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, February 29, 2008

AMAZING NEWS !!! ...LOL

Scottsdale, AZ - Feb. 29, 2008 -- Taser released the following propaganda (gently edited for clarity and to remove the excess legalese gloop):

According to an article in the Vancouver Sun (27 Feb 2008), the RCMP are crediting the use of a taser for avoiding the use of deadly force late Monday in Kamloops. According to the article, RCMP officers faced an armed [knife?] and distraught man who stormed into a massage parlor threatening to kill a female employee. He repeatedly said he was going to harm himself and yelled at the RCMP officers to shoot him.

"Faced with the option of discharging their pistols or using a taser to subdue the distraught man, police opted to use the stun gun. One officer positioned himself to safely activate the taser and the man was subdued without injury or risk," said RCMP Staff Sergeant Grant Learned. ... It was reported that RMCP Constable Michelle Toews said the incident is textbook case of when a taser should be used since the other option constables had was to shoot the man. "If we hadn't had the taser we would have found ourselves in much more difficult circumstances," Toews said.


TRANSLATION: OH MY GOD!! It's AMAZING NEWS - a taser was actually used properly for once. Let's issue a fricking press release. Let's have a party. Let's have a cake. Yippie!! Someone actually used a taser to good effect. This is so unusual and so amazing that we will issue a fricking press release to celebrate the occasion. You certainly don't see stuff like this every day!

Your normal programming (illegal pain compliance, tasering children, tasering comatose diabetics, tasering drunk women, tasering mouthy speeders, tasering handcuffed prisoners) will resume shortly.


PS:

Incident on Monday 25th.
News on Wednesday 27th.
Press Release on Friday 29th.

Why did Taser wait those extra couple of days? It doesn't take two days to cut-and-paste a press release.

Well, I guess it would be extremely embarrassing if the distraught and tasered man died mysteriously a few days after being tasered, and after the smug press release hit the street.

One can almost imagine someone saying, "Late Monday eh? Okay, but wait until the end of the week, just to be safe. Release it on Friday AFTER checking the man's medical status."

UPDATE: 2008 March 03 - They've issued ANOTHER one. That makes two. At this rate they'll be celebrating dozens of perhaps-indisputably proper usages per year. LOL. Meanwhile the abuse and misuse continues - and they never issue a press release to distance themselves from obvious examples of misuse. These guys are such goofy little wieners that it makes me laugh.

Okie Medical Examiner stuns Philosophers

PRYOR, Okla. (AP) - Mayes County Sheriff Frank Cantey says the death of a county jail inmate was not related to the inmate being shot twice with a Taser. Cantey says the state medical examiner's office has not determined the cause of death of inmate Barron Davis but has found the death isn't related to the Taser. ...

This is incredible news. Philosophers have struggled with the fundamental issue in basic logic that it has long been considered to be impossible to prove a negative. But now an amateur philosopher and professional Medical Examiner in Oklahoma has achieved the feat that has stymied philosophers for untold generations. He has, apparently in the absence of evidence, proven a negative!! Wow.

[Sarcasm off]

As discussed previously (LINK), there wouldn't be anything to see if the Instrument of Death in question is just on the hairy edge of being risky. It's not going to leave a smoldering crater of burnt flesh.

In fact, the lack of evidence ("...has not determined the cause of death...") might be considered to be pretty good evidence in and of itself.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Why does the taser encourage misuse?

The taser, provided it works as advertised, provides the officer a sense of absolute power over the victim. Press a button and down he goes. In the absence of extensive ethics-based, legal-based, morality-based training, with some weak-minded and/or overly-excited officers, the following might happen (perhaps you've heard of it...):

Absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Annual refresher training on 'Use of Force' is an excellent idea.

Taser-training vs. Ottawa 'Use of Force' Training

Further to previous post (below) - I've got an idea...

If the Ottawa City police officers don't qualify for the special pay premium for having taken the Use of Force refresher training, then perhaps they shouldn't be permitted to carry the taser.

Unfortunately the taser seems to encourage misuse, and therefore the Ottawa 'Use of Force' refresher training seems to be a very useful mitigation measure.

A policy of No Refresher 'Use of Force' Training, then No Taser isn't mentioned in the article. If it isn't policy, then it should be.

