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.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Walter E. Haake Jr. taser-associated death lawsuit settled

Topeka, KS - Relatives of Walter E. Haake Jr., 59, of Lawrence, have settled a wrongful death lawsuit against two deputies, the sheriff and the county. Mr. Haake "died" shortly after Shawnee County deputies used a taser on him (three times) at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. parking lot. The lawsuit had named deputies Jason Mills and Shayna Johnson, Sheriff Dick Barta and Shawnee County. The County Commissioner said that he wouldn't disclose the terms of the settlement because that might jeopardize the agreement, and that the county commission still needs to vote on the agreement. Source: [LINK]

See previous post [LINK].

See also Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK].

Reportedly the Shawnee County Coroner's Office had determined that "The cause of death is of cardiac nature...", but also concluded that it wasn't the taser's fault. [LINK] Taser International was dropped from the lawsuit last year.


Shawna Murray M.D. said...

Regarding Walter E. Haake Jr.'s case of death during restraint with associated Taser use.

I believe what is being described here is positional asphyxia due to pressure on the chest while in the prone position on the ground. People fail physiologically very quickly when they are put in this position, especially if they have been agitated or physically active. This positioning is lethal is held too long. This case should be looked as a manslaughter or negligent homicide case.

The settlement may be a way for the security personnel to avoid criminal charges.

Shawna Murray M.D. said...

Walter E. Haake Jr.'s case may be related to positional asphyxia due to compression of the chest during prone restraint on the ground. This is a highly lethal maneuver for anyone, even healthy people, if held too long. Prior physical exertion during a confrontation contributes to the rapid physiological failure resulting in death. The case may have been settled as a way to avoid criminal charges.

Walter E. Haake Jr.'s case should be more fully investigated by the DOJ. Police officers, security staff and medical personnel need to be better trained to prevent this form of preventable death.

Excited-Delirium.com said...

Obviously there are some taser-proximal deaths where the taser has no direct cause-and-effect relationship to the death. What percentage of all taser-proximal deaths this represents is not known. Taser International makes the outrageous claim that not one person has ever been killed by a taser (a disgusting and dangerous lie). I believe that the ratio of taser-CAUSED deaths is probably somewhere in the middle third.

Perhaps someday, after Taser International is finally forced to explicitly acknowledge that their X26 taser has killed hundreds, then the lawyers can start going through the list of 600+ to try to figure out which is which. Until Taser International is held to account, the list at the 'Truth Not Tasers' blog should remain generally inclusive (in my opinion - it's not my list).

It's a subtle approach; I trust you understand.

As for this case, I won't argue with your suggestion.

Thank you.

Shawna Murray M.D. said...

Sorry for the double post above; I tried to delete one but was unsuccessful.

I agree that Tasers are lethal instruments and not well understood. It is important to separate out the different mechanisms causing death and not confuse the data. The fact that Tasers have risks means that they should be used only after other interventions fail.

Excited-Delirium.com said...

Don't worry about the double-post. It's not an issue.

My primary complaint is that many of those involved with Taser International are disgusting sub-human scum with no ethical values. Their lies (and they are demonstrably LIES) about taser "safety" are resulting in unnecessary deaths.

I do take comfort that they've lost another legal case and are facing a $10M judgment. Their appeal of Turner has very little chance (IMHO). Blood in the water.

Shawna Murray M.D. said...

Here is a possible mechanism of death directly due to Taser use: Voo-Doo Death. The shock of pain and abuse to the body is so much that the brain shuts down the heart. This is a separate mechanism from infarction or induced arrhythmia. Another good reason to avoid Tasers, if possible.

The Brain–Heart Connection

Martin A. Samuels, MD http://bit.ly/pcQMQo

As a special treat, I'm sending you this video: Man says police arrested, tased him after he reacted to genital groping | www.wsbtv.com http://bit.ly/r9bvKX