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.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Comments by Toronto's police Chief Bill Blair reveal organizational immaturity

Toronto's police Chief Bill Blair opens his mouth, and mindless and dangerous nonsense pours out. He should be replaced.

1) In relation to reports of police physically assaulting reporters, he said he'll defend all of the officers' actions. All? No matter what? [LINK]

(To Blair) That's not your job. Your job is to keep an open mind, and fully cooperate with the investigations. And if wrong-doing is indicated, your job is to throw the bad apples off the force and assist with the criminal prosecution of them. That's your job. That's what you're paid to do.

(To Blair) You're supposed to say, "I am proud of the members of the force and I believe that we did a good job during the G8/G20. If mistakes were made, then we will face those and learn from them. And if serious wrong-doing occurred, then we will take or support appropriate consequences against those members. We are a proud force and we will not whitewash errors or illegal actions by our members." That's what you're supposed to say.

(To Blair) Not just mindlessly defend all of police actions. That's whitewashing and should result in you being fired and perhaps (if you aid a coverup) criminally charged.

2) When asked Tuesday if there actually was a five-metre rule given the ministry's clarification, Chief Bill Blair smiled and said, "No, but I was trying to keep the criminals out." [LINK]

How many people were illegally arrested (and assaulted) for crossing the non-existent 5m boundary? Let the lawsuits begin. And a systematic violation of basic rights should be a criminal offense.


The relationship between these reports and tasers is that the law enforcement community often claim that they have a sufficiently developed organizational maturity and high ethical standards such that they can be trusted with portable electrotorture devices.

Obviously not!

The implications of Braidwood, and Blair's mouth, prove that we're a long way from that nirvana.

History teaches us that this sort of law enforcement attitude is a far greater threat (in the long run) to fundamental rights and freedoms than those criminal elements that break windows and cause riots.

Don't get me wrong, the rioting anarchists should be hit with the full force of the legal system (not including gratuitous official assault). Several years (years!) in jail for the worst of them would be perfectly appropriate. I have zero sympathy for them.

But these comments by Blair are what would be expected in a corrupt, third-world, backwater police state.

I can't see how Blair could emerge unscathed from the dark and frightening shadow of these statements.

UPDATE: Several bolog hits arriving from Google searches including search terms such as "Toronto Police Chief Fired" and "Bill Blair Should Be Fired". I guess it's not just me that is shocked and surprised by his reported comments.

Dziekanski taser-death, charges to be revisited. And...?

CTV BC - A B.C. special prosecutor says that the decision not to charge the Mounties involved in Robert Dziekanski's death should be revisited. [LINK]

The original police-investigating-police review (inexplicably, not really...) concluded that the four RCMP members did nothing wrong. The Braidwood Inquiry came to a very different conclusion.

One might wonder how the original review was conducted. Perhaps that question should also be investigated and followed to the conclusion.

For those keeping score, the original Dziekanski autopsy findings were also turned on their head, from taser not mentioned to the taser being "the more prominent" direct cause of death. [LINK]

It's not really a fair system when it costs millions of dollars and takes years to get past all the... - how can I word this? - ...all the layers of "inaccuracies". And without a mobilephone video, the starting gate is glued shut.

The impact of Braidwood is double-barreled. In addition to all the obvious direct conclusions about the death of Robert Dziekanski, there's also an obvious indirect implication on all previous decisions made and conclusions drawn (in relation to other incidents) by a fundamentally-flawed system.

Fixing the system going forward is nice.

But what about the past? Is it reasonable to assume that the Dziekanski incident was the first and only time that the system 'failed' (*).

(* The word 'failed' is a very gentle word choice. I have suspicions that a much stronger word would be more appropriate...)

When a police-investigating-police investigation "fails", there should be consequences on those leading and supervising the whitewash investigation.