As I've pointed out before, all the reprehensible taser abuse by police shown on YouTube.com is presumably being done by officers that have had the Taser-designed brainwashing, sorry - Taser-designed training. Taser claims that all officers equipped with tasers must be brainwashed, sorry - trained - by Taser-approved trainers. So they all have the Taser-training, and then some of them go out and commit grotesque abuse.

So why don't we cut Taser out of the business of training?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

File under category: 'No sh_t, Einstein!'

CBC News: The use of Tasers, guns and physical force by Ottawa [Canada's capital city, population about 820,000] police dropped to the lowest level in years in 2007 — the year after the service introduced a special premium for officers who regularly retake a course on the proper use of force.

Tasers were used only a dozen times by officers last year, said the police service's 2007 use of force annual report, which was to be discussed at the Police Services Board meeting Monday night. That was the lowest number of uses in five years, even though 34 tactical officers were authorized to use the devices, and 61 front-line supervisors became authorized in November 2007. ...

Chief Vern White credits better training for the decline in the use of force. "I went through use of force training two weeks ago," he said, "and I have to say I was totally impressed with the use of force training itself, the instructors." He added that the instructors encouraged officers to talk to the people they deal with before doing anything else.

Since May 2006, officers have been eligible for a special salary premium called responsibility pay if they take the Use of Force training course every 11 months. ...


Link= Ottawa police Taser use drops after 'responsibility pay' introduced

This is pretty good news.

Much better than this idiot statement:

Staff Sgt. Couillard said that if Ottawa police issued a news release every time a Taser was used, "we'd be writing them 10 times a day."

Link= 10 times a day

Has anyone formally retracted that statement? Did I miss a memo?

But still, as a touted replacement for lethal force, twelve incidents per year still seems just a wee bit high. It's not ridiculously high, because there may be occasional incidents where the use of a taser might be justifiable when a gun wouldn't be. But it would be nice if they could continue to improve.

For comparison, another extract from the same news story:

Officers pointed their firearms 212 times, the lowest level since 2002, the report shows. They were fired 51 times, in all cases to destroy animals.

In other words, Ottawa police made it through the year without shooting anyone. It also appears very clear that the gun can be very useful even if the trigger isn't pulled (212 - 51 = 161 times a year). Another inconvenient fact that Taser propaganda slides past: guns don't have to be used lethally to be very useful.

All in all, this appears to be an example of the sort of improvement that can been seen when Taser Corporate Brainwashing, sorry - I mean 'Taser Training by Taser', complete with stupid taser-all-the-trainees nonsense - is replaced with more responsible, more balanced training that includes attention to The Proper Use of Force.

By the way - note: 'force' THE NOUN.

As another comparison, remember Corporal Rudy Torres of Frederick County, MD, USA, who used his taser 7 (or 9 according to some reports) times in two years? One officer - about four taser usages per year. By himself. One officer.

Link= Corporal Rudy 'Call Me Sparky' Torres

(And to preclude any whining about how Ottawa is not a representative city. Trust me, Ottawa has a rough section of town, around Rideau and King Edward, where there are many homeless people, drug addicts, bars, drunks, and occasionally crazed and violent people.)

So, credit where credit is due - good job Ottawa Police!

But still, even twelve per year seems a bit high for a so-called replacement for lethal force. I suspect that Ottawa Police wouldn't be shooting that many people per year if the taser hadn't been spawned. So it seems that there's still some room for improvement.

Monday, February 25, 2008

SEC expects brutal honesty

Extract from Taser's SEC disclaimer - brutal honesty:

"...These statements are qualified by important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those reflected by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include but are not limited to: ... (8) litigation including lawsuits resulting from alleged product related injuries and death; (9) media publicity concerning allegations of deaths and injuries occurring after use of the TASER device and the negative effect this publicity could have on our sales; (10) TASER device tests and reports; (11) product quality; ... (17) negative reports concerning the TASER device; ... (19) government regulations and inquiries; ... (23) medical and safety studies; (24) field test results; and (25) other factors detailed in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, ..."

No. 23 is quite revealing.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

More Q&A for Mr. Smith

[Answers shown are predicted - these are not actual answers.]

Q: What is the inherent safety margin for 'the taser'?
A: 15 to 1.

