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, January 5, 2010

Taser "tickles" terrible teen

Continuing the series of news reports of inexplicably ineffective taser deployments:

"...Deputies attempted to use taser to stop the [very naughty and rather stupid 14-year-old] teen. The taser had little effect on the teen. The teen told deputies that the taser felt like he was being 'tickled'. ..." [LINK]

There have been several (more like: several-squared) similar reports of potentially dangerous ineffective taser deployments over the past couple of weeks. Given a bit of bad luck, having an ineffective taser can lead directly to tragic consequences.

Why so many reports of ineffective tasers?

Is anyone in the law enforcement community concerned?

Have the authorities in the USA neglected to purge their taser inventory of the 10 to 12% of out-of-spec taser failure rate discovered by the Canadian public broadcaster CBC, and repeatedly confirmed by police jurisdictions all across Canada? Did Taser International ever issue a memo to US clients, or did they just go all-denial on us?

If I recall correctly, their only half-hearted attempt to explain away certain of these failures (high output) was to nit-pick the value of the test load resistor used, in spite of it reportedly being the exactly-correct OEM-specified value, AND in spite of their previous (and contradictory) statement that the taser operates as a "constant current source" and the magnitude of the output current waveform should therefore be insensitive to the exact value of the test resistor used.

And if the taser output is not a "constant current source", then the output current would be an inverse function of the essentially-random resistance value presented by the tasered subject. Thus the taser waveform current would be allowed to vary from ineffective at one extreme towards potentially-deadly at the other.

These are the sorts of discrapancies that a Federal taser regulatory body would eat for lunch.

The oversight approach being employed now is to let the media and interested researchers (both professional scientists and citizen bloggers) investigate and track this sort of corporate shinanigans.

The unregulated approach is "interesting", much like living in a town with no Fire Department would be "interesting", but I personally think that the traditional approach of applying some government oversight might be better for all concerned.

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