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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Exactomundo comment of the week

This kind of thing happens in department after department. Police get tasers on the promise that people will be safer, that they are safer than using guns. So what happens? Tasers become an instrument of control, pure and simple. Why aren’t police who misuse this equipment ever charged with assault, if not manslaughter? This man was a threat to himself and only himself. Do you mean to say that the officers on the scene were so afraid of a lightbulb that they had to use a lethal piece of equipment on him? C’mon, heroes.

New York Times [LINK] — Comment posted by 'Shrdlu'


Tasers inevitably "...become an instrument of control, pure and simple."

Exactomundo.

That's why tasers are used roughly one hundred times as often as police guns ever were.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tasers suck and everyone now realizes it...

'The Province' newspaper has an editorial blasting the Vancouver (BC, of course) police for turning to that Handy-dandy Tool For All Evil and Stupid Purposes, the taser. The police were "forced" (LOL) to use the taser on a 110-lb, 16-year old young woman. Some reports indicate that they tasered her in the neck...

Editorial here: [LINK]

It's extremely satisfying to see that the ugly and putrid reality of tasers has now completely swamped out the endless efforts of Taser's vast public relations machine.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An evil and despicable trade-off

"Police officers are paid to enforce the law, not to get hurt," says Taser spokespuppet Steve Tuttle. "Police need this. That's why we've survived the controversy around our products."

In other words, to reduce the possibility that a police officer may experience an injury, the citizenry must accept an increased risk of death. A fair trade-off? I guess so (for a police state).

How about the police revisit their Grade 6 'Civics' lessons and (re)learn about the legal application of lawful force? Is that too much to ask (for a free society)?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Utter and complete bull-crap

Sun Times - Owen Sound's police chief is leading a national research group that has been given the job of producing a paper about tasers that may include recommendations and guidelines for police across the country. Tom Kaye was appointed the head of the Taser committee in August while at the Canadian Association of Police Chiefs meeting in Ottawa and he says the paper will hopefully put to rest the angst the public feels about the use of the conductive energy devices.

"The research into the use of these devices and the deployment of them still has yet to show any kind of casual linkage between the use of (Tasers) and any fatalities anywhere in Canada, North America or even around the world," Kaye said Wednesday. "There is no scientific evidence, no empirical data that would indicate that (Tasers) are posing any kind of a danger, in terms of fatalities, after being used."
[LINK]

Utter and complete bull-crap.

1) Taser has been found liable to the tune of $6.2M for failure to warn regarding the lethal blood pH issue.

2) Coroners continue to find cases where they feel it is clear that the taser shocks directly caused the lethal cardiac arrest.

See De-spinning the spin at the top right of this blog for references.

These are just the crystal clear examples. There are hundreds of other examples that are less clear, but indicate a pattern.

Chief Kaye is out of touch and under Taser's spell.

Oxygen shortage?

Riverside, CA - Authorities say 54-year-old Lawrence Rosenthal of Orange County was tasered, but died due to a lack of oxygen to the brain from a cardiovascular heart disease and high levels of acute cocaine toxicity contributed. [LINK]

Muscles use oxygen. I wonder if having every muscle in his body fully tensed-up due to the taser shock might have had any connection to the sudden drop in oxygen level in his system?

Fake demos and the faking fakers that fake them

When tasers are shot towards people on the street, they are usually aimed at the front of the victim. When victims die (as seems to happen once in a while), there seems (based on the news) to be a statistical surplus of hits to the chest.

When tasers are used during training and demonstrations, they are almost always fired into the subject's back. People are sometimes hurt during such training, but deaths associated with being tasered in the back are essentially non-existent.

This story includes a picture of a typical fake taser demo into the back. [LINK]

Until Taser starts mandating taser training hits directly to the chest, then you can't believe any of their claims. If they worry about darts hitting eyes, then reel out the wires and tape them to the subject's chest directly across the heart. The fact that they don't use this method for training is very revealing.

Fake. Cheap stage trick.


