factors, along with heart disease, alcohol withdrawal, the stress of being restrained and a decreased ability to breathe due to an officer kneeling on him, said Stan Lowe, spokesman for the B.C. Criminal Justice Branch.

1) taser jolts

Hmmm... Taser 'jolts'. Been any controversy about them recently?

And I don't mean just "unfounded" public concern - I mean people with PhDs writing reports that indicate a significant chance of cardiac effects.

More on this later... (there's a huge gap in the logic)

2) heart disease

It would not be reasonable to deny this as a possible (even likely) contributing factor. But given that some degree of heart disease probably exists in much of the population, it should be accepted as a given. Thus, Taser would be EXTREMELY LIABLE if their evil little toy kills people that happen to have some heart disease.

3) alcohol withdrawal

Geesh - How many people topple over dead during AA meetings?

This is utter crap. Don't forget that there were accusations that Mr. Dziekanski was drunk, or on drugs, until it was realized that such claims didn't really make sense for someone that had been wandering around in a secure area in an airport for hours and hours.

Basically - since there were no traces of drugs or alcohol found in Dziekanski's system, they're now blaming the LACK OF ALCOHOL. Rich. Really rich.

4) stress of being restrained

Yeah - "restrained" with a taser. How many people are killed during their arrest when tasers are not involved? Do the math. Tasers are not used in the vast majority of arrests. And yet when they are used, we see the occasional 'mysterious' death.

5) officer kneeling on him

If this is really a contributing factor, then there needs to be a review of how officer's kneel on subjects during restraint. If the officer kneels on the subject in a manner that contributes to a death, then isn't that a crime (manslaughter)? How often does this happen? I'll accept that this could be a contributing factor, but it's a stretch and barely makes any sense.

More later...

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