Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...

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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.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Taser doesn't work (twice), gun doesn't kill (twice)

Meriden, CT - ...Officers deployed their tasers twice on the suspect, but they could not penetrate the clothing he was wearing. Police said the suspect, later identified as 47-year-old William Arnold of Meriden, pulled a knife and tried to attack one of the officers.  A second officer pulled out his gun and shot Arnold twice - once in the stomach and once in the leg. Arnold was taken to Hartford Hospital where he is listed in stable condition. ... [LINK]

Don't misunderstand my intent. I'm not "in favour" of police gun fire.

The first point is that tasers are ineffective at a rate that is disappointingly, and perhaps (to some) surprisingly, high. And these utterly failed deployments, if they're counted as deployments, tend to wash out the calculated real-world risk ratio inherent in tasers. It's a statistical adjustment worth keeping in mind when calculating the numerical value of the inherent risk of taser "associated" death from internal risk factors.

And the second point is that, contrary to instinct, police gun fire is not always fatal. That's another statistical adjustment worth keeping in mind when evaluating the selling points offered by the slick-talking stun gun salesmen.

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