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.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Wired invents new concept: "...(perceived) pain..."

Wired.com Danger Room

Court to Cops: Stop Tasing People into Compliance

Wired.com - "...the latest versions [of tasers, the M26 and X26] rely on muscular paralysis to incapacitate a target. The substantial pain is a side-effect. A Taser which paralyzes without causing (perceived) pain would be an obvious avenue of research. ..." [LINK]

Characterizing the taser-induced pain, estimated to be roughly 2000 times higher than 'intense' pain, as a mere "side-effect" is strange.

And then to introduce the newly-invented concept of "(perceived) pain" is perfectly bizarre.

The language is more than just a bit "1984-ish" (the book, not the year); the twisted language revealing the twisted logic.

The facts are simple.

On the scale of electrocution effects, the taser goes above and beyond pain to reach muscle lock-up. The pain isn't "a side-effect", it's a foundation upon which the incapacitation rests.

And the next effect up the scale is affecting the heart. Which implies disturbed heart rhythm, and easily-explained potential for a slightly-delayed death.

This goes back to the insane claim, repeatedly made by Taser International et al, that the Effective taser current is equal to the Average (as opposed to the RMS or any other measurement technique).

Taser International claims that the taser waveform is special in that it affects the muscles, but not the heart muscle. They base this claim on the short duty cycle. But they didn't notice that the X26 taser has significant low frequency spectral components that are continuous 100% duty cycle.

I think that they failed to 'perceive' the impact of Fourier.


Critical Mass said...

There was an interesting comment letter to the CMAJ discussion of "Excited Delirium":

"Those who manufacture and use Tasers claim no death has occurred solely due to their use and where no other cause such as drug and alcohol is involved fatal outcome is due solely to "excited delirium". In 1953 as a Research Fellow at the University of B.C. I built a defibrillator for clinical and experimental use with open chest. In anaesthetised dogs it was shown that a minute current applied directly to either atria or ventricles induced fibrillation which could be reversed with application of a larger current. When an infusion of epinephrine was given a much smaller shock would initiate fibrillation which required a very much larger current to reverse and frequently spontaneous refibrillation occurred.Under extreme stress endogenous levels of epinephrine are high and it is possible that a Taser shock could induce fatal ventricular fibrillation. At autopsy there would be no specific findings so that some other, possibly incorrect, cause would be suggested. Further research is necessary and I doubt we have seen the last death resulting from Taser torture."


You might want to contact H. H. MacCartney at .... -"hhmacartney@shaw.ca"-
about his 1953 research on electrical stimulation and corresponding de-fibrillation levels. It clearly appears that small electrical charges can induce fibrillation, which requires far greater electrical impulses to restore regular heart function.

BTW, I figured out the "Hat Tip - h/t" contraction.

Excited-Delirium.com said...

I saw that letter quite a while back. I don't recall if I've ever linked to it. Thanks.