There is also the open question about the "low powered" training tasers mentioned in the recent Troopergate story.

[Updated]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taser now part of medical assistance in NS?

The news carries a story about how paramedics in Nova Scotia were surprised when police tasered a semi-comatose diabetic patient. [LINK]

What a crazy planet...


PS: Does everyone understand that the taser is legally considered to be a FIREARM in Canada? How does that little inconvenient fact fit into this news item?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Tide turning even in the USA?

Santa Ana, CA - An Orange County sheriff's deputy has been indicted for allegedly using a taser on a suspect who was handcuffed inside a patrol car. Christopher Hibbs, 45, of Corona, is charged with one felony count of assault and battery by a public officer and one felony count of assault with a taser. ... [LINK]

Well that's a bit reassuring.

According to Taser...

According to Taser, this can't be happening.

After all, hitting people with more than enough electric current to lock-up all of their muscles and make them fall-down is obviously perfectly safe. Isn't it?

There is no possibility of any 'Bell curve' type risk with this sort of thing, right?

All this endless sequence of deaths are just unfortunate coincidences, okay?

A very very familiar pattern

Mississauga, ON - 42-year-old Sean Reilly was tasered, went into "medical distress", and later died. [LINK]

Anyone else seeing a pattern here?

A very familiar pattern...

Lincoln, NE - 23-year-old Gabriel Shane Bitterman was tasered, stopped breathing and later died. [LINK]

It must just be a coincidence. {ROLLS-EYES}

Thursday, September 18, 2008

CPRC makes massive oversight

I was just searching the Canadian Police Research Center (CPRC) technical report entitled Review of Conducted Energy Devices, dated 22 August 2005 (Report Number TR-01-2006). I was searching this document for the term "firearm" and I reviewed every instance of this word in the report (not so many).

Interestingly, this report makes no mention of the basic fact that the taser is legally considered to be a prohibited firearm in Canada. [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]

In fact the CPRC report clearly makes the mistake of comparing the taser against firearms, when it is one. With a mistake this huge, and some obvious Taser-love glowing from the report, it makes it clear that there are major problems within the CPRC.

Perhaps this 2005 paper should also have been peer-reviewed like this one from 2008, I mean (maybe) 2009... [LINK]

The authors of this fatally-flawed paper are as follows: Drazen Manojlovic, Christine Hall, Darren Laur [LINK], Shawna Goodkey, Chris Lawrence, Rick Shaw, Sylvain St-Amour, Annik Neufeld, Steve Palmer [LINK] [LINK]

Lawful 'Force' - noun or verb?

Kathy Noah, of Centerville, IA understands that lawful 'force' is supposed to be a noun, not a verb.

"...the propaganda being fed to us that taser guns are constitutionally sound." [LINK]

Read the entire letter at the above link.

It is about a person refusing to get out of a police car and being unconstitutionally tasered out of the car.

One applies lawful force (noun) to pick-up and move the uncooperative subject. One does not apply torture to illegally force (verb) the subject to obey. A taser shock is torture. It is not a lawful force.

The uncooperative subject can certainly be charged with resisting arrest and other related charges for their lack of cooperation. Another 30-days in jail would not be out-of-line for such resistance.

But they need to be passively resisting. If they actually fight back against the lawful force (noun), then the police would be entitled to defend themselves at that point. And the now-violent subject can be charged with assaulting a police officer at that point. Another 6-months in jail or more seems appropriate.

This is all the basic 'Civics' lessons which were once taught in Grade 6. As a society, we appear to have completely forgotten these very basic rules.

Using tasers in Touch Torture mode (also called Drive Stun) is clearly illegal in the vast majority of cases that I read about.

If you still don't understand the issue, then read the right-hand column, top to bottom.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And exactly what would he have been looking for?

The chief medical examiner for Nova Scotia ... didn't find any evidence that Hyde died ... from the Taser shock. [LINK]

Exactly what would the good doctor have been looking for? If he can't answer this question, then this finding can be lumped in with all the others as being essentially meaningless.