Plain logic and fundamental justice indicates that certain other incidents should also be revisited. Especially in those cases where someone was tasered_and_died, and the taser was given a free pass "because", after all, "tasers-R-safe", right? (sic)


PS: Also worth noting explicitly is that the conclusions of Braidwood also support my assumption that the existing one-third ratio (proportional to 50 of 150) of taser "associated" deaths being linked to the taser deployment as a cause or contributing factor - that one-third ratio can only be a low-ball value.

Mehserle trial closing arguments

Defense rests in Mehserle trial, closing arguments expected Thursday [LINK]

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Taser use on 10-year-old child ends one career, damages another



Martinsville, IN - Martinsville police officials want one of the officers involved in a controversial incident in which a stun gun was administered on a 10-year-old boy off the job. Mayor Phil Deckard said Tuesday that top brass want Capt. William Jennings [LEFT], a 36-year veteran of the force, to be dismissed or retire. Officials would like the other officer involved, Darren Johnson [RIGHT], to receive a 30-day unpaid suspension and be placed on probation with the department for a year. [LINK]

Gee. Taser International said that tasers could be used on children. Wanna bet?

UPDATE 1 (1 July 2010) - Reports indicate that one officer has asked to resign.

UPDATE 2 (6 July 2010) - One has resigned. Other has been suspended. [LINK]

Taser International working on new theory of how "excited delirium" results in subjects being left in critical condition

Only a couple of weeks after 16-year-old Steven Avila was tasered_and_ended-up-critical [LINK], it's happened again.

David Nall, 37, was tasered twice, and almost immediately found to be unresponsive. News reports state that he is in critical condition. [LINK]

The close temporal alignment of the deployment of the taser to the serious medical reaction is clearly an indicator of causality.

Keep in mind that Taser International and their minions claim that the taser does not cause such significant medical consequences.

Their denials only serve to heighten their liability.

Autism is not a crime - please stop with the tasers already

Update to:
City of Tybee, GA rummages around desk, looking for checkbook [LINK]
...and...
Two officers and the Police Chief 'down' in Tybee [LINK]

All charges against an autistic Georgia teenager, 18-year-old Clifford Grevemberg, have been dropped. An officer, who has since resigned, deployed his taser against Grevemberg twice believing that the autistic teen was drunk and disorderly. A lawsuit is pending. [LINK][via TNT]

As previously advised, offer a discount on the settlement provided they issue a groveling apology and clearly admit wrong-doing. On the other hand, if they wish to not admit wrong-doing, make them pay through the nose for that lie.

The discount (money left on the table) will pay for itself many times over in peace of mind.

Canadian Taser Moratorium option back on the table

According to a recent poll conducted by Angus Reid, about half (49%) of all Canadians are in favor of a moratorium on tasers. 36% disagree, and 15% are unsure. [via TNT]

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amazing what $375 an hour, or $3,000 a day, will buy

In the murder trial of former BART (yeah, those idiots again...) police Officer Johannes Mehserle, I've not had a particular opinion about if Mehserle is a cold-blooded murderer (as prosecutors allege), or a bumbling man-slaughtering idiot (as he claims as his defense).

What's not in debate is the fact that BART-for-brains Officer Johannes Mehserle shot-to-death Oscar Grant, 22, an unarmed black man laying prone on the platform, in the back with his .40-caliber handgun, on New Year's Day 2009. Mehserle's defense is that he intended to shoot Grant in the back with a taser, ah, because..., ah, because...

The logic trails away at this point as so often happens when tasers are involved.


The defense team has hired Greg Meyer [LINK], a retired Los Angeles police captain and huge fan-boy of tasers.

Meyer is paid $375 an hour for his work and $3,000 a day for court appearances. [LINK]. Worth every penny, I'm sure...

Meyer writes a column, sponsored by Taser International (Even still? I'm not sure, and I don't really care...), that - perhaps unsurprisingly - is extremely uncritical of Taser International (apparently, no matter what), and anything else related to tasers.