Q: Upon what is this 15 to 1 safety margin for 'the taser' based?
A: Many years of medical and scientific studies.

Q: Many years? Many many years? Going back how far?
A: Yes, many many years. Going back into the 1990s. Huge thick stack of reports.

Q: When you refer to 'the taser', or answer questions about 'the taser', to which model are you referring?
A: There are several models, including the M26 and the X26.

Q: Are they all the same?
A: No.

Q: So which friggen' taser model are you referring to?
A: Whichever one I want to at the time. If you're not asking specific-enough questions, then my answer will be based on the model providing the most favorable-sounding answers.

Q: When was the X26 introduced?
A: In 2003.

Q: Does it have the same electric discharge waveform as the M26?
A: No. It is slightly lower amplitude, much lower frequency, and 100% continuous duty cycle at 19Hz.

Q: So any safety studies applicable to the M26 would not apply to the X26, would they?
A: It would be reasonable to conclude that your statement is, at its fundamental core, essentially not incorrect.

Q: So, is the "15 to 1" safety margin (being based on many many years of studies) applicable to the M26 or the X26? Which of 'the taser' is this safety margin applicable to?
A: No comment.

Q: What safety advantage results from using the high frequency waveform, such as the 50,000 Hz in the case of the waveform used on the older M26 model?
A: According to our experts, high frequency provides a 100 to 1 safety improvement over power line frequencies. This is what makes 'the taser' safe.

Q: Does 'the taser' use such high frequencies?
A: Ah, yes.

Q: What is your most popular model.
A: The X26 introduced in 2003 is our best seller by far.

Q: Does the X26 taser use high frequency waveform?
A: Ah, no.

Q: I beg your pardon?
A: Ah, no.

Q: Explain yourself.
A: The X26 has a distracting burst of 100,000 Hz noise on the leading edge, but then there is a large DC pulse that repeats at 19 Hz.

Q: So the X26 taser is only 19 Hz?
A: Yes, we have called the X26 waveform "19 Hz" in various publications.

Q: Is 19 Hz considered to be a high frequency or a low frequency?
A: Oh hell no. 19 Hz is not considered to be a high frequency. It's low. Damn low.

Q: Power line?
A: Oh yeah. Definitely in that range. Power is 50 or 60 Hz. 19 Hz is just below.

Q: So what happened to your 100:1 safety advantage of high frequency?
A: Oh, in the case of the popular X26 model? Bye-bye!

Q: What compensating factors exist for the X26?
A: Well, we dropped the peak current from 15 amperes on the M26, to 3 amperes on the X26. And the 19 Hz component of the waveform on the X26 is not even 3 amperes, in fact not even one ampere.

Q: So help with the math here. Bye bye 100:1 for the frequency change. Hello maybe 50:1 for the reduced current. But duty cycle at 19 Hz on the X26 is 100%. But you started with 15:1 - on the M26? I'm confused...
A: Yeah, indecipherable isn't it.

Q: Is the safety margin for the X26 lower than for the M26?
A: Well, some critics might claim that.

Q: Did Taser ever advertise that the X26 provided more take-down power than the M26?
A: Ah, maybe. Well okay, yeah.

Q: So, what is the inherent safety margin of 'the taser'?
A: 15 to 1.

Q: Okay smarty-pants. What is the inherent safety margin of the X26 taser? With all these changes to the waveform since the M26, is it still coincidently 15 to 1?
A: Well, that's a damn fine question, and...

At this point, a 45kg pig that has escaped from a medical experiment burst into the conference room, makes very threatening 'Oinking' noises, and refuses to cooperate with verbal instructions from Security personal to put his front legs behind his head and lie down. The pig is tasered several times with an X26 directly across the chest and unfortunately dies of extreme Excited Delirium.

The hearing is adjourned.

Well? Lawful force - noun or verb?

I note that this important question (Lawful force - noun or verb?) has been met with stony silence. The details of this question and how it relates to the Criminal Code of Canada section 269.1 (US law is similar), and the degree of pain compliance that is permissible in a civilized society, has been discussed in endless detail below and in the sidebar.

My conclusion is that using a taser for pain compliance (in the most common and typical circumstances) is a clear violation of the Criminal Code of Canada section 269.1 (or your local equivalent*). When police use the taser to cause severe pain for purposes of inducing compliance, they (the police) are almost always breaking the law. And pain compliance is obviously the most common use for the taser (by far).

