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.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

G20 protesters face police with Tasers

G20 protesters face police with Tasers [LINK]


Two words: aluminium foil

(a.k.a. aluminum foil, a.k.a. tin foil...)



This does not constitute advice to break the law. But if you're a perfectly peaceful protester, and someone illegally tasers you, then a layer of conductive foil under your clothes would essentially short-out the taser current. Some residual current may still enter your body, but a 0.1-ohm foil sheet will obviously present a much more attractive path for the current than your perhaps 600-ohm human body.

If you apply this taser counter-measures under inappropriate circumstances, then the riot-police may resort to tasering your head, or beating you senseless with a club, or simply shooting you dead with a Brazilian Electrician Arrest Aid [LINK].

So, please do not use Ohms Law to break The Law. But it's better to be a dead short than dead ("...following application of a CEW.").

2mA "average"

This classic propaganda graphic was copied from the infamous IEEE Spectrum article (puff-piece) written by Kroll et al. I've added the large "?".


Puff-piece: [LINK]
Graphic: [LINK]

In this graphic, they indicate how the X26 taser output current is only 2mA (average) and such a low current obviously just barely "induces pain" (just barely! LOL), and is also much less (??!!??) than would be required to "locks up muscles". Right? Hey! Stop laughing, this is serious!

The caption for the image attempts to explain that the taser has a 'special waveform' and it captures muscle while bypassing other effects. But we know the taser is far beyond excruciatingly painful, and we know that it locks up muscles, and even Taser was forced to admit that the taser can interfere with breathing. So it hasn't actually skipped a damn thing, and is right next door to affecting the heart.

All of these plain and simple facts casts a huge shadow of doubt on the preposterous claim that the appropriate measurement technique is "average" as opposed to RMS. The human symptoms being expressed certainly didn't get the memo about their appropriate degree of reaction to the 2mA average, or 150+ mA RMS, waveform.

Perhaps the effective current is above the average value and below the RMS value. The above evidence certainly suggests that the human body does not react as if the current was just 2mA.

PS: Another possible smoking gun suggestion is available upon request to those that I determine are qualified. See [LINK] for details.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Evidence of burnt fingers

Problem solved? No, roughly half-solved.

And were the RCMP forced to shoot-to-kill those "missing" hundreds of taser incidents during 2008? Police leaders in various jurisdictions have often made such warnings (threats) that if anyone takes away their taser-toys they'll be forced to shoot-to-kill many hundreds.

A full-on taser moratorium doesn't seem so frightening once you pull-back the curtain to reveal that it's just the police leadership (sic) making frightening noises.

Also, any evidence what-so-ever of missing "lives saved" during 2008? Now is their chance to back-up their fantastic claims with real evidence. Well? WELL!!??



This information and graphic are based on information from CPC [LINK].

Masters of Understatement

One coulomb is the amount of electric charge transported in one second by a steady current of one ampere. So 100 micro-coulombs would be (for example) 1 amp for 100 micro-seconds.

Taser International claims that the X26 taser emits a total output of 100 micro-coulombs (100uC).

This claim can be checked by examining the X26 waveform copied straight from the X26 spec sheet.

First you mark out a rectangle 1 amp (1A) tall and 100 microseconds (100us) wide - this represents 100uC. Then you rearrange the graphical chunks of waveform to cover the 100uC rectangle. Either you'll run out of chunks, or you'll have some left over. I have done this as carefully as I can, and I think I've even been a bit generous to Taser with the big chunk on top.

There are some chunks left over. Especially the long decay tail which was not even graphically included on the spec sheet, but it was mentioned in the image legend.

This simple analysis indicates that "100uC" might be just a bit of an understatement.

RCMP taser use 2002-2008

Actual taser use (deployment) by the RCMP is down by about HALF!!!! from 2007 to 2008.

- Touch Torture mode (only) from 548 (2007) to 258 (2008): -53%.
- Full-on taser shots (with darts) from 587 (2007) to 305 (2008): -48%.

There are various ways to divide-up the various modes of deployment, I've chosen to lump combo (probe+touch torture) deployments in with probe deployments.

These -50% drops are larger than the "-30%" highlighted by the media headlines.

Note that this halving of the actual deployment rate is coincident with late-2007 - when the sh_t hit the fan. Coincidence?

Note that the rate of use is still roughly a couple of orders of magnitude (~100x) higher than the historical rate of police using their guns. RCMP do not normally shoot to death hundreds of people per year.

This information and graphic are based on information from CPC [LINK].

Previous post corrected (RCMP...rate)

A previous post - Actual RCMP taser-associated death rate - (posted 27 March 2009) contained an error.

See updated post here: [LINK]


The net result is that the raw taser-associated death rate for RCMP taser is actually about 0.33% (not 1.5%).

This rate explicitly excludes Touch Torture ('stun') -only mode deployments, because common sense indicates that a taser hit to the arm, leg, or even to the stomach is less likely to be fatal and such deployments should not be allowed to denominator-wash the actual risk when darts hit chest. There will be exceptions to this first-order correction.

This raw rate still needs to be adjusted upwards by some ratio to account for the fact that darts only hit chest in some fraction of the taser dart deployments. You can pick your own ratio. I pick one-third to keep the numbers round.

Please keep in mind that we're dealing with orders of magnitude here. Taser and their minions claim "millions" to one odds. We can use rough approximations to compare the real-world risks to those claims.

The adjusted rate is about 1% (risk of taser-associated death when darts hit chest, RCMP, 2007 & 2008).

1% isn't "millions to one"


I apologize for the error. As per my disclaimer, I'm entitled to make the occasional error and I will explicitly correct them once they're noted. And my 4:1 error is small in comparison to the safety claim discrepancy issue being discussed.


Thanks very much to occasional visitor 'Mark' for drawing my attention to the error.

Taser-associated increase in ICD underestimated?

A major study found that in-custody deaths (ICD) increased (by 6.4x) when tasers were added to the police officers' tool belts. Further details indicate that this might be an underestimate.

From a previous post: The rate of in-custody sudden death increased 6.4-fold (95% confidence interval 3.2-12.8, p = 0.006) and the rate of firearm death increased 2.3-fold (95% confidence interval 1.3–4.0, p = 0.003) in the in the first full year after Taser deployment compared with the average rate in the 5 years before deployment. [LINK]

More info: In our anecdotal experience, several cities with highly publicized Taser-related sudden death events declined to provide data and we speculate that other cities with more Taser-related deaths may similarly have been less likely to return our survey. Thus, the observed association of Taser deployment with an early increase in in-custody sudden deaths in this study may actually be an underestimate because under-reporting would tend to attenuate any such association. [LINK]


Now - stop and think.