PS: I note with some satisfaction that the vast majority of those commenting on the CBC news site have explicitly rejected the 'excited delirium' finding.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Taser's latest argument... ...shredded

Taser's latest argument is something along the lines of "less injuries" (than other weapons).

It is also about their only argument left standing. Time to knock it over. This won't take but a couple of minutes.


First - note the inconvenient CBC finding that at least one-third (~33%) of subjects (or victims) shot by a taser require medical attention to treat their injuries. [LINK]

Actually, that one-third includes just those judged by the police to require medical attention. The percentage that actually DO require medical attention is likely a moderately higher number.

But, to be as fair as we can, we will use 33% for this discussion.


The fundamental problem with this latest Taser argument is that it may be completely swamped out by the very strange tendency of the taser to be overused, misused and abused. If tasers are being used when they should not have been used, then this overuse ratio should be used to discount the injury rate per incident.

By way of an analogy, if you drive a vehicle with a good crash-performance rating (4 or 5 'stars'), but the vehicle is so poorly designed in terms of active safety (bad brakes, poor handling, tends to tip over, etc.) so that it is known to be involved in many more than its fair share of accidents, then you might actually be safer in a different vehicle with slightly lower crash-performance rating, but a much lower real-world accident rate.

Same thing with tasers. If tasers are commonly being overused, then the total number of injuries may rise even if the injury rate per (often unnecessary) incident is lower on its face.

We already know that the injury rate on a per-incident basis is about 33% (see above). So if the overuse ratio is even as low as just 3-to-1 (puh!), then the effective injury rate becomes 100%.

That's almost certainly a given.

I believe that tasers are actually being used somewhere up to one-hundred times as often as they should be used (this figure varies widely with jurisdiction). See [LINK] for back-up. Let's adjust that overuse ratio down to 30-to-1 to be safe (we must be seen to be reasonable).

The known 33% injury rate multiplied by a conservative 30-to-1 overuse ratio makes the effective taser injury rate about 1000%.

If you disagree with my numbers feel free to use your own. But it will be very difficult to have a result less than 100% if you're being honest with yourself.

It is very clearly obvious that it doesn't take very much of an overuse ratio to swamp out the entire 'per-incident' basis of their argument.

Taser may present some so-called statistics to try to prove their point.

But the above analysis clearly indicates that it might be well worth looking past their report to find the real-world facts.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Taser underpowered "training aide" ??!!??

A regular reader made an interesting observation and suggested this post. Thanks K.


Riley Wooten, the father of Mike "Troopergate" Wooten who tasered his stepson, said:

"...the taser used was a training aide, not one with a full charge." [LINK]


Wah... wha... wha... wha... what ?

Training aide? Didn't have a full charge? What?


Choose one:

1) Mike "Troopergate" Wooten is passing along false information to his very own dad about the existence of special underpowered taser training aides.

2) Or such underpowered taser training aides actually do exist, which would call into question the very safety statistics that Taser quotes when they include police training hits (invariably to the back, never the chest) in their denominator washing. Obviously taser hits from underpowered traning aides would not be in the same risk category as from the real-deal.


If #2 is true (and it seems more likely), then we have the makings of a major deception.


Taser needs to answer the following questions:

Do such underpowered taser training aides exist? What is the purpose of such low-powered tasers? Are they used during police training? If so, why? Do you count these underpowered taser hits during police training in your washed-out safety statistics?


Wow...

This whole thing continues to get more and more interesting.

Post # 600 - look how far we've come

When I started this blog less than a year ago, Taser was apparently unstoppable.

Now they've been knocked onto their back foot, arms windmilling to avoid collapse:
  • Their stock lost as much as two-thirds of its 'value'
  • They've lost a lawsuit to the tune of $6.2M...
  • 'Failure to warn' about blood pH and risk of death...
  • ...which wiped about $50M off their market cap
  • It's been revealed that they actually settled at least ten of those "dismissed" lawsuits
  • Coroners are finding the taser shocks to be the cause of cardiac arrest
  • Plenty of young, healthy, drug-free victims

My small role has been to shred their pathetic arguments. I believe that they review this blog and adjust their arguments into ever-smaller circles.

