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 14, 2009

Taser International lawsuit against Braidwood

In reading some of the statements being emitted from their Canadian lawyer, their complaint seems to be based on a claim that the Braidwood Inquiry did not give their smelly pile of evidence due consideration.

But it is my understanding that they (Taser International) actually submitted so-called studies that (for example) had sample sizes so small that those particular studies provide essentially ZERO evidence on the matter at hand - the real world safety of tasers where the argument is not about high risk of death, but about moderate to low risk of death.

Now this is either an obvious error in basic statistics that even a high school student shouldn't make, or it is evidence that those providing these heaping piles of so-called studies are not being completely honest and forthright with the Inquiry. Either way, providing such "evidence" to the Inquiry can only reduce the credibility of the pro-Taser witnesses and arguments.

As another example, Taser International's minions reportedly also tried to claim that the many taser training and demonstration hits into volunteers' backs were evidence of safety. Braidwood wasn't fooled by that claim. He has seen other evidence that sudden and otherwise inexplicable taser deaths seems to have a statistical surplus of chest hits.

Entering such rubbish as 'evidence' does not actually help your case.

It is as if Taser International believes that justice is actually weighed (by the kilogram) by a lady wearing a blindfold.

Their approach of studies-by-the-kilogram is actually quite funny if you think about it in terms of the Lady of Justice - LOL.

For another example, when someone gets a speeding ticket, and the entire case comes down to the officer's word against the defendant's word. The character and motivation of those involved may be the only distinguishing feature. The police officer in such cases is often very obviously a reliable witness and probably has absolutely no reason to lie. The defendant is sometimes an obnoxious punk with a cocky attitude, evidently with low ethical standards, and every reason in the world to twist the truth into lies. Once the court catches the defendant in a half-truth, then it's over.

In such cases the court can't be bothered to refute each and every individual claim made by the defendant. That's not their role. The traffic court simply has to look at the big picture and make a reasonable and fair determination after allowing both sides a fair hearing.

Also, from a scientific point of view, the argument about taser 'safety' has shifted. I'm not sure if anyone else has explicitly noted it yet.

It used to be an argument about each individual taser-associated death. One here, another one there, and yet another 433 over there. In each individual case, the lack of postmortem evidence was the primary evidence.

This situation is (presently) inherent with tasers because, as has been noted by even the pro-Taser minions, the taser's electricity "doesn't linger in the body like a poison" (it leaves no postmortem evidence behind). This has put an almost-impossible burden of proof on those that suspected that tasers can sometimes, randomly, cause death.

But the situation has now shifted. The ever-increasing body count of those that were tasered, and THEN died, cannot be ignored. In fact, it's the whole fricken' point.

So the argument is now about proving that the taser is safe (as opposed to proving that it can kill). And given that the risk of death is (at most) moderate to low, the scientific evidence to prove Taser International's dubious claims of essentially perfect safety is thus inherently enormous. All these studies that only prove that the taser didn't happen to kill some small group of test subject here, or another small group there, they don't address the present question. Braidwood noted those sorts of problems in some of the Tasers-R-Safe evidence provided.

The logic has shifted. In Canada, tasers can cause death. The burden of proof is now on Taser International to prove it isn't true.

"Your Honour, we present 170 studies that conclusively prove that Black Swans do not exist. We have checked lakes and ponds all over Europe and found not a single Black Swan. Therefore it is clear that Black Swans do not exist."

An Australian man looking a lot like 'Crocodile Dundee' walks in carrying a large sack. "G'day mate. You'll never guess what I got in this 'ere sack."

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