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, July 24, 2009

Braidwood Inquiry Report - my initial reaction

Anyone that has a simplified view of the taser issue should review Judge Braidwood's 550-page report. [LINK]

I think that his report might even be longer than this blog! Yikes.

I've just spent the past few hours skimming through the report (at approximately 500 words per minute, ahem...). I'll obviously be reading it more closely over the coming days and weeks.

The report covers a lot of territory.

Braidwood's recommendations are extensive, sweeping, uniformly practical, highly moral and ethical, and (if fully implemented) potentially quite useful.

I'm a bit worried about the "if fully implemented" part. To be honest, that seems unlikely.

Overall the report is good; possibly very good.

But not quite perfect.

I strongly disagree with the report's off-hand dismissal of the street-level punishment and intimidation aspects of day-to-day taser use in the 'Touch Torture' (drive stun) mode. If he (or anyone, anywhere) disagrees, then they need to answer The 'glowing cigarette' taser challenge [LINK]. If you can't answer this challenge, then you have to admit that the taser is (sometimes? quite often?) nothing more than torture, plain and simple.

The report didn't really delve into the technical aspects of the various tasers. Not even to the point of reviewing the X26 spec sheet to see where the waveform actually trails off as compared to the oft-quoted 100 microseconds and 100 micro-coulombs. Let alone considering the implications of the little DC pulse on the X26 and the 2003-coincidence-my-ass step function increase in the monthly taser death rate.

But these relatively minor points are overshadowed by the formal conclusion, directly contradicting the dismissed-with-prejudice (LOL) "expert" testimony of Taser International's many bought-and-paid-for experts witnesses, that the taser can CAUSE DEATH.

That is a huge and critical slap in the face to Taser International.


Taser International claims it isn't so.

Judge Braidwood didn't buy their story.

Which was the correct judgement.

Bless his heart.

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