Do you think for one second that the self-styled "Institutes" for "Prevention" of In-Custody Deaths (...Lawsuits?) will move quickly to use this information in accordance with their name? Or will they either ignore it, or actively work against it?

Imagine the worst, and bet on it.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

15-year-old Brett Elder (cause and effect?)

Taser International and Dr. Mark Kroll have made many claims about how it is completely impossible for the taser to have any effect what-so-ever on the victim's cardiac system.

They claim large safety factors (greater than 15-to-1). For example, even if a young lad was two... ...or three, or four, or five... times more susceptible than a normal, full-size adult, then Taser and Kroll continue to claim that the taser is safe under all circumstances (with respect to internal risk factors such as cardiac effects).

Dewitt Police Chief Larry Jerue ... claims the police all understand that the offender's size, stature and mental state must be taken into consideration before deploying a taser. [LINK]

But according to Taser International, the taser is perfectly safe even for use on small children, people of small stature, and no matter what their mental state.


Jerue again: "Depending on the psychological makeup of what the perpetrator or assailant has ingested, it could have other effects. In most of the fatalities that I've heard, there is some narcotic that has been injected into the system." [ibid]

But that's not what Taser International claims. I mean obviously, if tasers were dangerous when used on people that are drunk, or people that have taken drugs, then it really would be insane to suggest that they are the ideal tool for use by police. Duh! Such a link between drugs + tasered = death would be just as much a cause for product liability in the Failure To Warn catagory as any other.

The apparent no exceptions complete coverage of their blanket claims of essentially perfect safety will come back to haunt them.


Bay City Police Chief Michael Cecchini said officers ''immediately rendered aid'' after using a Taser on 15-year-old Brett Elder, who died Sunday after the incident. [LINK]

Note the word "immediately".
See a previous post where the words "...reaction to the taser..." were quoted. [LINK]


So what are we left to think? That there was some other bizarre factor that exonerates the taser? Puhleeze...

Even the The Michigan Daily states the obvious: "...the recent death of a teenage boy in Bay City ... was caused by an officer's Taser." [LINK]


Taser International and Dr. Mark Kroll find themselves chin-deep in a barrels of their very own bull-sh_t. They need to be very still and very quiet otherwise there will be waves of their own crap pouring down their own throats. But that just delays the inevitable.

They're screwed.

The 'many variations' of X26 output current

Taser's pocket-puppet Mark Kroll wrote:

...Output waveform of X26 weapon in tissue. The output circuit attempts to deliver a constant charge per pulse. Thus the output current is largely load independent.
Ref: Cardiac Safety (27 Apr. 2007) [LINK]


Taser's Magne Nerheim VP of R&D wrote:

Our measurements of human body resistance to the TASER X26 yields an average of 600 ohms vs. the 250 ohms used in the NTS tests. It is normal to expect higher currents at lower resistance levels.
Ref: Memo to CBC, Footnote 2 (2 Dec. 2008) [LINK]


So which is it? Constant current or Ohms Law? Pick one (just one).


One could accuse Taser of picking and choosing their story to match the argument du jour.


A lie has many variations, the truth none.
-African Proverb

Police pandemonium in Peoria (the video)

In this incident, you can clearly see that the police taser is being used in Touch Torture mode for no other reason except to provide street-level electro-punishment (torture, pure and simple) to the subject.

Watch the video at 1:37 (cop enters frame carrying taser) to 1:51 (starts torturing victim).

Judge and jury? Bah! Not required. These cops make up their own wild-west street level justice.

Given the fact that tasers are used far more often than the police have historically used their guns, this sort of taser use is obviously far too common.

Thankfully, the cops in this case have been charged.

And note that Taser International will not make any statement about this all-too-typical application of their pocket-sized torture toy. Their silence is telling.



Taser's safety claims falling apart...

Taser International (written by Taser-minion Kroll):

Long Taser Applications Do Not Affect the Heart. Electricity does not build up in the body like poison. If an electrical current does not electrocute someone in 2–5 seconds, it will not electrocute the person with a longer application. Thus, longer applications have no materially different effect on the heart.


Real World Facts:

Acidosis DOES build up in the body like a poison. That's already been medically and legally established beyond a reasonable doubt. That fact that Taser International has not accepted this fact only serves to reveal their complete lack of concern for their 'ultimate clients'.

The more you are tasered, the more likely you are to die.


And the risk of death isn't measured in parts-per-millions either, more like low end of single digits.

To be perfectly fair, perhaps the taser is killing people through some other mechanism than simply directly affecting the heart. Perhaps the victims' nervous system is simply being fried by the high power taser.

What is clear, based on real world results, is that the taser is strangely associated with death.

Friday, March 27, 2009

CBC: 'Hit Him Again'

First...

An analysis by Montreal biomedical engineer Pierre Savard, made available to [CBC], suggests the chances of someone dying after being hit with a police taser increase the more times they're stunned. [LINK]



That's huge news.

If the risk was as low as Taser International claims, then you wouldn't see the real-world risk of death being proportional to the number of taser hits. This relationship clearly indicates that the risks of using a taser includes the risk of death. Which makes the taser a Less-Than-Useful weapon (spin the wheel and see if DEATH is the result...).


CBC News (The National, Wednesday 25 March 2009) carried a 16-minute segment called Hit Him Again with more revealing facts about tasers and the RCMP's over-reliance on the manufacturer's misleading propaganda.

Watch it here: [LINK]


The CBC tracked the changes to the RCMP taser policy back to them relying on (almost-certainly) Taser-provided 'studies' that didn't even address the issue.

When will the brainwashed RCMP realize that they need to choose their friends more carefully?

Forget about 'Once bitten, twice shy.' The RCMP has been bitten by Taser International many times and they still worship the ground they walk upon. One almost needs to question the intellectual capabilities of the people providing advice to the senior staff at the RCMP, and the same question applies to those senior staff.

QC fills role of Taser QA

The province of Quebec tested 52 tasers and found five (10%) tested outside their specified limits. They have therefore ordered all tasers to be withdrawn from service until they can be tested.