Greg Meyer has been found on the wrong side of facts and history before:

1) Meyer parroted the outrageous claim that "...you won't find..." any studies critical of taser safety [LINK]. I contacted Meyer by e-mail and I included references to a small sample of four such studies, just to provide evidence that his claim was demonstrably incorrect. So what did he do at that point? Admit that he was wrong? No. Prompted by my e-mail, Capt Meyer called up his friend, Taser International's very own Mark Kroll, and updated his article with a Kroll-quote (i.e. rubbish) without ever admitting that he was caught in a demonstrably-false claim. This is outrageous behavior.

2) The above calling-home-to-Mommy sequence, combined with the sponsorship deal, also appears to indicate that Meyer is essentially a mouthpiece for Taser International. Also as indicated here [LINK].

3) Meyer tried to justify using tasers against acutely agitated individuals. [LINK] This position has now, even-more-clearly for those that didn't see it coming, been shown to be incorrect. [LINK] Even the RCMP has been forced to acknowledge this now-widely-accepted fact. [LINK] Meyer's (Taser International's) claim has been shown to be wrong. I'm not aware that Mayer has ever modified his position in the face of clear evidence.

These are all documented facts (follow the links). I've got nothing against Meyer. I'm sure he is a fine individual. I only know him from his active involvement in the taser debate. But there's money changing hands, and he is an uncritical cheerleader for all-things-taser. He should choose his friends more carefully.

Endless deception by Taser International et al

It just goes on and on. More examples of deception by Taser International (not an exhaustive list by any stretch):

Example 7: Taser International and their minions have repeatedly claimed that tasers do not affect the heart. As late as May 2009, Taser International sent their unwashed hired help, on expenses I'll assume, to a meeting of the Heart Rhythm Society (HRS) to try to defend this insane position (their mere attendance being an obvious 'red flag' if there ever was one...). See [LINK]. Meanwhile, buried in their legal paperwork is the admission that the taser "...can produce... changes in... heart rate and rhythm..." - see [LINK].

Example 8: Taser International and their minions and fan-boys have a nasty habit of failing to disclose that which should obviously be disclosed. I could find no mention of "Braidwood" (or anything similar) in their most recent Annual Report (15 March 2010) [LINK]. Or Kroll's Mole-Role Trolls [LINK]. Or William Oliver (a.k.a. Billo the blogger) was discovered to be sitting on a NIJ panel "studying" (LOL) the safety of tasers, while actively promoting tasers in his spare time [LINK]. Or the seemingly-slimy connections, both direct and financial, between Taser International, the IPICD, and those promoting "excited delirium" [LINK][LINK][LINK] and more.

[Part 1]
[Part 2]
[Part 3]

And yet more deception

And yet more examples of deception by Taser International (no, still not a complete list by any means):

Example 5: Claiming that the X26 taser's waveform consists of just short pulses, and claiming some sort of magical "chronaxie" safety advantage of the "short pulses". In fact, the X26 taser has a waveform with significant low frequency spectral components, and those spectral components are continuous 100% duty cycle for as long as the trigger is held down. To be fair, this false claim by them probably started out as an elementary technical oversight; it was probably not deception at the outset. But their failure to correct this dumb-ass technical error is clearly pure deception.

Example 6: Taser Internation fights the various acidosis taser-death mechanisms. They cannot deny acidosis, but they gamely try to downplay the self-evident role that the taser deployment would play. The deception involves their struggling to maintain a straight face while trying to pass-off their position as reasonable. See [Kroll] and especially [Ho].

[Part 1]
[Part 2]

More deception

More examples of deception by Taser International (still not a complete list by any means):

Example 3: Claiming that their legal win/loss record was unblemished, when in fact they had quietly settled some lawsuits. They described these settlements as "dismissed" and (apparently intentionally) left a false impression with many. And they did nothing to correct the false impression when the misinformation was spread by ill-informed taser fan-boys.