It's become almost funny.

Their recent moves have included sneaking in a new geographical limit on their previously all-encompassing claims:

"...Taser International Inc., says the devices have never been conclusively linked to any deaths in Canada." [LINK]

Only '...in Canada', eh? Pity.

But the USA isn't included anymore... Ha ha. Caught you!

What next? Blah blah claim blah... "...in the eastern half of Cape Breton Island on a Tuesday."

Ever shrinking circles of claim to avoid the inevitable growth of statistics versus time. Sucks to be Taser.


Here is another delightful example of Taser spin-doctoring at its finest: [LINK]

The Taser spokespuppets would win at least a silver medal if spin-doctoring were an Olympic sport.


Things are moving along. Reports are being issued. The international media is noticing [LINK]. Committees are on the trail. The more sensitive of the police officials have started to figure out that these guys are not really their friends. The facts are starting to pile up. Their clever-by-half arguments have been shredded one by one.

Carry on then.

RCMP, Toronto police treat tasers differently

The RCMP and the Toronto Police Services treat tasers differently [LINK]

Read the article linked above (especially towards the bottom), and then review this list of taser-associated deaths in Canada (from the Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK]).


1. Terry Hanna, 51 – Burnaby, BC - April 19, 2003 - RCMP
2. Clayton Willey, 33 – Prince George, BC - July 22, 2003 - RCMP
3. Clark Whitehouse, 34 – Whitehorse, YK - September 2003 - RCMP
4. Ronald Perry, 28 – Edmonton, AB - March 23, 2004
5. Roman Andreichikov, 25 – Vancouver, BC - May 1, 2004
6. Peter Lamonday, 33 – London, ON - May 13, 2004
7. Robert Bagnell, 44 – Vancouver, BC - June 23, 2004
8. Jerry Knight, 29 – Mississauga, ON - July 17, 2004 [that's Peel, not Toronto]
9. Samuel Truscott, 43 – Kingston, ON - August 8, 2004
10. Kevin Geldart, 34 – Moncton, NB - May 5, 2005 - RCMP
11. Gurmeet Sandhu, 41 – Surrey, BC - June 30, 2005 - RCMP
12. James Foldi, 39 – Beamsville, ON - July 1, 2005
13. Paul Saulnier, 42 – Digby, NS - July 15, 2005 - RCMP
14. Alesandro Fiacco, 33 – Edmonton, AB - December 24, 2005
15. Jason Doan, 28 – Red Deer, AB - August 30, 2006 - RCMP
16. James Barber, 25, Ottawa, ON - January 2007
17. Claudio Castagnetta, 32 - Quebec City, QC - September 20, 2007
18. Robert Dziekanski, 40 - Vancouver, BC - October 14, 2007 - RCMP
19. Quilem Registre, 39 - Montreal, QC - October 17, 2007
20. Howard Hyde, 45 - Halifax, NS - November 22, 2007
21. Robert Knipstrom, 36 - Chilliwack, BC - November 24, 2007 - RCMP
22. Jeffrey Marreel, 36 - Norfolk, Ontario - June 23, 2008 - OPP
23. Michael Langan, 17, Winnipeg, MB - July 22, 2008


The Toronto Police Services is the largest municipal police force in Canada, operating in the largest metropolitan area in Canada.

They are notably absent from the above list of taser-associated deaths in Canada.

Coincidence?

