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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

John Alexander didn't get the memo

The Talk Radio world is (apparently) abuzz with talk of tasers.

Coast to Coast AM: Last week's guest with George Knapp, John Alexander, [a fan of] 'non-lethal' (sic) weapons, claimed that no one has ever been killed by a taser. George received a number of emails to the contrary... [LINK]

We've met John Alexander before [LINK]. It's obvious that he would certainly benefit from a good long cover-to-cover read of the Excited-Delirium.com blog. His statements are out-of-date and past their best-before date.

For example, his claim that "...no one has ever been killed by a taser..." is demonstrably false.

In the Pikes case [LINK] multiple coroners agreed that the taser CAUSED the death. [LINK] But Taser International points out that they forgot to include the words "directly" (and perhaps the word "pomegranate", for the next go-round) in their findings.

Also, the 'Blood pH' taser-death mechanism is common sense medically, and is now legally established. The 15% - 85% ratio on that case was not a statement of causality, only of assigned legal responsibility. And the $5+M 'refund' was on a small point of law, not about the facts of the case.

See the 'Blood pH' topic on this very blog: [LINK]. We made some very good progress over the past few weeks in figuring out some of the arguments.

So, in response to these two crystal-clear taser-deaths, the official cue-card wording (for those that have up-to-date cue cards) has been changed to limit the scope of the safety claims as follows:

"...the use of a taser by a police officers in the lawful execution of their duty has [never] been found to have been the direct cause of a fatality." [LINK]

In other words, the claim of taser safety is now (newly-) limited to so-called "lawful" deployments, but not "awful" deployments. I wonder how the interactions of body chemistry and electrons knows what is lawful, and what is not? Smells like an exclusion based on happenstance and hindsight, not logic.

It seems clear that John Alexander didn't get the (secret?) memo about the new, more limited, claims.

He's not alone in this regard. Taser International is a bit careful about who they keep informed of the latest, more-limited, carefully-worded, claims. They're happy to let the more ill-informed fan-boys spout-off old obsolete nonsense. So it's best to wipe the spittle off John, because you're being played like a trumpet.

Don't feel bad. Chief Kaye, VP of CACP [LINK] didn't get the memo either, and he read from an obsolete cue-card. It wasn't until OPP Commish Fantino actually looked down and carefully read the new wording. [LINK] I'd love to have an excuse to subpoena the communication records surrounding that pro-taser news conference.

It's been a source of entertainment to the taser-critical bloggers to track the changes in the claims from Taser International over the past few years. Their claims of "no deaths" are slowly being spiraled down in scope and geographical coverage. [LINK] [LINK] The more recent claims are positively adjective-laden with language that subtracts from the broad claims previously made (in the time before we started to figure the issue out).

I'll fully address Mr. Alexander's recent letter to 'Coast to Coast AM' in another post.

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