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.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Alberta taser-associated death rate

I've been extremely clear on this point. I'm not claiming that the taser is 100% lethal. I'm arguing against the claim that the taser is essentially 100% safe (with respect to internal risk factors).

My personal opinion is that the X26 taser is capable of DIRECTLY CAUSING a death.

Perhaps there are contributing factors in many cases. Perhaps the death rate is considered to be low enough to be acceptable to some unthinking and evil slimebags. But there have been enough examples where people are tasered and then die that I personally believe that you'd have to be a complete idiot to maintain the belief that tasers-R-safe in the face of so many counter-examples.

Do the math for Alberta:

Alberta NDP Leader Brian Mason said that at least five people have died in the province after being tasered by police in recent years

Five taser-associated deaths. Maybe 2500 deployments. Same period?

Only a small fraction of 'deployments' involve taser darts hitting the chest. Depending on what is included as a 'deployment', the denominator can be washed out with everything including simple displays of the taser.

Let's assume that about one-quarter of these deployments involve the darts, and let's assume that the darts hit the chest in about half of that quarter. Feel free to pick your own numbers, it's not that critical. About 300 incidents with tasers darts on chest. Does anyone track this level of detail?

If these assumptions are true, then the unwashed-out taser-associated death rate when taser darts hit chest is about 1.7%, the same old low end, single digits as before.

This is a ball-park number because the complete data is not readily available.

For some perspective, see the Quote of the Week [LINK].

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