Taser mole spokespuppet still drooling lies

A certain pro-taser arsehole that has been previously discussed in this blog [LINK] is continuing to leave his idiotic comments all over the on-line news outlets. His mindless comments typically have the following, grammatically- and factually-incorrect, Zuskin-trademark heading:

"Taser Saves Lives Everyday" (sic, and also very sick)


His latest moronic comment is the following:

Tasers have never killed anyone,

Yes they have. See De-spinning the Spin at the top of the right hand column for a couple of choice examples. $6.2M judgment for failure to warn (of the risk of death). And a case where three coroners that have pointed directly at the taser shocks as THE cause of a fatal cardiac arrest. Even Taser chairman Smith admitted that use of tasers results in lives lost in a ratio that he felt was acceptable (but who the hell gave him the right to make such moral trade-offs?). So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

'...a taser cannot kill a person unless they die due to a fall... '

Utter B.S. See De-spinning the Spin. The obvious-in-hindsight blood pH issue has been established in court. Coroners have found that taser shocks can cause cardiac arrest. And many more.

'Tasers give Police control over the uncontrolable, ...'

First, you don't have to capitalize the word "police" - they're not gods. Secondly, chuck yur spilling...

Back to tasers: tasers are unpredictable. Sometimes they work as they're suppose to. Sometimes they don't (today's example: [LINK]). Sometimes they are associated with the subject's death. Sometimes they are linked causually to that death. But most often they're overused, misused, and abuse. The taser success stories are so rare that Taser often celebrates them with a press release.

'...without getting hurt. Tasers reduce injuries to Police and Perps alike. ...'

Tasers have been called a 'street level death lottery'. I think that most 'perps' (and victims) would prefer to risk a minor injury rather than take a chance of being killed. A due to Taser's endless denominator-washing, the risks are actually higher than you might have been led to believe. Recent reports have warned of the risks of accepting the maufacturer's propaganda at face value - so you should stop quoting it.

Also, search this blog for a lesson on Karma. See [LINK] [LINK] and [LINK].


I hope that someone can figure out the exact relationship between this idiot and Taser. There is obviously a connection that drives him. If it isn't his life's savings tied-up in now less valuable TASR stocks, then perhaps there is a family connection. There must be something...


Where is Michael Moore when we need him?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ah, yeah. Thanks for the help officers...

Fla. man dies after 3 (or perhaps 4) taser stuns by deputy

See [LINK] and [LINK]

More on The Report

Taser Report June 2008 [LINK] (link to a .pdf file, about 4.5MB)

CBC News on the same story: [LINK]

Report _SLAMS!!!_ RCMP over tasers

An independent report ker-fricken-SLAMS! the RCMP for a whole laundry list of errors relating to tasers: 1) trusting Taser too much, 2) failing to consult independent experts, 3) failing to classify the weapon properly, 4) using the term "excited delirium" too much, and more...

Please see TheStar.com [LINK]

I've included a large extract here because I feel the need to highlight many key points. I encourage readers to follow the above link to the complete story at the original source.

Good work by The Star in fighting to obtain this report!!!


OTTAWA – The RCMP did not do "due diligence" when it approved the taser stun gun for use as a less-than-lethal weapon by its officers, a hard-hitting independent review concludes. ...

Submitted in June to RCMP Commissioner Bill Elliott but not made public, the review says the RCMP relied too much on the advice of the taser's American manufacturer in developing its policies and training, did not consult widely enough with medical and mental health experts about its impact on people, and did not treat the weapon as a "prohibited firearm" – its proper legal classification.

Across Canada, 170 police agencies use stun guns and 22 people have died [in Canada] after being hit by stun guns, although the deaths have not been linked directly to their use.

[Some deaths in US cases have been firmly linked. See 'De-spining the Spin' at the top right of this blog. Risk of death is one issue. Misuse, abuse and overuse is another issue.]

The report, obtained yesterday by the Star under Access to Information, slams the use of the term "excited delirium" by police officers to describe combative, resistant suspects, saying it is an excuse to justify firing the 50,000-volt charge. "Excited delirium" is not a recognized medical diagnosis, but a term sometimes used by emergency room doctors or coroners, the report says. However, its use by police amounts to "folk knowledge" and it should be eliminated from the RCMP's operational manual unless formally approved after consultation with a mental-health policy advisory body, said the review.