These results, a ten percent failure rate, mirrors the results found by CBC. [LINK]

Actual RCMP taser-associated death rate (UPDATED)

[Major rewrite (and previously corrected)]

So how safe are tasers in the real world? We now have all the data we need to make the calculations for the RCMP for two separate years:

RCMP: Actual taser hits (not including Touch Torture mode*):
2007 = 587
2008 = 305

Data from CPC [LINK]

* I'm not counting the pure Touch Torture ('stun') mode deployments because they're often applied to parts of the body where risk of death is reduced as compared to the chest. We have to draw the line somewhere, and that's where I draw it. There will be exceptions.


RCMP: Actual taser-associated deaths:
2007=2
2008=1

Ref: [Taser-associated] Deaths in Canada at Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK]
#17. Robert Dziekanski, 40 - Vancouver, BC - October 14, 2007 - RCMP
#20. Robert Knipstrom, 36 - Chilliwack, BC - November 24, 2007 - RCMP
#24. Frank Frachette, 49 - Langley, BC - September 30, 2008 - RCMP


Some will point out that the taser has not be linked as a causal factor in many cases. Well, first of all, we've already discussed The Taser Proof Issue (it leaves no clues known to medical science, at least until postmortem diagnosis of VF becomes more common), and we've discussed the corruption of The System (Taser International and their minions are behind the big push for Excited Delirium). Let's just agree that the link might quite reasonably be considered to be an open question...


Calculate the RCMP's taser-associated death rate for two years:
2007: 2 deaths in 587 actual taser uses = 0.34% raw taser-associated death rate
2008: 1 death in 305 actual taser uses = 0.33% raw taser-associated death rate

Is that fairly consistent rate (around 0.33%) just another coincidence?


Do any of the other methods of non-lethal force have an associated death rates anywhere near this rate? If they did, and they're being used much more often than once every couple of days or once a week (by the RCMP, anywhere in Canada), then wouldn't we be hearing about the associated deaths on the nightly news???!!!!??? We aren't because (so far as I can tell) the other deaths are simply not happening anywhere near as often per usage as with tasers.


The above calculation of the raw rate includes all RCMP taser uses where the darts were deployed.

Let's assume that roughly half, or a third, or a quarter (you can pick your own number) where actual taser darts landed on the chest (as opposed to someone's arm or leg, or a miss), then you get a taser-associated death rate (for darts on chest) in the range of about 1 %.

This is about the same range (low end of single digits) that all the previous calculations I've made have shown for the approximate, real-world and inherent risk when taser darts land on chests.

Compare these real-world results to the insane claims of near-perfect inherent safety from Taser International and their minions. Millions to one or whatever they require to help explain away the taser-associated deaths that might bankrupt their company.


One more coincidence: Remember when Taser chairman Smith accidentally admitted that tasers take one life for every 70 saved ? (I think that he actually said it the other way around.) Let's assume that he counts every actual taser use as a life saved (that appears to be their M.O.). Inverse (1/n) of 70 is 1.43% - and this roughly matches the normalized rate shown above.


Face facts - their claims are (still) inaccurate by many orders of magnitude.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Commentary...

The tragic incident in Bay City, MI where a 15-year-old lad was, plain and simple, killed by a taser is almost certainly going to prove to be Taser International's worst nightmare.

Lawyers for the family have hired a big-gun expert to perform their own autopsy.


Taser International and their sleezy minions have long maintained the position that tasers simply cannot kill someone through internal risk factors (such as direct or indirect cardiac effects).

But it only takes one clear-cut example to prove them wrong.

We've had many hundreds of taser-associated deaths, and (at last count) about 50 'contributed to' coroners' reports. And many more cases pending. Anybody that hasn't been brainwashed can plainly see the trend. It's duh-obvious.


At this point, for the Bay City incident, either Taser will concoct another incredible story about the victim's individual susceptibility, or they'll go all-silent on us.

If they go all-silent, you can take that as an admission that they're all out of ideas.


There are fewer and fewer people that accept Taser's bizarre claims of safety in the face of stone-cold facts.


What is it? Only late-March? Geesh - 2009 is going to be an interesting year for Taser International.

RCMP are also "unlikely"

[UPDATED with more revealing data]

Previous posts about Vancouver PD [LINK] and Greater Sudbury PD [LINK]

Oh lookie-lookie... RCMP taser use down 50% from 2007 to 2008. [LINK]

And No!, this does not mean that The taser Problem has been solved. It simply means that the police have had their fingers burned in late-2007 by the false claims of safety. We're still far from calling this issue 'solved'.


UPDATE - see [LINK]

Kennedy said he did not think the change in practice was due to any change in RCMP policy or training, which he said Commissioner Bill Elliott only initiated in mid-June and is still rolling out across the country. Rather he said it seems more likely officers "on the beat" are showing more "self-restraint" after hearing the public concerns over Taser usage as a result of the fallout from Dziekanski's death. "To me it's fairly logical," said Kennedy, who says he's heard loud and clear the public concerns. "I hope they turn on the TV and listen and hear those concerns as well." [LINK]

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

RCMP going backwards

CBC News has learned that two sentences were erased from the main document that guides officers' actions on Feb. 3, 2009, the first limiting Taser usage to one shot and no more than 20 seconds at a time, and the second requiring officers to warn suspects before deploying a stun gun. "They have in fact not placed stricter guidelines on the multiple usage of the Taser: they've in fact removed the ban on multiple use in their new guidelines," said Liberal MP Ujjal Dosanjh, who chaired a parliamentary committee that reviewed RCMP Taser use. "And that is absolutely reprehensible, it's unacceptable, it's retrogressive — it's actually moving backwards." [LINK]

"Thousands" / 70 = zero

Taser International says its product has saved thousands of lives [LINK]

Chairman Smith previously (and accidentally?) admitted that one life is lost for every 70 saved. [LINK]

But, by their math, "thousands" divided by 70 is exactly zero.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Fatal shooting in Vancouver - update

Update to previous post: [LINK]

Witness to the events, Adam Smolcic, 25, has made some statements that, if true, change the complexion of the incident. [LINK]


Smolcic used his cellphone to record video of the shooting said he believes a police officer on the scene erased his video. He plans to take his phone to a forensics expert to determine whether the video can be retrieved.

Erasing cell-phone video? Duh! I certainly hope that the police officer wasn't actually that foolish. Especially when there are reportedly two other videos of the event.


Smolcic said he was across the street when he saw Hubbard slowly pull a knife from his backpack, and then one of the two officers on the scene pulled out their gun and shot the man. Smolcic said he did not see Hubbard advance toward the officer before he was shot. "No, absolutely not. He was very shaky, but he wasn't making any moves toward the police at all that I saw," he told CBC News.