Any possible argument that I can imagine that might be raised as a rebuttal has already been presented, examined and shredded. To save time, please review everything already presented on this subject before making a defence.

So? Any other arguments?

... ... ... ...

Hello?

Where are the taser proponents when we ask them a clear and simple question?


* The Canadian Criminal Code section 269.1 was basically cut-and-paste from the United Nations rulings and agreements on torture. Virtually every other country has created the same sort of law. Except that the USA felt the need to add several pages of gobbledygook because of their 'unique' circumstances (cough cough water-boarding cough cough).

Friday, February 22, 2008

Advice for TASR investors

This is free advice. It is simply my opinion. Take it or leave it.

Based on my analysis (see the blog), I believe that - sooner or later - one of those seemingly-endless product liability lawsuits will stick. Even if Taser was as pure as the driven snow, they'd probably eventually lose a case just on the odds. But when there are as many controversial issues as there are, then the odds are just that much worse. And when one of those lawsuits finally sticks, and when all the appeals are finally exhausted, then all hell will break loose.

Every sale, every deployment, hangs above Taser like yet another Sword of Damocles. From a risk point of view, these swords block out the sun. The sale shows up as 'a positive' for one quarter's results, but then the risk remains for as long as that product is in the field.

Taser likes to make deals with their insurance company. What happens is that, at Taser's suggestion, the insurance company will simply pay Taser a few hundred thousand dollars and walk away, leaving Taser to defend themselves. Taser seems to do this because they don't want to have any settlements being made by their insurance company. So when that inevitable day finally comes, it'll be Taser having to bear the full costs of the eventual settlement.

The issue isn't that their products are dangerous. After all, companies sell guns and knives. The issue is that they've claimed, to varying degrees, that 'the taser' is safe. At times, their claim has been almost: 'The taser is perfectly safe.' If and when this claim of high or perfect safety is proven to be false, then the full force of American Tort Law will descend on Taser like a perfect storm.

Companies that make police hand guns don't suggest that a shot to the leg would be a valuable addition to the training regime. Companies that make flame throwers don't send out brochures to every Medical Examiner and Coroner in the land suggesting that 'Spontaneous Human Combustion' is a more-likely explanation for the burnt bodies. These sorts of actions are like those of someone as mad as a hatter.

And it really doesn't help that Stinger Systems makes similar products that use much lower currents. I'm not exactly a fan of Stinger Systems, but the apparent fact that their products reportedly perform the same function with perhaps 75 or 750 times less dangerous current than Taser's products smells like very bad news for Taser. I'm not sure if Stinger's claims are true, but if they are true, then the real impact will be in a product liability lawsuit against Taser.

In fact, if Stinger wants to 'take out' Taser, then they only need to show up at the next Taser product liability lawsuit and offer their services to the plaintiff as an (obviously hostile to Taser) expert witness on design of such products. If the plaintiff lawyer can find even one other truly independent expert witness to nod his head at the right time, then Taser's goose will be fully cooked.

So, you want to put your Navy Pension into this stock? Are you fricken insane? Geesh. At the very least, purchase a counter-balancing hedge in the form of a Long Put with a strike price of a few dollars (a very few dollars). As the Long Put expires, then buy another one. Cheap insurance.


Disclaimer: This is just one person's opinion. You do whatever you want. YMMV.

News Clipping versus Google News Alerts

Although this blog occasionally quotes from the news, and many of the posts are prompted by the news, I'm intentionally trying to not provide a news clipping service for Taser, tasers, stun guns, etc.

If you're interested in having related news headlines delivered to your e-mail in-box, then you should know about Google's wonderful 'News Alerts' service.

If you go to Google.com and then navigate to Google News, you can type in keywords such as Taser, TASR (their stock symbol), Stun Gun, Excited Delirium, Instrument of Torture, and so on. Then you can click on 'News Alerts' found in the left hand column. Then you can complete the little form (including your e-mail address) to subscribe to Google News Alerts for each keyword (one by one). For fastest service, be sure to select How often: 'as-it-happens' (*).

(* Then you can sit at your computer in your underwear and try to beat David E. Zuskin to make the very first public comment on news sites that allow comments. Be warned, he's pretty quick and is usually first with his mindless drivel.)