The report urges the federal government to set national standards for taser use by all police forces in Canada, under its power in the Criminal Code to regulate firearms. ...

The review found other problems with the RCMP's approach, saying the force should have used trained policy analysts to conduct its own research on the weapon. And, although the RCMP consulted two provincial schizophrenia societies, it did not consult national medical and mental-health associations.

There was also an over-reliance on research carried out by the taser's manufacturer and the views of other police services – who had also relied primarily on the company.

It said while medical literature does not establish a "sufficient causal link" between a taser shock and death, "there is considerable information" showing many factors that could relate to "risk of harm" including: pregnancy, size, body weight, existence of medical conditions, pacemakers, psychosis, ingestion of drugs and "prolonged acute stress and exhaustion."

And while manufacturers need to provide information, the report says "the policing community needs to be assiduous in assessing the manufacturer's... [propaganda]."

[The report also] criticized the work of the Canadian Police Research Centre – relied on by the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police in its review of tasers – saying the reports were not subject to rigorous peer review, overlooked important information and contained factual errors.

It also cited the erroneous characterization of the taser as a prohibited weapon instead of a "firearm" – the taser was legally classified as the latter in 1998 Criminal Code amendments – a designation that brings much stiffer rules for storage, training, certification and use. ...


Wow.

This report is a major victory for those of us that have been fighting this issue. And it is a major body-blow to those factions within the RCMP and other police forces that have been such unabashed fan-boys of Taser. It is also a well-deserved major smack in the face to Taser.

(Relying on Taser's advice and information wouldn't really be a problem if their advice and information were all correct... So this particular part of the criticism reflects very badly on Taser and their propaganda.)

Given the relative inaction of the RCMP to date, there is more than sufficient reason for action by Parliament on this issue.

I told you that the taser training was bad...

Alaska state trooper Mike 'Troopergate' Wooten, 36, ex-brother-in-law to GOP VP candidate Sarah 'I'll have you fired' Palin, has admitted using a taser on his stepson. According to Mr Wooten, he had [just?] returned from a taser instruction class and the fascinated boy pleaded to be shot. So, of course, he shot him. He said his stepson flinched, but was unhurt. [LINK]

So - he is fresh back from official Taser-approved taser training - and he decides it's a great idea to shoot his stepson with the taser 'just for fun'.

Does this sound like the sort of outcome you would expect from a good-by-any-standard weapon training course? Or does it sound like the results you'd expect if someone had just attended a Taser corporate propaganda brainwashing session?

Attention police regulators of the world - check the training. Stat!


Told ya so.

Here are some previous posts about taser training: [LINK]

Enough corporate spin to make you dizzy

Regarding the recent $1.7M lawsuit that names Taser as a defendant

Steve Tuttle, a spokesman for Taser International, told the Globe and Mail that the company not only stands behind its product's safety, but that 74 past product-liability cases have been dismissed or decided in the company's favour. [LINK]

Read the above statement again to make sure (you think) you understand it.

You probably can't see it yet, but actually Taser is spinning the word "dismissed" to leave you with a very false impression of their legal record.

Read this from previous post: [LINK]

Taser has settled at least 10, or about 19 percent, of the 52 product-liability cases it claims to have won through a court dismissal or judgment in its favor. ... Lawyers for alleged Taser victims say the company overstates its legal scorecard to discourage lawsuits and boost its stock price. ... Taser doesn't identify these cases as settlements in SEC filings and instead describes individual settled cases in these reports as 'dismissed with prejudice'. [LINK]

Taser has settled with the plaintiff in at least ten cases (about one-in-five at the time). Does that legal record match what you thought Mr. Tuttle was saying above? No? welcome to the twisted truth of Taser spin-doctoring.


So, is corporate spin a Taser habit? Read this: [LINK]


See also the top of the right hand column for more de-spin.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Tasered, turned blue, died later => lawsuit

August 2006: Jason Wayne Doan, 28, Red Deer, Alberta.