I hope that there are rational explanations for these reports.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

15-year old's "...reaction to the taser..."

Bay City, MI - ...Officers at the scene called an ambulance after seeing the teen’s reaction to the taser, police said. He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. ... [LINK]


"...reaction to the taser..."

With those words, their fate was sealed.

Tasered -> his reaction to the taser -> followed by death.

A 15-year old kid.

The police would never have expected that a taser could lead to death - because their training is controlled by Taser International. In a sense, they've been played.

I expect that sympathy in the USA for Taser's point of view is going to fade away pretty fast based on this tragic incident.

Commissioner Elliott earns his badge

Commissioner of the RCMP Mr. Elliott has insisted that tasers ... are much safer than firearms and are not lethal per se. [LINK]


I'm getting just a bit tired of this...

Even the Commissioner of the RCMP is so completely ignorant of the state of the taser debate that he's still dragging out that rotten corpse of an argument that "tasers are much safer than firearms". This is why the civilian oversight must be put in place ASAP.

Firstly - tasers ARE firearms (in Canada). [LINK]

Secondly - here's yer badge: [LINK] (See [LINK] for back-up in case you've just joined us...)


Now - what about not lethal per se?

See immediately-previous post...

15-year old boy tasered and dropped dead.

I wonder what mitigating blame-the-victim factors they'll try to dig up on this lad? Taser lawyers will be burning up the telephone lines tomorrow.

15-year-old boy dies after being tasered

BAY CITY, Mich. (AP) — Police in Michigan say a 15-year-old boy has died after being tasered by officers who were trying to break up a fight. ... ...officers answered a report of an early morning fight on Sunday. ...officers tasered him, and his reaction led them to immediately call for emergency medical help. He was pronounced dead at Bay Regional Medical Center. [LINK]

Tasered then dead. 15-year old boy.

Any questions?

Tracking Officer Deaths in Canada

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, during 2007 there were four line-of-duty deaths by violence in Canada; three by gunfire and one by vehicular assault. But there hasn't been a violent death of a police officer in Canada since early-November 2007. [LINK]

The two deaths during 2008 were due to heart attack and automobile accident, not violence. [LINK] During 2009 (to date), there have been none. [LINK]

2004: 4 officer deaths by violence
2005: 5 " "
2006: 4 " "
2007: 4 " "
2007-November: ...all hell breaks loose...
2008: ZERO
2009: ZERO (to date) [LINK]


Why the sudden flat-lining (to zero) of violent deaths of police officers in Canada? Is it just a strange coincidence that this step-function drop (from a consistent 4 or 5 per year -> to zero) seems to be time-aligned with the public reaction triggered by the killing of Mr. Dziekanski in mid-October 2007? For example, this blog was started on 25 November 2007. Much of the public reaction was as a result of the release of the video (video made all the difference).

It would be interesting to have a study that determines if tasers save lives, or if simple, old-school de-escalation techniques are actually many times more effective and safer for all concerned. Ya wanna place a bet?


The raw data certainly seems to indicate a strange correlation between reliance on tasers during the years 2003-2007 and an increased rate of violent deaths of police officers in Canada during the same period. This is a fact that pulls the belief-system carpet out from under The Church of the Taser.


Police officials in Canada need to think long and hard about who their friends really are. Who is getting them into hot water (Hey! Don't blame the messenger!)? Who is selling them a product that perhaps isn't quite what it might seem? Who is controlling the training and trainers? Who is bending the line into a circle [LINK]?


The following old quote seems to be applicable when dealing with those slick-talking salesmen selling too-good-to-be-true Star Trek phasers:

The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hey! It's time to count your spoons.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Extra taser training ???!!!???

Note: I left this comment on the Truth...Not Tasers blog here: [LINK]. But it seems like a good enough point that I decided to post it here as well where it might be more visible (being a post as opposed to a comment).

I will admit that this one is a rant (Hey! I'm allowed 10% rants), but it still carries an extremely important and perfectly-logical point about so-called 'taser training'.


On Taser Training:

[Someone suggested that] "...extra training is a good idea..."

What training? More 'taser training' based on the propaganda coming from the manufacturer presented by brainwashed fan-boys called 'certified' (by Taser International) trainers?

These 'certified taser trainers' are the worst of the worst of the brainwashed taser fan-boys. They'll argue until the end of time that tasers-R-safe no matter what evidence lays sprawled lifeless on the ground before them.

There are so many examples of pure taser abuse performed by officers fresh from their taser training, that it begs the question: What is going on in this so-called 'training'?

What is missing is a refresher course on the basic laws of Canada. For example, s.269.1 on 'Torture' - seriously. For example, the classification of the taser as a firearm. For example, the laws about pointing a firearm (for example, the taser) without lawful reason. For example, that 'lawful force' is a noun, not a verb. For example, de-escalation techniques should be the first response, not the damn taser (god help everyone if it fails and now you've escalated the situation into a fatal encounter).

Ottawa police include a refresher session on Use of Force for their taser wielding officers. It seems to solve most (but not all) of the problem.

Define your terms: "taser training"?

We need to immediately step away from the so-called taser training controlled by the manufacturer. Defective and evil it is.

Including all those made-for-TV FAKE taserings into the back (never the chest) - why?

You're either in on it, or you're being played like a trumpet.

Fatal shooting in Vancouver

See also the later update here [LINK].

Police fatally shoot knife-wielding man in downtown Vancouver

A Vancouver police officer shot and killed a man on Friday after he refused orders to drop a knife and advanced on police... "We know that the suspect advanced on the officers with the extended blade of an X-Acto utility knife and did not comply with orders to drop the knife. The two officers held the man at gunpoint, but as he advanced he was shot." [LINK]


I've received correspondence from someone that I will describe as a rabid pro-taser fan-boy (fan-girl?) seemingly immune to reasonable logic and ill-equipped to contribute to the debate.

Here is what they offered as their point:

Wow I see another police shooting in Vancouver to day
Guess you guys are happy with the new no taser policy


There are several problems with this failed attempt at presenting a logical argument.


First, given the fact that there is a significant real-world failure rate for tasers (combining equipment failures and operational limitations), even the most reasonable, liberal-minded person should not begrudge the police the option of using their gun in the sort of circumstances described. Using a taser when someone is advancing on you with a knife would put your own life at risk. And those that espouse the view that they are 'very concerned' about the safety of our police should have even less reason to complain.

