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 31, 2009

'A tool unlike any other' (repost 26 Aug. 2008)

With nearly 1200 posts, and new visitors arriving every day, it might be useful to simply pull-up some previous posts that already nail down a particular line of thought.

Ontario's provincial police commissioner Julian Fantino [LINK] says "the taser is a tool like any other." [LINK]

Wrong. Dead wrong.

The difference between the taser and other policing tools is that the taser is surrounded by claims of essentially perfect safety with respect to internal risk factors (cardiac effects or similar). And the field results do not support these claims (too many mysterious deaths, some backed-up with legal findings).

I can think of no other police tool where the claims are so at odds with the reality (when viewed from the point of view of claimed perfection - see this [LINK] or you may not understand).

Guns, batons, fists, pepper-spray - all of these have a very obvious and predictable worst-case outcome. The risks are well understood. The taser is thought to be safe, but has proven to be what some have termed a street level death lottery.

The training and policies, both under Taser International's influence, reflect this level of claimed safety (except that the trainees are never shot in the chest, because Taser International wants them in the denominator rather than the numerator of the gross, washed-out, risk ratio).

This propaganda-based training leaves police officers with an incorrect view of the risk.

And this leads directly to abuse, misuse and overuse.

And that's the problem.

And that's the difference.

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