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.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Vancouver's Transit Police release taser videos and pathetic 'backgrounder'

Vancouver Transit Police:

During 2007 and 2008, these taser-happy morons (remember: these are Transit Police, working amongst the traveling public, not exactly a crack SWAT team on dangerous missions) tasered ten (10) people. At least four (4) of the incidents involved cases of suspected fare evasion.

In May 2008, the "brain trust" running this outfit made a supposedly-minor adjustment to the wording in their taser policy. Since that time (almost two years) the Transit Police have tasered just one (1) individual.

See CBC News [LINK] and the Transit Police taser backgrounder [pdf].

Please note - their backgrounder report does not mention anything about them having had to shoot to death (with bullets) the delta of nine (10 subtract 1 equals 9), according to the "tasers save lives" myth.

It's not a coincidence that this policy change, and the dramatic drop in the rate of taser use, both occured at pretty much exactly the same time (early-2008) when the rage of Canadians peaked after the taser-assisted killing of Mr. Dziekanski at Vancouver airport in late-2007. But it doesn't follow that the wording change was the actual cause of the dramatic reduction in the taser overuse rate.

Here's the (time-aligned) pathetic reasoning offered up by the Transit Police BS department:

It is acknowledged that the term 'non-compliant' could have been reasonably judged to be somewhat vague. Consequently, Transit Police policy has since been revised (in May 2008), and the term 'non-compliant' has been replaced by 'actively resistant'.

The probably-more-accurate explanation is that these naive morons bought into the entire Church of Taser worldview suggested by the slick-talking stungun salesmen. They probably cut-and-paste their taser policy from the manufacturer's so-called training material, and thereby repeatedly violated Canadian laws (no matter what the whitewashing may have concluded). Then, when that sort of approach was shown to be stupid and potentially deadly, they had to not only change their policy, but also (separately) had to back off on the utterly-stupid trigger-happy approach.

They can dress-up this change with any decorative wording they want. The fact is that they've reduced their tasering rate by about a ten-to-one ratio. And, no matter what they pretend to believe, it's not due to some minor adjustment to some confusing wording. It's obviously a larger attitude adjustment (stupidity reduction), perhaps due to them slowly coming to their senses, as they watch the nightly news.

Don't get me wrong - it's a very good first step.

But it is absolutely dripping with whitewash.

No comments: