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.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Tasers are "...safe and effective..."

Taser International claims that tasers are "...safe and effective..." They also claim that tasers operate in a manner that directly affects the muscles and that the mechanism does not relay on pain, and is therefore effective on subjects even if they're high on drugs and resistant to pain.

So, are these claims true? Or just the sort of BS that spouts from deceptive salesmen?
CBC News - ...Scott said he used his Taser once, but with no effect. Another officer deployed his Taser, but again, Grimolfson was not subdued. 'He could feel nothing.' Scott told the inquiry he struck Grimolfson twice in the jaw. Scott deployed a stun gun on Grimolfson a third time. "Nothing was working," Scott said. "He could feel nothing." ...

Police were able to handcuff Grimolfson and put a spit mask on him, but then Grimolfson stopped struggling and ceased breathing. Scott took off the handcuffs and Grimolfson's tongue flopped out as he removed the spit mask. Scott could only detect a faint pulse and started doing chest compressions. Paramedics rushed Grimolfson to hospital where he was declared dead. ... [LINK]

'Effective'? Not the first time. Not the second time. Not the third time. 1, 2, 3 - Do you see a trend here?

'Effective on drug users'? Apparently not so much.

'Does not rely upon pain; directly affect the muscles'? Yeah, right...

How are the claims holding up? Do you see a trend here?


So how about the claim that 'tasers-R-safe'?

Mr. Grimolfson was tasered_and_died.

If he was a drug addict, then (by definition) he'd probably taken drugs many times before. But on this day he was tasered_and_died, in that order, and reportedly in quick succession. (Note: Another report [LINK] claims a "roughly five minutes" time gap, but that doesn't match the above report.)

Given that the official cause of death was assigned to the meaningless and unhelpful phrase excited delirium, then perhaps the official cause of death might be considered to be under suspicion.

It's simply not rational to give the taser a free pass because the manufacturer claims that it's "...safe and effective..."

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Please note that I'm not so much concerned with the actions of these particular officers on this particular day.

The question I'm concerned with is the subject of this entire blog...

Are tasers as safe (and effective) as has been repeatedly claimed by Taser International?

Apparently not.

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