Google's 'News Alerts' service is quite useful and totally free. Each e-mail they send out includes options to unsubscribe and links to make adjusts to the settings. There's no downside that I can detect. I recommend it fully.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

RCMP open to changing taser policies

VANCOUVER - An RCMP official says the force would change its policies on Taser use if a public inquiry into the death of a Polish immigrant provided any evidence to do that. "We are pleased to participate voluntarily with this inquiry or any other process with the goal of ensuring that our policies, techniques, methodologies and equipment are working properly and doing what they were designed to do," said Gary Bass, deputy commissioner of the RCMP's Pacific region.

On Monday, Attorney General Wally Oppal launched the inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski, who was hit with a blast from a Taser at Vancouver International airport. Dziekanski had wandered around the airport for hours before causing a disturbance that brought police attention. Another traveler video recorded four Mounties approaching Dziekanski, who didn't speak English, before he was hit with a Taser and died. ...

Link= CP: RCMP would change policies on Taser use

It's important to keep in mind that the RCMP watchdog has already provided an indication of the sort of findings and recommendations that we might see. Kennedy's report was so perfectly common sense that it would be difficult to imagine that these other inquiries coming to any conclusions much different than Kennedy's.

Monday, February 18, 2008

BC AG contemplates tasers...

British Columbia Attorney General Wally Oppal said he's prepared to limit or even ban the use of Tasers if a new commission into their use recommends it. ... "A lot of police forces across North America are having second thoughts about the use of Tasers, given some of the medical opinions out there," he said. ...

Link1= Oppal would consider Taser ban...

Link2= Taser use to come under scrutiny...

There are some choice phrases in there: "ban", "second thoughts"

This is actually huge news. No matter what else follows from here, at least we've reached the point where Taser's self-serving assurances about taser safety will be taken with a grain of salt. The alternate opinions have reached a critical mass where they must be taken seriously.


"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." Sir Winston Churchill, November 1942.

Ten years from now, the story of Taser International Inc. will be the subject of endless MBA business case studies, several books, and even a low-budget made-for-TV movie.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Short & sweet summary

With all the bamboozling propaganda from Taser Inc, it's no wonder that people get confused. Let's go through the basics in point form.

1) The X26 taser waveform at 19 Hz is about 100x more dangerous than the older M26 taser waveform at 50,000 Hz. Low frequencies are more dangerous than high frequencies. This 100x ratio is quoted from Taser - they admit it. That's why the safety issue is coming to the fore since the X26 was introduced in 2003.

(Update: The peak current of the X26 is about 5x less than the M26, but this still leaves the X26 as being 20x as dangerous. And the only safety factor I've ever heard them mention is 15:1, and I believe that was calculated with the M26 taser. So if you take 15:1 and drop it by 20x, then what's left? Hey! I'm just asking...)

2) The high deployment rate of tasers compared to historical rate of police shootings indicates misuse occurs at 20-200x legit use (varies by jurisdiction).

3) Pain compliance using 'severe pain' (like a taser, as opposed to traditional and accepted methods like a wrist lock) legally constitutes 'torture' in most jurisdictions.

The combination of these factors means that tasers are far more of a problem than a solution.

Read that again to make sure you get it.

And just because you are a law-abiding citizen, please don't be so ill-informed as to think that you're not at risk of being tasered (possibly even tasered to death if your luck is poor).

Friday, February 15, 2008

TASERS ARE ABUSED EVERY DAY

Link= Radio-Canada probe finds 11 improper Taser incidents

And these results are based on the Police standards (as opposed to reasonable more-informed standards). Their slack standards are in turn based on false assumptions about the 'perfect safety' of tasers. Once they realize that their X26 tasers aren't as perfectly safe as they've been led to believe, then their deployment standards would have to be tightened.

This force owns only 16 tasers. And they've misused them 11 times in two years. If we allowed them to issue tasers to all officers, then it seems reasonable to expect that there would be a massive wave of taser misuse.

I like this quote: "The documents say an average of six officers were present at all the Taser incidents." So much for the misleading propaganda of the lone brave officer struggling with the evil criminal, all the while resisting the natural urge to shoot him with his gun. The reality is a half-dozen police standing around and they decide to use the taser. Not exactly the image we had in mind.


