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.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Pathologist Michael Baden, bless his heart...

Clarion Ledger - ...world-renowned pathologist Michael Baden of New York City warns these high-voltage devices "can be a deadly weapon - just like a gun." [LINK]

...He recently examined a case in which 21-year-old Baron Pikes was stunned by a Taser after he tried to run from police in Winnfield, La., in January 2008. Pikes' death was ruled a homicide, and then-officer Scott Nugent is charged with manslaughter. Baden concluded Pikes' death "was directly caused by the cumulative effects of approximately nine 50,000-volt electroshocks from a conductive electric weapon administered during an approximately 30-minute time period after he had been handcuffed." According to the coroner's report, Pikes stopped twitching after the seventh time he was shocked. Winnfield police said Taser officials had told them multiple shocks didn't affect a person. ...

There is essentially zero doubt that repeated or long duration taser hits are associated with increased risk of death. This was even noted by the NIJ [LINK], in spite of the panel including at least one self-confessed taser fan boy [LINK]. And Prof Savard noted a linear proportionality between exposure time and risk of death [LINK]. This relationship pulls the foundation out from any arguments about non-causality.

Last time I checked, Taser International still had a webpage entitled "Cardiac Safety" that compares being tasered to being hit with a ping pong ball. [LINK] The basic argument being presented is that police should feel free to taser subjects all day long... because they claim there are no safety concerns to worry about. This webpage, written by "Dr." Mark Kroll is way past its best before date.

Pay close attention to Taser International. They've positioned themselves in the legal cross-hairs and their corporate Berlin Wall is starting to crumble. They're now caught in the sudden glare of a spotlight and they're very tempted to run. But if they run, they'll be mowed down by legal machine guns.

They can't stand still. They can't run.

Watch their feet. They're doing that subtle heel-and-toe sideways movement while pretending to be a statue. They've already moved about 20% of the distance and their face is betraying a subtle grin because they think that they're getting away with it.

"Don't aim at the chest to avoid controversy."

Personally, I don't think they have a snowball's chance in hell. There are way too many people watching, and they have a very long distance to reach the legal cover of a clear cut warning.

Everyone with an interest in this issue should grab a copy of Kroll's Cardiac Safety "masterpiece" before it gets yanked. [LINK]

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