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.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Leland Keane gamely tries to ignore the lessons of Dziekanski & Braidwood

Leland Keane (member, B.C. Mounted Police Professional Association) wrote a letter to the Chilliwack Times to complain that they'd used the headline "Taser Death" to described the Knipstrom death. Rather than repeat the whole letter here, you can read it [via TNT] or at source [LINK].
My concern is the misleading and sensational headline. ...The use of the phrase, "Taser death" portrays [most?] BCMPPA members in a negative and incorrect light.

[Please note that I have correct his obviously-incorrect statement by adding the word "most" where it is so-obviously required. I wonder if the BCMPPA have a formal position on the evil problem of The Blue Brotherhood of Silence where many (perhaps even most?) officers will remain passive and silent when they have witnessed their brother officers violating policy and even the law. If they do have such a position, then I'd be pleased as punch to celebrate it by publishing a copy on this blog, and publicly acknowledging the fact. Seriously, send me a copy. Please...]

Leland Keane (assuming that I've found the same person, see [LINK]) is a "Training Consultant at RCMP"; from February 2007 to present "Basic Firearms Instructor and Police and Public Safety Instructor at the Pacific Region Training Center". [Note that Mr. Robert Dziekanski was killed by taser-happy RCMP officers at Vancouver airport on 14 October 2007; but there's no information to suggest that Keane was in any way associated with the clearly-defective training of those four officers that behaved so atrociously as documented by the Braidwood Inquiry.] It's an interesting coincidence that Keane's bio mentions that he recently attended the University of Phoenix (that's essentially the home town of Taser International, but perhaps it was one of those remote-learning courses).


Getting back to the main point...

Here is my reaction [LINK] to Keane's letter:
Tasers are quite often not (officially) found to be a cause of death, even in cases where the use of the taser CLEARLY played a significant role. One clear example is the case of Robert Dziekanski, where it required a multi-million dollar inquiry (!) to peel away the bald-face lies and failed attempts at deception. Some even suggested that Mr. Dziekanski might have died of "excited delirium" (**), but this "explanation" (it really isn't an explanation) was rejected as unhelpful by Braidwood. After the inquiry, the taser was implicated as the most significant cause of his death.

** REJECTED THEORY [CBC] where Dr. Mash was wheeled-out on a dolly by Taser International:
And while the B.C. coroner’s service has not yet determined what killed Dziekanski — an autopsy failed to reveal a clear cause — RCMP have speculated the 40-year-old was also suffering from excited delirium. "This is not due to a Taser," says Deborah Mash, a neurology professor at the University of Miami who has been studying excited delirium for 20 years. "This is in the brain and they die because the mechanisms that control the heart and the lungs fail."

"Excited Delirium" as a theory to explain-away taser-associated deaths can be linked to Taser International via connections from the University of Miami, incompetently-whitewashed through the IPICD and Taser-lawyer Brave, and then directly to Taser International.

It's still an open question about what percentage of the 500+ taser-associated deaths should be fairly attributed to the taser. Amnesty International reviewed as many autopsy reports (for taser-associated deaths) as they could obtain and found that about one-third mentioned the taser as a cause or contributor to death. And I believe that one-third ratio MUST BE a low-ball number, due to the inherent lack of direct evidence associated with taser deaths, and the extraordinary efforts made by Taser International with the goal of minimizing the body-count linked to them.

And if anyone is still under the misconception that tasers-R-safe, then they need to catch-up on the latest legal warnings issued 1 May 2010 by Taser International where they finally acknowledge what we've been saying for years, that taser CAN affect the heart and those effects include risk of death.

If "Taser Death" is not exactly correct in one particular case, then at least it is not as inaccurate and deceptive as a phrase as "excited delirium".

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