Another recent news item:

Link= Witnesses: Shackled man hit with Taser

"...police officer used his Taser on a man who appeared to be mentally ill and was already in handcuffs and leg restraints..."

There are other details which can be summarized as illegal Pain Compliance.


I'm trying to not turn this blog into a news clipping service. That's not my point. I want to provide some analysis. The point here is the following:

There's an old saying, "To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Equip the police with tasers, and they will be misused EVERY DAY.

If the level of misuse of tasers causes an increase in example of police brutality, then they must be banned no matter what the other theoretical advantages they purport to have. And the reality seems to be a disgusting reflection of the rosy propaganda being foisted by the proponents of tasers.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Real scoop on Tasers un-buried

Link= Calgary Sun: Real scoop on Tasers buried

Columnist Michael Platt tries to make the point that this taser 'success story' is being ignored. Well, I'll not ignore it. Let's celebrate it.

"Instead of reaching for his gun, a move justified in an obvious case of self-defence, the officer radioed for help, then tried to use a Taser on the man. ... The Calgary cop clearly chose to defend himself in a way least likely to kill the attacker."

That's nice. No seriously! That is actually nice.

"When the Taser didn't work, traditional fisticuffs thankfully did."

"On Tuesday, the Taser failed to stop the suspect, possibly due to his thick clothes. But instead of resorting to a bullet, the officer fought on, eventually wrestling the man into submission."

So thank goodness he had a taser!! (??????) Because... because? Because he didn't have to shoot him with a gun, which he apparently didn't even when the taser was ineffective.

I give up trying to piece the logic together.

But thank goodness he had a taser... (????)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What exactly would you be looking for?

Let's think about it. If the X26 taser was capable of causing a death, then what exactly would the evidence look like?

Would it result in a molten arc of burnt flesh inside the dead body? No, the X26 doesn't have that much power. Would it leave carbon tracks inside the body like from lightning or power lines? Nope.

What if the X26 taser was just on the risky edge of being dangerous? So what would a taser death look like? Would there be anything to see? Anything to detect? Any smell of burnt flesh? Anything to document? Any evidence at all? Nope.

Perhaps the ONLY evidence would be the combination of the following characteristics:

1) Victim was tasered (across the chest or similar).
2) Victim is dead (within a reasonable period of time, allowing for induced irregular heartbeats).
3) There is nothing else to explain the death, no physical signs except being stone-cold dead.

A reasonable person might conclude that the absence of clear physical evidence as to the cause of death is actually very strong evidence in itself.

I'd like to see this approach (as described above) replace the brochure about "Excited Delirium" that Taser sent to every coroner and medical examiner that they could find.


PS: And if there is a pre-existing medical condition, then please review the Thin Skull Doctrine as discussed below. In those cases you could use the phrase 'contributing factor' for the pre-existing medical condition. We must be fair.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lakeside Leader - a great article...

If you only read one article this week about tasers, then this should be the one.

Link= Lakeside Leader

This article manages to cover both sides of the taser story without being the slightest bit extremist in either direction.

The article ends with a question: If tasers don't kill people, then who does?

That's been discussed in some detail below...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Not even good lies...

Rob Wipond has written a very good analysis.

Link= RobWipond.com

"...police reps cobbled together these statements from officers and in 2004 told the CBC Tasers had saved 4,000 Canadian lives since 1999. ... At that point, such claims appear for what they are: pro-Taser propaganda. If true, that would mean without Tasers our police would’ve engaged in annual slaughters twenty or thirty times Canada’s historical rate for police shootings, making them bigger homicidal maniacs than all of our murderers combined."

Nicely put.

If the police are going to pull such nonsensical numbers out of their ass, the least they could do is rinse them off a bit before presenting them in public.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

SECU meeting minutes released...

Link= Minutes

"The witnesses made statements and answered questions."


Well, that's a bit thin...

Would it be possible to have the video recording of the meeting made available? Two hours should fit onto a DVD just fine. Or make it available on-line. SVP.

Perhaps CBC News could follow-up with SECU to see where the complete minutes are.

UPDATE: It took a while, but the complete minutes ('evidence') are out. [LINK] Other SECU Minutes and Evidence are available on here [LINK].

Will Taser issue a press release on this one?

