Ottawa (18 April 2010, CP) - The RCMP has destroyed or retired hundreds of Tasers after laboratory tests found some Mountie stun guns were not performing properly. ...15 per cent of the older M26 model Tasers and one per cent of the newer X26 models did not test within technical tolerances. ...as of December, 149 M26s and 60 X26s from across the country had not performed within specifications. ...In some of the test firings the police weapons delivered 50 per cent more current. ...As of mid-March there were 1,114 M26 Tasers in use by the RCMP, down from 1,623 when testing began, and 2,262 X26 Tasers in the Mountie inventory, up from 1,561. ... [LINK]
Some really poor math in the above. If 60 X26 tasers failed, and the total inventory is 2262 (or 1561) X26 tasers, then that's not "one per cent"; it's THREE (or FOUR) percent.
There's some evidence that the X26 taser, with its low frequency waveform and continuous duty cycle, is more lethal per deployment than the older M26 taser. This is supported by the previous safety claims made by Taser International for the older M26, and by their own sponsored research.
This suspicion is supported by the taser-associated deaths being strongly coincident with X26 taser usage, even during periods when the M26 taser was being used more often by the RCMP. But this observation is of overlapping data sets and needs further information.
This suspicion is also supported by the month-by-month plot of taser-associated deaths that shows a clear ramping-up function starting in 2003, coincident with the introduction of the X26.
All of these issues and questions have been addressed repeatedly in this blog. If I have time, I'll add some links to this post later (for those that require spoon-feeding).
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