Example 4: For years there existed a discrepancy in that all taser training and demonstration taser hits were only ever fired into the subjects' backs, or connected to the same area, or clipped to one leg. Transcardiac (chest) applications were intentionally avoided. (Now they advised "avoiding the chest" for all.) And yet they claimed that these "FAKE" taser deployments were evidence of safety. They counted them as safe deployments (my term is "denominator washing"). This was deception on a grand scale.

[Part 1]

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Deception

Examples of deception by Taser International (not a complete list by any means):

Example 1: Claiming that the tasers (M26 and X26) emit on 2mA "average" and implying that this is relevent. This claim is deception; it is obviously intended to confuse those that are not educated about technical topics. See [LINK] for detailed explanation.

Example 2: Do you remember when Smith4Brains testified at SECU that the X26 taser is powered by a couple of wee-little harmless [-looking] batteries of the same sort (CR123A) used in digital cameras? He was trying to leave the deceptive impression that those batteries wouldn't hurt a flea. Those claims were intentionally deceptive. See [LINK] for explanation using their own numbers.

El Reno, OK police in deep taser-insanity doo-doo



El Reno, OK - Lona M. Varner, now 87, and her grandson, Lonnie D. Tinsley, have launched legal action against the city of El Reno, officer Thomas Duran, officer Frank Tinga, officer Joseph Sandberg and other unknown police officers. They are accused of using a taser last December to subdue a disabled grandmother, then 86, in her apartment bed. [LINK]

Subdue?
...Tinsley says he called 911 "to ask for an emergency medical technician to come to her apartment to evaluate her." In response, "as many as ten El Reno police" officers "pushed their way through the door," according to the complaint. The grandma, Lona Varner, "told them to get out of her apartment." The remarkable complaint continues: "Instead, the apparent leader of the police [defendant Thomas Duran] instructed another policeman to 'Taser her!' He stated in his report that the 86 year-old plaintiff 'took a more aggressive posture in her bed,' and that he was fearful for his safety and the safety of others. ... "The police then proceeded to approach Ms. Varner in her bed and stepped on her oxygen hose until she began to suffer oxygen deprivation. "The police then fired a Taser at her and only one wire struck her, in the left arm; the police then fired a second Taser, striking her to the right and left of the midline of her upper chest and applied high voltage, causing burns to her chest, extreme pain and to pass out. ...

See the complete report here: [CourtHouseNews]


The only rational explanation for this event that I can imagine is that the ten officers had just left their taser training. It's a crazy explanation, but I can't think of a less insane explanation.

Stupidest Taser Quote of the Week

The following is almost unbelievable.

Background: BART suspended the use of electronic-shock weapons in April for two months after an officer reached out of his cruiser to stun a 13-year-old on a bike in Richmond. [LINK]

More Background: ...on Tuesday, BART police pursued and stunned Jason Johnson at the Berkeley BART station. Johnson tried to exit without paying the toll... The officer pursued Johnson up the stairs to Shattuck Avenue, where he ordered the man to stop. He warned Johnson he would be stunned if he did not comply. Johnson reportedly ignored the officer, who stunned Johnson in the back. ... [ibid]

No, that's not the unbelievable part.

This is:
Joel Keller *, a retired probation officer, said he supports Tasers because they are an alternative to using deadly force and can save lives.
[ibid]

[* Joel Keller is a Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Board of Directors member.]

Considering the context of recent events (BART and Tasers), this statement is crazy.


Mr. Keller - Here's yer badge...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Canadian taser-death victim identified as Aron Firman

CBC News:
...The province's Special Investigations Unit is investigating and has identified the victim as Aron Firman, a resident of the group home.
[LINK]

I expect a cold and cynical silence from Taser International.


For those just becoming aware of the taser-death issue, welcome to the Excited-Delirium blog. This blog has nearly 2000 posts covering many aspects of the issue. But the main focus is investigating the false claims of safety made by Taser International. You can start with the links in the right hand column.

Especially the Truth ... Not Tasers blog [LINK].