Link= Suspect Tasered 11 Times In 25 Minutes
Video Link= Suspect Tasered 11 Times

"...His attorney says Flueret was stripped of his pants, strapped to a chair, handcuffed, tasered repeatedly..."

If Taser would simply issue a press release distancing themselves from such misuse of their product, it would be the first small step on the long road to recovering their moral standards. Just a little press release stating that the video looks 'bad'.

Come on Steve, you can do it!

"TASERS SAVE LIVES EVERYDAY" (sic)

A Taser fan-boy sockpuppet is spamming the comment sections of many on-line news outlets. Any news story appearing on-line that mentions the keyword 'taser' is immediately commented upon by someone using various names (most often 'Dave' or variations).

1) He almost always includes the Company slogan in ALL CAPS
2) He is most often the very first to comment (or close)
3) His position is taser fan-boy, even in clear cases of abuse
4) The number and quickness of the response are very telling
David E. Zuskin
I've tracked him down. Dave is a semi-retired older gentleman with almost unlimited free time. I assume that his motivation is that perhaps he's invested a great deal of money in TASR stock (probably near the peak) and is now scared he's going to lose part of his retirement funds. I feel sorry for him, but that won't stop the fight.

The other possibility is that some team of professional spam-monkeys have been hired to do this job and they've slyly assumed Dave's identity to throw off the investigators that might be trying to track them down. On-line news organizations may wish to check their comment sections for comments by Dave and then get their webmaster to check the records for the IP addressed used by 'Dave'. If it leads back to Hampton, VA (the location of Dave's ISP), then that's the real Dave. If it leads anywhere else, then it's professionals.


Alternative Company slogans would be the following:

TASERS ARE ABUSED EVERY DAY

Or

TASERS (X26) MIGHT BE RISKIER THAN WE SAID


Backup:

Link= Google Search for 'Dave' and Company slogan

163 Hits!!
Updates:
227 Hits as of 24 Feb 2008
289 Hits as of 24 March 2008


First 10 hits (as of now, these may change over time)
1) National Post, 1st comment, 'Dave Z', slogan
2) Croydon, 1st comment, 'Dave', slogan
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Friday, February 1, 2008

Proper (?) Procedures

HALIFAX - Halifax police say proper procedures were followed by officers who fired a stun gun at a teenage girl they arrested in her bedroom.

Ah, no. That is not necessarily true. Perhaps the officers were following procedures (maybe, maybe not), but if they were, then those procedures are quite likely not 'proper'.

Three police arresting a young girl (legally just a child at the time), in her own bedroom, need to rely on a taser? Excuse me for jumping to conclusions, but it sounds suspiciously like 'pain compliance' (please refer to section 269.1 of the Criminal Code). If that sort of police behaviour is in accordance with procedures, then those procedures need to be revised.

Those are not proper procedures, those are IMPROPER procedures. Please fix them. If you don't understand, then see the Kennedy Report. Implement ALL the recommendations (as can be adapted to local police forces).

Link= Canadian Press
Link= Chronicle Herald

Excited-Delirium.com writes:

The police description of this 17-year old girl reminds me of the Monty Python skit about the 'ferocious killer bunny rabbit'. Very fierce, very scary. Why, it'll bite your head clear off. I guess if these police run into a middle aged man with a paunch, they'll have to call in the Swat Team to sniper him in the head from a safe distance. Replace 17-year old girl with 97-year old little old lady and replay their account to see where we're headed. Details NOT important. It was a 17-year old girl. Repeat: It was a 17-year old girl. A girl. Details? Don't care. It was a 17-year old girl. Talk to the hand.

PS: Have a review of section 269.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada. Yeah, the part about how you're not allowed to use 'severe pain' to 'coerce' compliance. The issue is that the taser is clearly WAY over the line ("severe pain") set by our elected Parliament. You ARE allowed to use a wrist lock (for example) because it is clearly not severe pain. You ("Peace Officers") are not allowed to induce 'severe pain'. You violate 269.1 and you could face 14 years (once the courts get around to this issue, and they will). Please read the Criminal Code. And no, you cannot decide 'lawful sanctions' in a girl's bedroom, that's for the courts. Read it.

Post by Excited-Delirium.com on February 02, 2008 10:25AM