Now a $1.7M lawsuit.

See the lawsuit story at the Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK].


See also my previous post 'What are the odds?' [LINK].

Monday, September 8, 2008

Houston, we have several problems...

Houston audit [LINK] [LINK] reveals the truth about tasers:
  1. Tasers used most often ["nearly 67 percent"] on black suspects. Blacks are just about 25% of the population of Houston.
  2. Black officers in Houston are less likely to use their taser. This is very interesting and very revealing.
  3. Tasers have not lead to a reduction in shootings of civilians. This inconvenient truth reveals the entire justification for tasers in the first place to be nothing but a damn lie.
I've got nothing against Houston. These problems are more a reflection on tasers and their relationship to society and 'power', than a reflection on just Houston.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

"Tasers save money" - oops...

WOONSOCKET (Rhode Island?) - Warwick lawyers representing the survivors of a local man who died after the police shot him with a Taser weapon have filed a $15 million claim for damages against the city. [LINK]

And the upside is what?

Dirty hands and a filthy mouth

CityNews - Two men arrested in a controversial confrontation with police have been convicted despite a judge's ruling that all the arresting officers lied in court. [LINK]

I could have sworn that I'd seen something about a dirty hands rule intended to prevent the bringing of the administration of justice into disrepute. I thought it was something along the lines of: any lies in court by the police as witnesses results in the accused being allowed to walk - no matter what.

The big explicit trade-off of this rule is that it is considered to be far more critical in the long run to discourage the police lying in court than the particular circumstances of any particular offense.

Perhaps the judge in this case thought that it was more important to deal with the petty offenders in this case than to protect the greater good of society. Hmmm...


More details:

Part of the confrontation was recorded on an attorney's voice-mail when Ahmed used his cell phone to call his lawyer. In the jumble of confusing noise, the men can be heard protesting they've done nothing wrong, while police officers sound increasingly agitated because they took too long to follow their orders. "Get out of the fucking car," one police officer says repeatedly.

"Sir, I'm coming out, sir. I'm coming out sir. Can you relax, can you relax?" Ahmed replies. But the officer continues to swear at the man, as Ahmed tells him, "I'm opening the door." That's followed by a loud scream as Ahmed is shocked with a taser.

"Get on the ground now or I'll let the dog in!" a second officer is heard threatening him.

The judge ruled the officers had used excessive force, but it didn't affect the outcome.


I expect that the judge's decision in this case, that the police lied under oath and their use of excessive force shouldn't affect the trial and the sentencing of the accused, will eventually be overturned.

It is obviously important to protect society from people that might be breaking the law, but it is normally considered - by people familiar with such issues - to be far, far, far and away more important to protect society from the lies under oath and physical excesses that might be committed by the police themselves (as has happened in this case).

TASER NEWS ALERT

[sarcasm]

TORONTO, Ont., Sept 6, 2008 (WorldWideWebBlogwire via the Internet) -- EXCITED-DELIRIUM.com, a market leader in highlighting the other side of the taser story, issued the following NEWS ALERT:

According to an article on the September 5, 2008 edition of the WFLX-TV website "Fla. police Taser 15-year-old boy", a young lad was yelling at police and, by some standards, deserved to be shot dead. But no, the highly-trained police used a taser to take him down and shut him the hell up.

According to the article, Miramar Police stopped a 14-year-old boy for trespassing on school property Friday. The teen was not a student at that school. As police were struggling to take the first wee feisty lad into custody, a second teen began yelling and shouting strenuously in an annoying manner at the police and started to move within taser range. Officers then tased his loud-mouth ass.

"If there is ever a deadly force situation -- this was it," Sgt Bloggins-Noggin is quoted in the article as saying. "It's fortunate we had a taser and we used it to resolve the situation without having to plug his pimple-laced loud-mouth face with a .45 calibre like we used to do. And I guess it's lucky he didn't die immediately after the taser shock as sometimes seems to happen. So it all ended happy and quiet."

