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, August 28, 2009

Michael Patrick Jacobs cause of death

As I predicted - 2009 is going to be a very "interesting" year for Taser International.

Texas man's Taser death ruled homicide - Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr., 24, primary cause of death was "sudden death during neuromuscular incapacitation due to application of a conducted energy device."

Jacobs was stunned with the Taser twice — the first time for 49 seconds and the second time for 5 seconds, with a 1-second interval between the shocks, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office report issued Thursday. Neither paramedics at the scene nor emergency room personnel could revive him, according to the report. He was pronounced dead about noon that day — an hour after police used the Taser, the report said.

An autopsy showed no traces of alcohol or drugs, electrolyte imbalances, or signs of heart or lung disease, all of which can be contributing factors in a death.

Since there's little room for spin, I predict stony silence from Taser International.

They certainly wouldn't want this sort of news being widely known by those judging their appeal regarding the conclusions from the Braidwood Inquiry.


Critical Mass said...

Medical Examiner Peerwani is no stranger to examining deaths shortly after the use of a Taser. He was quite vocal about the "intimidation factor" of Taser International looking over the shoulder and suing coroners when they assign a role to their stun gun, in any death. In 2005, here is what the Fort Worth doctor said:

"In one 2005 case, Eric Hammock, a Midland architect and cocaine user, died after Fort Worth police tasered him 25 times during a nine-minute span. Peerwani's autopsy showed very little cocaine in Hammock's system for a regular user, yet he ruled the cause of death an accidental cocaine overdose.

Peerwani said there are reasons why even a small amount of cocaine can lead to death. As for the role of the shocks from the Taser, he said police told him that the computer chip in the weapon (which records how many times and for how long it is discharged) had malfunctioned, and they couldn't tell how many times it had been fired.

In fact, records eventually released to the Weekly by the police department, long after the death, showed the 25 firings just before Hammock died.

"If that case occurred today, I would look at it very differently," Peerwani said. "And if I had known he had been hit with that weapon 25 times, I would also have looked at it differently. But the whole issue with those weapons is a difficult one," he said.

It's still very difficult to determine the role a Taser charge may play in a death, but, Peerwani said, "What we can learn from history is that there are people in certain excited states who perhaps should not be shocked."

He has taken note, he said, of the actions of Taser International, the company that makes the weapons and that has a policy of suing medical examiners who find Tasers as having contributed to or caused a death.

"That can be very intimidating, of course," he said. But, he added, it doesn't affect his decisions. "We are working on a case right now where the Taser was used, and we are looking at it very closely. And if we determine that the Taser was a contributing factor, we will be clear on that."


One might expect that Peerwani could re-open that case from 2005 and amend his opinion about what killed Eric Hammock, who had barely a trace of residual cocaine in his system, when he was shot over 25 times with a Taser.

Enjoy your vacation. I did mine.

Critical Mass

mhardin104 said...

It makes no difference if someone is said to have died of contributing causes when electrocuted. They would have not died at that time in excruciating agony had they not been electrocuted by a ETD at the hands of police. To Stop Electronic Torture Devices in the USA Tell Congress to pass the Proposed Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr.-Federal anti torture -by police- law. MPJJ-FAT-BP-Law to Make it illeagle to Manufacture,sell,own or use ETDs in all of the USA Including the military and all civilan agencys on any USA possession or terrritory. Electronic Torture Devices have run their course and have been found to be cruel and unusual often deadly punishment applied without due process of law