Deployed taser, "THAT'S WHEN the man became unresponsive"

Collingwood, ON - More on the taser death of a 27-year old man [update: Aron Firman].
...Officers deployed a conductive energy weapon - known as a taser - to subdue the man. That's when the man became "unresponsive," the SIU said. ...
[LINK]

"That's when..."

This sad death, being so self-evidently in a tight temporal (cause-and-effect) relationship with the taser deployment, isn't exactly going to help Taser International with their insane appeal of Braidwood's perfectly-logical conclusion that tasers are fully capable of causing death.

Apparently their appeal is set to be heard within the next few weeks.

Ontario man tasered_and_died

Update: Aron Firman

There was an interaction between the man and officers, and a Conducted Energy Weapon was used. The man became unresponsive, and was transported to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
[via TNT]

Based on the news reports, the extremely close temporal alignment makes it obvious (in my opinion) that the taser had an immediate and lethal effect.

Quote of the Week

CBC - Questions for Tim Burrows

Stratagem wrote [LINK]

Hi Tim,

'The police officer's statement under oath is considered conclusive evidence under the Act.' — Public Works Protection Act

When did law enforcement stop following the law? If I have an unedited video of a crime, let's say it's of five officers tasering a man to death, does anyone in uniform actually believe we, the people of Canada, will stand for this?


The Ontario government has made a huge, stupid error. They forgot to explicitly invoke the Charter's infamous 'Notwithstanding Clause' (section 33).

RCMP taser use reduced by about half, 2009 compared to 2008

Vancouver Sun: [LINK]

CPC: [Overview] [Full Report]

This is apparently RCMP only. Looking at these numbers and comparing them to the rate of the police actually firing bullets, it's obvious that taser use has about as much connection to "saving lives" as Taser marketing has to do with the honest truth.

El Reno police accused of tasering 86-year-old disabled grandma in her bed

Courthouse News Service - ...because the old woman "took a more aggressive posture in her bed," according to the complaint. [LINK]

Weird.


Update: See more-recent post [LINK].

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Taser associated deaths, autopsy reports, and impact of Braidwood

There's an important meta-sequence that must be explicitly noted and acknowledged.

The original autopsy report for Robert Dziekanski reportedly didn't even bother to mention that Mr. Dziekanski was tasered at the time of his death.

CBC News (29 April 2009) - John Butt, a forensic pathologist with more than 40 years' experience who reviewed Lee's autopsy report [for Robert Dziekanski], ...criticized the autopsy report for the lack of a clear statement that a Taser was used on Dziekanski before he died. "It's enormously relevant to the events in this case, so it needs to have some explanation, and I don't know how it's not there in the context of the circumstances." [LINK]

Then, the Braidwood Inquiry reviews all the evidence and draws the only logical conclusion. That Mr. Dziekanski was killed by the restraint, and of those, the taser played the more prominent role.

In other words, the original autopsy report is essentially turned upside down with respect to the taser.

It occurs to me that Braidwood has overturned 100% of the taser-associated death autopsy reports that he has reviewed.

One for one. 100%.

Now that the assumed (inexplicably de facto up to now) safety of the taser has been formally shredded, if it might be worth reviewing other taser-associated death autopsy reports to see how many others might have also been misled by the false claims of taser safety.

It's extremely unlikely that Dziekanski's death is the only one where the taser was initially given an inexplicable free pass.

Tasered, almost-immediate "difficulty breathing", death

Daniel Sylvester [LINK]

It's a common pattern [LINK].

Coincidence?

Queensland Police et al accused of taser abuse

Courier-Mail - ...On the first night Tasers were in general use, a Queensland police officer and two security guards held down and shot a 16-year-old girl with a Taser when she failed to obey a police order to move on. She was waiting for an ambulance to attend a sick friend at the time. ... [LINK]

For some reason, the phrase "evil, sadistic wussies" springs to mind. Although the word 'wussies' is actually my 2nd word choice.