By way of crystal-clear example, it was only a day-and-a-half ago that I left the following comment on the Truth...Not Tasers blog:

If someone is threatening you with a knife then you cover them with a gun. Pull up a chair, call for back-up. If they advance, feel free to plug them. [LINK]

Please read that again to make sure you get it. I wrote it.

Based on the news report, this is almost exactly what happened! (except for the chair)

Both sides of the taser debate (excluding those that are completely ignorant of the state of the debate, such as our correspondent) are now in agreement that tasers are not a replacement for the gun. But they have the same position for different reasons. The pro-taser folks want to be able to justify use of tasers at a rate that is about one-hundred times the historical rate of police gun-play. The taser critics have little concern about those very few and rare incidents where the taser actually does replace a gun; we tend to focus on the other 99% of the issue where the taser (and its "risk of death") replaces talking, or simply waiting, or other de-escalation techniques.

Perhaps the tasers should be withdrawn, and the police issued with those fold-out chairs... (note - this does not apply to this most-recent incident in Vancouver where it appears, based on the news report, that the police did display more-than-adequate patience. )

If tasers were actually used to only replace police gun-fire, then I might have started a blog to celebrate their use and track the lives saved. But that's not what's happening about 99% of the time.


Second, even if this [updated] life in Vancouver could have been saved, it still does not justify the other 99% of taser use and imposing the risks (which "include the risk of death") on those that are not presenting the level of threat displayed in this incident. It's bad karma, and poor ethics, to randomly redistribute the risk of death. Leave such risks where they (unfortunately) belong.


Third, incidents where police in Canada shoot-to-death people are not very common. I've searched for exact figures, and I've seen numbers in the range of 12 to 20 per year. I would welcome pointers to more authoritative data. It's reasonable to assume that the vast majority of such incidents are perfectly justifyable and have zero ethical issues. In other words, there's not much of a 'problem' that requires solving (and I do NOT intend to devalue the lives that are lost).


In summary, trying to link this particular police shooting to the taser debate is an example of the pro-taser folks (I'm including even the most ignorant) trying to play both sides of the "replace guns" argument.

If you still believe that tasers are a useful replacement for guns to "save lives everyday", then please join with those of us that criticize the misuse, overuse, and abuse of tasers the other 99% of the time. But this gun-replace position is well past its Best Before date. Even Taser International has been forced to walk away from this stinker (although they continue to use the slogan).

On the other hand, if you're taking the position that tasers are simply a "perfectly safe" Force Option that can be used many thousands of times per year in Canada, then you can't really claim that police gun-play has anything to do with the taser debate.


And in closing - a major study showed that police gun-play was increased by 2.3x when tasers were first introduced to a police agency, and this then dropped back to normal (no reduction) after officers shook the Taser Training out of their heads after a year. And CBC noted that police gun-play was not reduced by tasers.


Shredding this pathetic attempt at a pro-taser argument has taken many words. But it was hardly an intellectual challenge.


PS: This correspondence actually accused me of being someone that I'm not.

You never replied which law firm you work for
Cameron, why are you hiding behind a blog site????

LOL.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Police fail to understand the law

Toronto taser report: ...Yet, 11 people who displayed no aggression at all but simply refused, verbally or by not moving, to follow police direction were subjected to "demonstrated force." That can include having the taser pointed at them and electric sparks shown. Police rules allow for this but given the growing controversy over tasers, the police board would do well to give this policy a second look. If it's unacceptable for police to threaten passive people by pointing their handgun at them, why allow it with a taser? [LINK]

Legally - in Canada - this sort of nonsense is not permitted. The legal language is crystal clear (follow the links).

Fact - In Canada, the taser is legally considered to be a prohibited firearm. [LINK]

In the USA, the taser isn't considered to be a firearm. Many police officials in Canada failed to note the Canadian rules that state that the taser is a firearm. Even now, I suspect that not all police agencies in Canada have caught up with their probably-illegal activities based on failure to note the laws of Canada.


And note this - not one person has been charged with this huge coast-to-coast mistake. Not one. The laws and rules surrounding 'firearms' (tasers) have been broken, but zero legal consequences.

'Law-and-order' my ass. More like covering asses. The Blue Brotherhood of Silence at work again. Come on, at least a summons ticket. Just one. Please?


Fact - In Canada, there are rules about pointing a firearm. [LINK]

By this equivalence, pointing a taser is legally exactly the same as pointing a firearm.

And it makes sense too: In this sort of threatening 'display', the officer is as likely as not to point the taser at the subject's head. One slip of the finger and you've got darts in eyeballs and brains being fried. We've seen the recent news about how the taser current, when injected into the brain, can cause major problems in the short term, and nobody knows what long-term effects (but they can't be good). Not to mention the other risks...


And - by the way - this sort of police behaviour is clear-cut evidence that the police are getting their rules-of-engagement from Scottsdale, AZ (via the Taser-certified fully-brainwashed so-called Taser Trainers), instead of referring to the laws of Canada. This link must be terminated immediately.

And all the Taser-certified Trainers must be treated as damaged goods.

Good enough reason for a moratorium to allow time to clean up after the defective training.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Taser had "no effect" - or did it?

The officer tried first to subdue the man with a taser stun gun but it had no effect.

See two reports at [LINK] and [LINK]. What follows is based on those two reports.


You need to reorder the story back into a logical chronological order to make more obvious the actual, and very interesting, sequence of events.
  1. ...first officer found the man in the backyard, holding the two-by-four piece of wood and screaming at the officer...
  2. ...officer repeatedly commanded the man to drop the wood...
  3. ...failed to comply...
  4. ...he was tasered.
  5. ...didn't have any effect on him.
  6. ...the guy raised the piece of lumber up over his head and advanced on the officer...
  7. ...the officer shot him.
What I'm seeing here is that the taser was being used as a compliance tool (review steps 2, 3 & 4 above).

The taser didn't have the desired effect (step 5).

But note that step 6 follows steps 4 & 5.

I wonder - did the subject advance on the officer BECAUSE he was tasered? Pissed off at the painful shock? Annoyed at the violent approach? Having a really bad day?


There's an argument here that perhaps if the police officer had been trained in de-escalation techniques instead of taser techniques, then maybe (perhaps, possibly) the man would have continued to stand there (not advancing), and the entire situation might have eventually be wound down to a peaceful conclusion through patient negotiation.


If this connect-the-dots argument is true (and there's not enough information to be certain - but if it IS true), then an argument can be made that the approach of escalation-with-a-taser for compliance led directly to the fatal outcome.