The complete [original] story is available at: http://www.wflxfox29.com/Global/story.asp?S=8962013&nav=menu98_3

This sarcastic commentary was compiled through publicly available media reports and distributed by EXCITED-DELIRIUM.com of Toronto, Canada.

EXCITED-DELIRIUM.com disclaims any responsibility for the accuracy of the media reports, and would like to remind you that this blog post is a sarcastic commentary mocking those occasional Taser news alerts which focus only on the very rare success stories.

For more information on the sort of propaganda dispersed by Taser, please visit: http://www.EXCITED-DELIRIUM.com.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

About that taser emu story

Emu = large flightless bird

A few days ago, there was a cute story on the news wire about some police being forced to taser an emu. The original version of the story that I saw made no mention of this little tidbit...

The bird died. [LINK]


Ah, it must have been the cocaine.   [???]


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Former RCMP head: 'I think we should stop using [tasers]'

CBC News -- The RCMP should end its controversial use of tasers, former commissioner Giuliano Zaccardelli says.

"And you know, after all that I've thought about it, I've come more and more to the conclusion that I'm not sure that having Tasers is worth the negative impact that it has on police forces in terms of public perception," he told the CBC's Peter Mansbridge. "I think we should stop using it."

"I'm very concerned between the perception and, in cases unfortunately where we've had misuse, that we have to seriously consider maybe taking away that," said Zaccardelli, who is now a senior officer at Interpol in France.

[LINK]


My opinion of this guy just went up about three or four notches.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Police: Man starts to chew off own head, saved by taser"

It seems like there have been quite a few of this sort of press release coming out in the taser news feeds in the past few weeks.

...It's very strange...


No - not the incidents themselves.

I mean it's strange that the police are actually issuing pro-taser press releases about such crazy incidents. That aspect is unusual and more than a bit creepy.

Especially when those same servants of the public go all silent when someone dies after being tasered.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aussie cops lack tasers, shoot man (sort-of)

Queensland Police Union president Cameron Pope said the officer attempted to pacify the man with capsicum spray but was left with no choice but to shoot him... "Her only choice was to lie down and possibly be beaten to death and that choice is not acceptable. ... She was an experienced officer and that was shown - she tried to use physical force first, she tried to use capsicum spray and she's only resorted to the use of a firearm as a last resort."

...Queensland Police Minister Judy Spence said the shooting may have been avoided if the officer had been equipped with a taser gun, which are being rolled out to police across the state. "
It's likely that a taser would have been useful."

This sounds like an advertisement for Taser, except...

The suspect was shot in the leg but ran from the scene before being located in a nearby backyard. He is currently under police guard in Rockhampton Hospital. [LINK]

And so?

You want to endanger the lives of ordinary citizens by issuing tasers (which seems inevitably to lead to misuse, overuse and abuse against ordinary folks), in exchange for reducing the risk of death for criminals that are actually beating up a police officer?

If you don't see this as a very bad (evil!!) trade-off, then bone up on 'Karma'.

See [LINK] [LINK] & [LINK]

Taser-associated deaths plotted by month

Based on The List [LINK] at the Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK].

Rate is still holding close to the average of seven taser-associated deaths per month.

The small green circle in 2003 indicates approximately when the X26 taser was introduced to the market. Many of the characteristics of the X26 waveform are the opposite of what Taser had claimed were safe on the older 1999-era M26 taser. Notice what happened to the 6-month running average (black line) starting at that point; it is almost a step function from less than one per month to about seven per month.

But I guess that's just a coincidence...


The Cowards of Broward County

Everyone in the courtroom is surprised and shocked by the almost-insane Taser-brainwashed attitude of those taser-wielding loons. Perhaps they'll actually get in trouble for what has become SOP? What sort of society do we want?

To Taser someone in that circumstance is cruel and extremely dangerous. He was just declared mentally ill. He was not physically a threat.

[LINK][LINK][LINK]