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.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Victoria's smoking gun (an 85% reduction)

Victoria, BC - An audit of the Victoria police concluded that, "It appears there was a strong effect in the aftermath of the death of Robert Dziekanski," in October 2007. The use of tasers dropped 85% after Dziekanski's death. [LINK]

The correct response to this observation of a post-Dziekanski 85% reduction in taser use is "WTF?".

Here's some of the background:
  • Victoria is where the Canadian distributor for Taser International is based.
  • Victoria is where the infiltration of Taser International moles into the Canadian law enforcement community first occurred.
  • Victoria is where, in a city famous for elderly folks and lawn bowling, the rate of taser deployments per population was about eight (8) times that of Toronto.

Combine these facts and the simplest and most rational conclusion is that Victoria's use of tasers was clearly (statistically obvious) out-of-control. They demonstrated a crystal clear pattern of clear-cut taser overuse. I could see it before, now it is self-evident to all.

At this point, the dung4brains taser fan-boys will suggest that tasers replace other, "more dangerous" forms of force. And that if taser use went down by such a huge ratio, then other "more dangerous" use of force must have increased.

Unfortunately for their logic, the same audit revealed that the overall use of force by Victoria police decreased 10% during the same period.

These simple statistics reveal many taser lies and myths for what they are - lies and myths.

A long time ago, I suggested that the appropriate goal for taser rate-of-use would be about a 95% reduction compared to what we were seeing in the available evidence at that time.

I based this proposed 20-to-1 reduction on the obvious 100-to-1 rate of taser overuse, combined with a very generous assumption about marginal deployments (not replacing lethal gun play).

And so here we are...

Victoria, ground zero of Taser deceptive marketing and resultant overuse in Canada, has proven that my suggestion for a 95% reduction in taser use was not only a perfectly reasonable suggestion, but also very easily achievable without any of the nightmare predictions about the risk of a wholesale slaughter of citizens.

There are a hand-full of well-known people in senior leadership positions in Canadian law enforcement (hey!, you know who you are) that have now been shown to have been oh-so very very wrong.

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