Yes, I know, obviously the subject was the author of his own misfortune, but the approach of using the taser to escalate (forcing [verb] compliance) may well have continued the situation forward instead of de-escalating in back to a peaceful conclusion. Perhaps a different approach might have had a different outcome.

It's just something to think about.


And to be perfectly clear, I don't see any moral issues with steps 6 to 7. The police are ALWAYS allowed to defend themselves.

I'm just wondering what factors might have escalated the situation to that point.

Police pandemonium in Peoria

Peoria police charged in alleged beating captured on video

One Peoria police officer allegedly shocked a suspect at least three times with a taser while another allegedly stomped on the man a minimum of 20 times during an arrest [a beating] captured by a squad car video camera, prosecutors said Wednesday. ... Smith, 29, and Suelter, 39, were each charged Wednesday with four counts of official misconduct and single counts of battery, mob action and aggravated battery in the alleged May 3, 2008, beating. Both men appeared in court via video feed from the Peoria County Jail, where they have been held since their arrests on Monday. Bond was set at $10,000 apiece. ... [LINK]


...and with plenty of "moral" (?) support from The Brotherhood of Blue:

...with dozens of Peoria police officers packed into the spectators' gallery... [ibid]


Conclusion: Video is obviously critical. Police authorities (often being part of The Brotherhood instead of actually doing their duty) must never be allowed to control the video. Never. They can certainly keep a copy, but the civilian oversight folks (if not the public!) must also have a copy.

On principle, Taser International (now getting into the police video market) should not be financially rewarded for having partially contributing to the problem in the first place with their Satanic taser and obviously defective training (hey!, judging by results).

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Greater Sudbury is "unlikely"

From the previous post...

The [Vancouver PD] report noted that it is “unlikely that other jurisdictions experienced such a similar decrease”, but then again no explanation for that statement was offered. [LINK]

But - Greater Sudbury's force also saw a decrease in 2008, with 23 firings from 55 in 2007. [LINK]


Some taser fan-boys would make claims that effectively imply (almost threaten) that - for example - the police in Greater Sudbury would have been forced to shoot to death about 32 people (during 2008) to make up for the reduction in taser (mis..., over-..., ab...) use.

In such cases, I recommend calling their bluff.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vancouver Police Department

Taser use in Vancouver during 2007 was 74 incidents.
Taser use in Vancouver during 2008 was 27 incidents.

See graphic below.

See also the Truth...Not Taser blog [LINK], or here [LINK].



Taser use in Vancouver is down 64%. This means that overuse, misuse, and abuse of tasers is down even more significantly, hopefully leaving primarily the less-evil incidents. Or looking at it another way, such evil nonsense was very likely quite rampant (occurring approximately weekly) during 2007.

This duh-obvious data should help some lawyers with their complaints...

Now, imagine how far down the taser use would go if the police actually agreed with any of this sort of viewpoint? I mean, good grief - this is the reduction (-64%) even given the continuing state of denial. It can only go down further as more and more information sinks into the thick heads of those in charge.


Question 1: Now, did the VPD shoot an additional 47 people to death during 2008?

Question 2: So what happened during late-2007 and early-2008? Did the public get all cranky (sic) based on their misunderstanding (sic) of the taser issue? Did John Q. Public think that tasers were perhaps being overused by a significant ratio? Did this public opinion boil over during this period?


No explanation of why taser use dropped was provided.

Well we almost certainly know why it dropped. See graphic above. It's difficult to pull a taser trigger when your fingers have been so badly burned. Duh!

[Yes, I know that the Vancouver Airport was RCMP vs. VPD. They're all brothers though, and same city. It had to rub-off.]

The report noted that it is “unlikely that other jurisdictions experienced such a similar decrease”, but then again no explanation for that statement was offered.

Wanna bet? I'll betcha that taser use is down across Canada. The RCMP even changed their policies. Duh! It doesn't mean that we're done. We still have some Inquiry shoes to drop. And a moratorium to consider.


This data strongly supports the opinion that tasers have been vastly overused, far too often misused, and too frequently abused.

Which is an indictment of the training.

CBC - The Truth about Tasers

For those that might have missed it.

CBC investigative report (December 5, 2008) into tasers:

CBC News and Radio Canada commissioned the largest independent test of stun guns in the world. Frederic Zalac reports the alarming results:

A must see: CBC Taser Test - Part 1 [LINK]

For Part 2, follow the link on the above-linked CBC webpage.


The Deer In The Headlights facial expressions shown by the ever-faithful pro-taser fan-boys are priceless. Much like someone being shown evidence that their lover is a dirty cheat (it's just a romantic analogy - I'm not saying that Taser is a dirty cheat).

I'd love to have been a fly on the wall for the subsequent telephone calls and e-mails to Scottsdale. Is this why the RCMP and Taser have had a bit of a falling out recently?

Taser to the head might be harmful

In the category of 'No sh_t Einstein...', it has been noted that discharging 50,000 volts (peak) with a current variously reported as 150mA RMS, or 2mA "average", into the human brain might cause seizures. [LINK]

They should put the taser probes on the temples of those that claim that tasers are perfectly safe. It might help to improve their clarity of thought.


(NOTE - Sarcasm. I do not recommend such murder by taser across the head.)




Don't worry - nobody in the USA reads CBC News...


U.S. News and World Report [LINK]

Taser Stun Guns Can Cause Brain Injury

The Taser Foundation for Fallen Officers...

Do tasers really help to save police officers' lives? In Canada, 4 were killed in the line of duty during 1999-2003, as compared to 17 during 2004-2008. More tasers, more taser use, more deaths. What gives? What really seems to help is increased public scrutiny. Since the taser issue broke in late-2007, and with the evil-eye of public scrutiny upon them, police deaths are way down. See [LINK].

Another major study in the USA found tasers do not reduce police officers' rate of serious injury. [LINK]


Suggestion: subpoena fan-boy comm. records

There are more than a few high profile pro-taser fan-boys on the public payroll. People that have been holding press conferences and reading word-for-word from very carefully crafted scripts.

Suggestion: If it is within your power, subpoena (or equivalent) their communications records (e-mails, mobile phone records, office telephone, etc. All of it. Don't forget webmail such as secureserver.net for example).

I'm sure that everything is perfectly above-board and they won't have any difficulties in providing full disclosure.

There's certainly nothing wrong with communicating with suppliers, but it would be interesting to see how much as been going on and exactly when.

Nevada bill would impose common sense

Nevada Assembly Bill 273 is working its way through the Legislature. The bill, if approved as written, would require a camera on every law enforcement Taser in Nevada. It would also make any video captured a public record, “open to public inspection during regular business hours.” Metro is not a fan of this idea. The department considers Taser videos evidence and will release footage only in the course of a trial or as the department sees fit. ...

Metro [Las Vegas] officers fired their Tasers 432 times in the field in 2007. If each of these incidents would have been a shooting were it not for the Taser, Peck said, then Clark County has a far more serious problem on its hands than anything suggested by the bill. [LINK]


Police + tasers is strangely similar to kids + candy.

Sometimes Daddy just has to say, "No!"


In 2008, Amnesty International ranked Metro as the police department with the most deaths that occurred after the application of electronic control devices — from June 2001 to August 2008, six people died after being shocked by tasers in Clark County. [LINK]

Quote of the Day

It’s obvious that law enforcement agencies are not going to develop and implement the appropriate policies for the use of tasers. It’s clear the legislature needs to step in.

Gary Peck, director of the Nevada American Civil Liberties Union [LINK]

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Tasering deaf old man for 'not listening'

BRUCEVILLE-EDDY (March 13, 2009) - Family members were demanding answers Friday after officers killed a dog and then used a taser to subdue the dog’s elderly owner for refusing to obey a command to stop, only to learn afterward that the man was deaf and likely didn’t hear the order. ...

Read more at Nateo's It All Goes Here blog [LINK]

Nateo makes all the points:
1) The morons tasered an elderly man
2) He was walking away (zero threat)
3) He was deaf (which is why he didn't obey)

So the incident is stupid, immoral, evil, and disgusting - and on three levels at once.


How does this sort of evil (yet typical) incident fit into the claim that tasers save lives?


Well, the good news is that the elderly man probably took the taser hit in the same way that the police typically receive it during their so-called training - in the back (I assume, since he reportedly turned to walk away...).

They used a Taser to subdue the elderly man, who reacted angrily to the dog’s death, after the man ignored an order to stop and turned to go back into his house. They learned afterward the man was deaf.

Which is probably one contributing factor as to why the old man is not coincidentally dead.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cops shouldn't investigate cops

All possible arguments against imposing a massive increase in the degree of civilian oversight and more independent investigation of the police have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

The argument is over. Finished. Shut up already.


The Province (13 March 2009) - Alone and Cold is the title of Commissioner William Davies’ scathing report detailing how Vancouver police and the justice system failed Frank Paul, who died after police dumped him soaking wet in an alley in 1998. I’ve been very critical of some of the police officers that did handle Frank Paul and of the police investigating themselves ... and the manner in which they conducted their inquiry” into both internal discipline charges and possible criminal charges against the officers, Davies said. ...

Davies, handing out his report just across the hall from where the Braidwood inquiry is being conducted into the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, acknowledged “some of the issues we dealt with have arisen at the Braidwood inquiry. ...

A key issue, noted Davies, is “the public has lost confidence in the fact the police are investigating themselves. ... I’ve recommended far-reaching changes,” said Davies, including a citizen investigation of all police-related deaths. ...

Paul, a New Brunswick Mi'kmaq, was dumped in a east side Vancouver alley in December 1998 after Sgt. Russell Sanderson refused to admit him to the police drunk tank or take him to detox and instructed a junior officer to “breach” Paul. Paul died of hypothermia and his New Brunswick family was told he died in a hit-and-run accident. ...

Davies noted the VPD failed to properly investigate the death and the B.C. Coroners Service failed to properly notify Paul’s family. Davies recommends B.C. “develop a civilian-based criminal investigation model for the investigation of police-related deaths occurring in the municipalities policed by the 11 municipal police departments. ...

Davies said “the independent investigation office” would be led by a civilian director, but investigators would have the status of police officers and, once advised of a police-related death, would take charge of the scene and become the lead investigative agency. “The director would recommend to the Criminal Justice Branch whether criminal charges should be laid and, if so, which charges involving which officer or officers. ...

What this inquiry’s review has revealed is systemic flaws in the manner in which the Vancouver Police Department conducted criminal investigations of police-related deaths at that time, which continue today. These systemic flaws are grounded in conflict of interest — the police investigating themselves. I am persuaded that nothing short of a wholesale restructuring of such investigations would suffice. ...

[LINK]


These are the exact-same systematic flaws that are a major factor in the taser-issue...

...as so clearly demonstrated by the recent RCMP testimony at the Braidwood Inquiry.


Given these two clear-cut examples where the truth was only revealed (years later) because some video evidence just happened to be available, how many other cases have been successfully covered-up over the years?

If you're strolling past a haystack and just so happen to spot two needles, do you really think that the haystack contains only two needles?


Now - in your imagination - combine these sorts of systematic flaws with tasers. Close your eyes. What do you see?

Facts at odds with Taser's claims of 'goodness'

Relation of Taser (Electrical Stun Gun) Deployment to Increase in In-Custody Sudden Deaths

Byron K. Lee, MD, Eric Vittinghoff, PhD, Dean Whiteman, BS, Minna Park, Linda L. Lau, BS, Zian H. Tseng, MD

The American Journal of Cardiology, Volume 103, Issue 6, Pages 877-880 (15 March 2009).

Published online 22 January 2009.


Abstract [LINK]

Despite controversy concerning their safety, use of electrical stun guns (Tasers) by law enforcement agencies is increasing. We examined the effect of Taser deployment on rates of (1) in-custody sudden deaths in the absence of lethal force, (2) lethal force (firearm) deaths, and (3) officer injuries (OIs) requiring emergency room visits.

Under the Public Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act, 126 police and sheriff departments from California cities were mailed surveys requesting rates of each of the outcomes of interest for each of the 5 years preceding Taser deployment through the 5 years after deployment. To control for population size and crime rates, we used total annual arrests per city as reported to the Department of Justice. Fifty cities provided predeployment and postdeployment data on in-custody sudden death, 21 cities reported firearm deaths, and 4 cities reported OIs.

The rate of in-custody sudden death increased 6.4-fold (95% confidence interval 3.2-12.8, p = 0.006) and the rate of firearm death increased 2.3-fold (95% confidence interval 1.3–4.0, p = 0.003) in the in the first full year after Taser deployment compared with the average rate in the 5 years before deployment.

In years 2 to 5 after deployment, rates of the 2 events decreased to predeployment levels.

We observed no significant change in the rate of serious Officer Injuries after Taser deployment.

