Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...

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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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PERF's "quasi-experimental" report on CEDs (Tasers)

It looks like they've missed the ACTUAL concern about tasers and death.

Another concern raised by critics of CEDs is that they may lead to higher death rates for agencies that deploy CEDs.
[PDF]

No, not quite. That description of the concern is crude and misses the point. It's not a simple numbers game. This will be explained in detail below...


But first, the report goes on to report that the death rate in Officer Use-of-force pre-taser was 0.2% and this death rate doubled to 0.4% after tasers were introduced. This must be the "can be rounded to zero" that Taser International sometimes mentions.

[By the way, normalize for 'taser darts on chest', removing external 'safety factors' such as misses, to reveal the inherent risks, and what do you get? "Low end single digits", exactly what I've been saying.]

But, to be fair, this seemingly-obvious increase in death rate is confounded by the parallel finding that the control groups (no tasers before or after) had a death rate of 0.9%.

These numbers are frighteningly high. If you're jay walking, then you're probably safer doing the "dangerous" offense than if an agitated, excited and delirious police officer subsequently approaches you with the view of applying some street-level Use-of-force as sidewalk level corporal punishment. Strange.


Now - let me explain the ACTUAL concern one more time, slowly.

It's obvious that once in a while, use of a taser arguably "saves a life". Some brainwashed morons believe that every taser use replaces use of lethal force; such beliefs are off-base by a ratio of about 100-to-1 (roughly, YMMV).

The lives actually saved (i.e. those incidents where use of lethal force was perfectly justifiable), are obviously those cases where use of lethal force was perfectly justifiable. Stupidly circular, but obviously true.

Meanwhile, on the Taser-Death side of the balance sheet, we have back-talking motorists being tasered to death. We have people that are not a threat being tasered to death. We have people already in custody being electro-tortured to death. And these deaths are typically white-washed away (or poor attempts to do so).

So if bringing in tasers results in a doubling (or no significant change) of the death rate per Officer Use-of-force, but the deaths are being randomly redistributed away from those that are violently attacking the police and use of lethal force would be perfectly justifiable (a "life saved"), and towards average citizens that are simply upset because of a traffic ticket and do not represent an actual threat, THAT REDISTRIBUTION OF THE RISK OF DEATH IS EVIL. PURE EVIL.

Even if the numbers balance, it's pure evil.

Search this blog for the word "Karma" and you will discover that this point has been repeatedly explained, in great detail, several times starting in May 2008. See [LINK] and [LINK].

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