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, March 7, 2009

Real world results - M26 versus X26

I have speculated (see previous post) that the X26 taser might be more unexpectedly-lethal than the older M26.

I read somewhere that, for example, the RCMP still had about as many older M26 tasers as they had newer X26 tasers. To be fair, they probably carry and use the newer and lighter X26 tasers more often. But, before 2003, it would have been exclusively the M26. Any taser-associated deaths in Canada before 2003?

But let's review The List of the Dead in Canada (from the Truth...Not Tasers blog, right side column) to see if we can spot any M26/X26 pattern of bias:

Deaths in Canada

[UPDATE: This X26/M26 data needs to be confirmed. Some X26 data points are suspicious with respect to when the X26 reportedly started to be used in Canada. Geesh, you'd think that they wouldn't hide such data...]

1. Terry Hanna, 51 – Burnaby, BC - April 19, 2003 - RCMP - X26
2. Clayton Willey, 33 – Prince George, BC - July 22, 2003 - RCMP - X26 - Cause of death: drug overdose
3. Clark Whitehouse, 34 – Whitehorse, YK - September 2003 - RCMP - X26
4. Ronald Perry, 28 – Edmonton, AB - March 23, 2004 - X26
5. Roman Andreichikov, 25 – Vancouver, BC - May 1, 2004 - X26
6. Peter Lamonday, 33 – London, ON - May 13, 2004 - X26
7. Robert Bagnell, 44 – Vancouver, BC - June 23, 2004 - X26 - Cause of death: "restraint-associated cardiac arrest" due to acute cocaine intoxication and psychosis
8. Jerry Knight, 29 – Mississauga, ON - July 17, 2004 - X26 - Cause of death: “restraint asphyxia” with cocaine-related excited delirium
9. Samuel Truscott, 43 – Kingston, ON - August 8, 2004 - X26 - Cause of death: drug overdose (Coroner Jim Cairns)
10. Kevin Geldart, 34 – Moncton, NB - May 5, 2005 - RCMP - Cause of death: excited delirium with contributing factors including repeated shocks with a taser and pepper spray
11. Gurmeet Sandhu, 41 – Surrey, BC - June 30, 2005 - RCMP
12. James Foldi, 39 – Beamsville, ON - July 1, 2005 - Niagara Regional Police, X26 - tasered 12 times
13. Paul Saulnier, 42 – Digby, NS - July 15, 2005 - RCMP - heart attack brought on by excited delirium, linked to his paranoid schizophrenia (Medical Examiner Dr. Matthew Bowes) (Ontario Coroner Jim Cairns reviewed the case and concluded that the taser played no role in Saulnier's death)
14. Alesandro Fiacco, 33 – Edmonton, AB - December 24, 2005 - tasered 3 times - Cause of death: "acute cocaine toxicity," and "a complete lack of evidence" the Taser contributed to his death (Coroner Dr. Graham Dowling)
15. Jason Doan, 28 – Red Deer, AB - August 30, 2006 - RCMP - Cause of death: excited delirium, heart failure and undetermined causes
?? James Barber, 25, Ottawa, ON - January 2007
16. Claudio Castagnetta, 32 - Quebec City, QC - September 20, 2007 - tasered 5 times - Cause of death: accidental severe cerebral edema (Coroner Dr. Jean Brochu)
17. Robert Dziekanski, 40 - Vancouver, BC - October 14, 2007 - RCMP - [X26?] taser was a contributing factor
18. Quilem Registre, 39 - Montreal, QC - October 17, 2007
19. Howard Hyde, 45 - Halifax, NS - November 22, 2007
20. Robert Knipstrom, 36 - Chilliwack, BC - November 24, 2007 - RCMP
21. Jeffrey Marreel, 36 - Norfolk, Ontario - June 23, 2008 - OPP
22. Michael Langan, 17, Winnipeg, MB - July 22, 2008
23. Sean Reilly, 42 - Brampton, ON - September 17, 2008
24. Frank Frachette, 49 - Langley, BC - September 30, 2008 - RCMP
25. Trevor Grimolfson, 38 - Edmonton, AB - October 29, 2008, X26
26. Gordon Walker Bowe, 30, Calgary, AB - November 2, 2008


Look at the data for cases 1 to 9 covering 2003 and 2004 where we have complete taser model data.

This is the period when the X26 was just being introduced. So presumably the older M26 was still in wide use since the X26 was just being put on the market at that time (doubtful that they were replaced overnight). But during this period, the taser-associated deaths are 9 for 9 to the X26. Coincidence?

Going on instinct, I'll bet that the X26 is more than carrying it's weight when it comes to taser-associated deaths. I would welcome a more scientific analysis of the "available data" - provided it was done by someone that isn't working for, or in bed with, Taser International.

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