In conclusion, although considered by some a safer alternative to firearms, Taser deployment was associated with a substantial increase in in-custody sudden deaths in the early deployment period, with no decrease in firearm deaths or serious Officer Injuries.





Summary

During the taser trigger-happy period, all fresh from Taser Training, the following happened:
  • The rate of in-custody sudden death increased 6.4-fold.
  • The rate of firearm death increased 2.3-fold.
And there was no change to rate serious Officer Injuries at any time.


These results cast major doubts on Taser's various claims.

The unchanging rate of officer injuries shreds their last argument ("reduces officer injuries").

And the "6.4-fold" increase in in-custody sudden deaths is a smoking gun indictment of taser safety. That's called a step-function increase.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Multiple taserings - something to consider...

Based on the new information revealed at the references linked at the immediately-previous post [LINK], there's something to think about...


Even the NIJ had to admit that multiple taserings seems to be strangely correlated with increased "risk" (...of DEATH?). [LINK] [LINK]


Maybe some of these multiple taserings coincident with death are being done in the newly-discovered mode where one or two taser wires are still hanging out of the victim's chest while the officer continues to taser him in the back. If so, then it leads to the sort of worst case current vector never considered by Taser and their brain-trust. [LINK]


This new information probably opens up many of the previously-dismissed cases for another review.


And it's yet another example of why the self-serving tasers-R-safe platitudes being offered up by Taser et al should be taken with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

False statements from Taser folks

Sworn Statement of George L. Kirkham, D. CRIM [.pdf LINK]

...
27. Based on these materials alone, Taser’s assertion that there are only two modes of taser use is false, and knowingly so.
28. In addition, and in light of the above, the statements of Taser’s experts Jeffrey D. Ho, M.D., and Mark Kroll, Ph.D., are also false.
...


See also 2009 Jan 30 Waxman Correction Statement [LINK]

From Charly D. Miller [LINK]


The basic issue is that Taser et al have consistently claimed that there are only two modes of deployment. And they use this to back-up their safety claims. But there are at least two other modes... See Kirkham link above.

So is this the first time these two Taser fan-boys (Ho and Kroll) have been caught stretching the truth? No it isn't. Several examples documented on this blog - search their surnames.


Related to:
#90 - December 23, 2004: Timothy Bolander, 31, Delray Beach, Florida [LINK]

90!! What is Taser going to do with the next 310+ taser-associated deaths since then? They're going to spend the rest of their natural life in court defending the safety of their product.


Hat tip to the Truth...Not Tasers blog.

Kendel Carson: I Don't Want To Live On A Street

I Don't Wanna Live on a Street is a song written by Kendel Carson and Chip Taylor based on emotions surrounding the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at the Vancouver airport... [on 14 October 2007] [LINK]

YouTube: [LINK]


What a scam...

First Taser creates a product (the taser) that, for some reason, is widely abused, misuse and overused. And then, lo and behold, they now offer a system to record the action of police officers.

Budgetary hint - take away the tasers and save your money.

You can see Taser's next step a mile away. The police will be so loaded down with Robocop crap from Taser that they'll need to purchase longer range taser stun guns, because actually running after the suspect will be a complete impossibility.


WIRED: For years, cops around the world have been accused of being a little too eager to reach out and stun someone. For example, a Denver Post report found that 90 percent of the subjects tased by the police department there were unarmed. Most times, the weapon was used to "force people to obey orders, to shortcut physical confrontations and, in several cases, to avoid having to run after a suspect." In Sarasota, officers recently tased a naked senior. In Wales, cops even zapped a bunch of sheep. [LINK]

Sunday, March 8, 2009

"Civics" - it's not a Honda

Winnipeg Sun - Winnipeg's top cop says he's confident the city's 1,300-plus officers will be re-trained on taser use every 12 months to continue carrying the weapon. [LINK]

The so-called Taser Training is part of the problem.

From what I've seen, the official taser training provided by Taser International "certified" trainers is nothing but misleading propaganda masquerading as training.

There are many examples of the problems: [LINK]

What they need work on are the topics that were once taught in Grade 6 'Civics' class.


Hey! Look at this comparison:

Ottawa (pop. 812,129) - tasers used "a dozen" times during 2007
Winnipeg (pop. 633,451) - tasers used about 75 times a year (8x higher rate!!)

Why the huge (8-to-1) difference in the usage rate?


This is one big reason why:

Ottawa has regular Use of Force (see? it's a fricken' noun) training [LINK].


The approach being used by the city of Ottawa is perhaps, arguably, just-barely, acceptable. Far from perfect, but at least within sight of reasonable. Their usage of tasers is "only" about 20 times the expected rate of police lethal gun-play.

Winnipeg? Not even in the right book, let alone on the right page.


Forget the Taser "Training" - try some Grade 6 'Civics'.

Or maybe some Use of Force refresher training as is done in Ottawa.

Or just read the right-hand column of this blog to start.

"...died of cardiac arrest..."

Now, testimony before former Supreme Court judge Thomas Braidwood is revealing that armed RCMP officers in bulletproof vests were so fearful of a guy with a stapler that, within 30 seconds of arriving on the scene, they tasered Dziekanski five times in 31 seconds. He died of cardiac arrest. [LINK]

"...died of cardiac arrest."


But 'cardiac arrest' is synonymous with 'clinical death'.

In other words, "He died of clinical death."

"...most physicians regard cardiac arrest a symptom of death, rather than a cause."


Your next question can take either of two approaches:


Why did his heart stop?

This might include a whole shopping list of factors going back into the history of the subject. Weak heart. Bad genes. Poor diet. Alcohol withdrawal. In a sense, it's the wrong question.


What caused his heart to stop?

We're asking for a cause that is also temporally-associated. Did anything happen just before the death? Anything short, sharp and easily identifiable? Starts with the letter 't'.


Don't forget - Common Law and common sense says that you take your victims as you find them. [LINK]


Sometimes when 'A' is followed by 'B' - it is because 'A' was a direct cause of 'B'.

You can apply all the Post hoc ergo propter hoc Latin-gobbledygook you want [LINK], but this cognitive bias exists because it is often extremely accurate. It's how we understand the world. If we abandon real world observations of apparent Cause-and-Effect because they're occasionally wrong, then you might as well unscrew your eyeballs and go hang yourself.

Especially when there are now more than 400 coincidences to try to explain away.

Using Post hoc ergo propter hoc as a defense is the first step to insanity.

And it's the last refuge of scoundrels.