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's letter to 'Coast to Coast AM'

Letter to 'Coast to Coast AM' from John Alexander about tasers. [LINK]

Alexander is a former US army colonel and long time advocate of "non-lethal" (sic) weapons. For the record, he has stated that he has no connection to Taser International.

This is his third appearance on this blog. Previously [LINK][LINK]

His letter to 'Coast to Coast AM' (Fair Use claimed):

There is no doubt that people die after the use of Taser. People die after reading newspapers, watching TV, or just breathing, but that does not infer a causal relationship. A few coroners have listed Taser as a possible contributing cause, but most of those have lost out in court.

People also die just before reading newspaper, and just before watching TV. That randomness in time correlation appears to be missing with almost all taser-associated deaths.

See [LINK] for more details of this bizarre asymmetry in the typical taser-associated death time line. There's a detail there about taser-display reporting requirements that will address the most-obvious attempt at rebuttal. Leaving only the bizarre asymmetry...

Bottom line, despite the claims of Amnesty International (AI), there is zero probability that Taser has caused any death, and exceedingly small probability that Taser was a contributory cause of death in any case. AI simply lists every case in which death follows the use of Taser. At times, those deaths have been days later...

For every rare taser-associated death listed where the death followed 'days later', there are many more incidents where healthy young victims were tasered-and-died in quick succession. There is no alternate, and reasonable, explanation for many of these deaths.

Tasers have, not one, but TWO candidate death mechanisms:
  1. Cardiac effects [LINK][LINK][LINK]
  2. Blood pH: [LINK]
It's one of the worst lies to claim that there's 'no science' to support these candidate taser-death mechanisms. That's actually one of the ugliest damn lies. There are many fine scientists that have made significant findings that are impossible to explain away. [LINK] [LINK]

So Taser International plugs their ears and sings loudly, "La la la la... I can't hear you..."

The common factor in all deaths following the use of a Taser was the behavior of the suspect that led them to interact with police. The two leading issues are drug use and exertion from fighting with police. Excited delirium is an established cause of death and there are a few people who are unaware that they have potential heart problems.

Wrong. Robert Dziekanski did not fight with police. Robert Dzikanski did not have any drugs in his system. Robert Dziekanski was tasered, fell down, and died. The most significant thing that happened to him at that time was that he was tasered. The other police actions pale in comparison to the obvious impact of the mutiple taser hits lasting the final 31 seconds of his life.

That's just one counter-example.

The only common factor in taser-associated deaths is the taser. That may sound circular, but since most taser incidents have their own built-in experimental control (the time just before the taser is fired [ibid]), it's actually a very significant observation.

There is also the oft repeated figure of "50,000 volts" shot through their bodies. This number is specious and totally irrelevant. Volts don't kill, amps do. See how many stories report the amperage, or in Taser's case, milliamps. The amps are 0.0026. That is far less than what one would receive from a Christmas Tree light bulb, which runs about one amp...

The "Average" versus RMS current has been fully explored here [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]. Short version is that the electrical industry uses RMS bacause "averages" can be so misleading. M26 and X26 tasers are about 150-160 mA RMS.

And we also have a damn fine argument in our back pocket as to what Kroll forgot about on this particular topic. [LINK] It's a good one, but might have been somewhat eclipse by the outstanding work of Prof Savard et al [LINK] and others.

We do have a control group that can be measured. Now over 750,000 people have been exposed to Taser voluntarily, and when they were not involved in illegal or aberrant activities, there have been ZERO (0) deaths in that group. IF Taser were even a contributory cause of death, there would be some small number of death anticipated. BTW: contrary to opponents comments, all of these volunteers were not medically screened healthy young males.

Taser hits to the BACKS of taser trainees are called FAKE. [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] [LINK] etc. etc. etc. etc. ...

Do you think that this is just a coincidence that these idiots are only ever tasered in the BACK, and almost NEVER the chest?

What? You didn't notice? Really? Feeling sheepish now that I've pointed it out? Seems obvious once it has been pointed out.

Taser International has ignored my challenge to turn the trainees around. [LINK] They're too frightened to even consider the possibility of having the training standard demand a full 5-second (or more) taser hit with the clips attached at the very upper left chest and somewhere below the sternum to force the current into the cardiac risk area. Do that first, and then (after a couple years) you can claim these training hits as evidence of anything.

Reviewing the daily taser news appears to indicate an "unexpected" preponderance of taser hits to the upper left chest in those healthy young men (not particularly agitated) that are tasered-and-die in quick succession. [LINK] The statistics of this obvious correlation are well buried. As are the victims. [LINK]

To date, Taser has been held "partially responsible" as a cause of death in one of the about 80 cases that has gone to court. That bizarre finding held that Taser was 15 percent responsible, and that the victim's voluntary use of illegal drugs was 85 percent responsible. In 41 states, Taser could not have been held responsible when the irrational behavior of an individual was the primary cause. That California case is not over yet, but the jury's award for punitive damages were thrown out...

Already addressed [LINK]. Punitive damages were canceled on a minor point of law (a legal 'technicality'). The 'Blood pH' taser-death mechanism is the main point, and is one of Taser International's worst nightmares. The original judgment wiped about $50M off TASR's market capitalization, and the smug smiles from their faces, virtually overnight.

Tasers save lives!

Perhaps once in a while. But considering that they actually used about ONE HUNDRED TIMES as often as the police have historically and generally-acceptably used their guns, then the actual 'save' rate is many times less than claimed.

The Solicitor General of Alberta actually claimed that tasers had saved thousands of lives in the Canadian province of Alberta. [LINK] This claim is insanity-in-a-can. It implies that the police in Alberta would have become the largest band of mass murderers in Canadian history, except we were saved by the taser. Well, thank goodness... {ROLLS-EYES}

And it's very bad morals to randomly exposed people that did nothing to deserve lethal force to all the risks of tasers. You only have to follow the news to know that the argument that tasers replace guns is the original taser lie. [LINK]

And the real world (large study) the results weren't anywhere as good as the carefully selected cities that Taser International reports. [LINK]

John Alexander

This is exactly why I started this blog. All these sorts of pro-taser arguments have already been fully examined and systematically shredded.

All I had to do to completely shred Mr. Alexander's letter is go through it, paragraph-by-paragraph, search up the applicable previous posts, and paste them into some context language so that everyone can follow.

In other words: Been there, done that, got the T-shirt. Yawn...

The tattered carcasses of the pro-taser arguments are left hanging on the gates of the Excited-Delirium blog for all to see.

I'm still waiting for a new round of pro-taser arguments.

Anyone, anywhere, can win any taser-debate against any pro-taser foe. The 1000+ posts on the Excited-Delirium.com (do not forget the dash!!) cover all the arguments-to-date.

And along the way, we've uncovered some other very interesting findings... ...see the blog.

[Hat tip to TR]

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