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, September 25, 2009

Use of force and risk of death - compare...

Taser International likes to compare the risk of INJURY, or Injury_and_Death (all one word), of the taser as compared to other forms of force such as batons or pepperspray. And that is certainly a fair point that can be debated. But one needs to be very careful to keep the issue of injury rates separate from the issue of death rates. I've caught them attempting to muddle the taser-associated death issue by mixing in studies of injury rates.

And Braidwood noted that the rate of death (DEATH, not injury) seemed to be higher with tasers than with other forms of force such as batons or pepperspray.

But there's another thing worth pointing out...

If a baton is used and the subject dies, the death might be attributed to the cracked skull. The baton manufacturer wouldn't ever see the need to claim that the baton is incapable of causing death. And because of the obvious risk, the baton manufacturer shouldn't be held liable for Failure to Warn.

Same thing with pepperspray. If someone chokes to death due to pepperspray, there's not going to be much reason to deny the cause.

But with tasers, it's different. There's a death rate associated with taser use, especially (it seems) when the darts happen to hit the young, healthy, non-excited, non-delirious subject in the upper left chest. Or with subjects that are acutely agitated.

But these taser-associated deaths are "never (never ever) caused in any way by the taser [so they claim...].

The entire approach is completely different.

We should not allow Taser International to compare injury rates if they're unwilling to ever admit the risk of death.

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