I'll bet that the taser-wielding officer was fresh off his taser-abuse-of-citizens training course. It's just a hunch that the ink was barely dry on his Taser Certificate of Evil and Diploma of Dumb-ass.

Political leaders in Australia might consider the long-term advantages of tracing this taser-torture insanity back to its source. And say 'hi' to the slick-talking stun-gun salesman when you catch-up with him...

Also - more free advice worth millions - Google "Braidwood".

More comments about Braidwood Phase 2

Globe and Mail editorial - A taser, a stapler, and the death of Robert Dziekanski [LINK]

The killing of Mr. Dziekanski is thus an archetypal lesson, not only for the RCMP but for all police forces in Canada, in the dangers of high-tech weaponry.

Especially when those weapons are sold under false safety claims; those claims supported by elementary technical mistakes, and what appears to be outright deception and fraud.


Tom Bishop, Vancouver Sun - The problem with the RCMP begins right at the top [LINK]

For years before the tragedy, the RCMP had insisted that Tasers did not kill people even though there were many incidents where people died just after being Tasered. The RCMP, like the Taser's manufacturer, insisted that something called "excited delirium" was killing these people, which was highly unlikely since they died just after being Tasered, not before.

The taser's 'Curious Temporal Asymmetry'. Google it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hubris, vast ignorance, low safety margin revealed by Taser test

Human cardiovascular effects of a new generation conducted electrical weapon.

Dr. Jeffrey Ho [this guy], et al

Abstract [LINK]
(FAIR USE/FAIR DEALING claimed: education / public safety)

OBJECTIVES: ...New Generation CEW (NGCEW) technology has been developed that uses a different circuit and multiple cartridges that can be simultaneously deployed. The objective of this study is to examine the cardiovascular effects of the NGCEW in different deployment possibilities.


METHODS: This was a prospective study of human subjects during NGCEW training courses...


RESULTS: Initially, a 1st version NGCEW (NGCEWv1) that was in the final stages of manufacturer verification was used at the training courses. It had not been publicly released. During a NGCEWv1 exposure with 2 probes, there was an apparent brief episode of cardiac capture. Testing was halted and the manufacturer was notified. The device was redesigned and the study continued when a redesigned, 2nd version (NGCEWv2) was used. The NGCEW1 was studied in 8 subjects.  ...
CONCLUSIONS: An apparent brief myocardial capture event occurred ... 


The description of the "NGCEW" sounds like the X3 (elsewhere claimed to have 40% less charge than the X26).

Cardiac capture in at least one of eight subjects, even in ideal circumstances.


MY CONCLUSIONS:

1) Obviously, those that design tasers cannot predict the results. This product was in the "final stages" of test and was being used in a "training session". The vast ignorance and hubris of Taser International are revealed.

It's fricken amateur hour in the electro-torture (sometimes to death) business.

2) And...

The safety margin of tasers is obviously vastly lower than anticipated or claimed.


With a sample size of just eight, using a newly-designed taser that presumably has a safer waveform than the X26, probably under ideal conditions, probably with perfectly-fit subjects, to have one episode of cardiac capture is obviously statistically-inconsistent with the previous claims of safety.

"15-to-1 safety margin"  ...my ass.

Response from Taser International to Braidwood Inquiry Phase 2

Braidwood concluded that the taser "played a more prominent role" in the death of Robert Dziekanski. Braidwood did not accept the testimony of Dr. Ho, a paid spokespuppet of Taser International, when he suggested that the taser, de facto, played no part in the death of Mr. Dziekanski. Dr. Ho's opinion was described as "insulting to the intelligence".

I've checked for recent Press Releases from Taser International and I can report that their response to the Braidwood Phase 2 report, a report made public on 18 June 2010 (more than two full business days ago), is as follows:

{silence}


Taser International (TASR), manufacturer of electro-torture weapons that are not as safe as claimed; their stock price is down almost 10% in the two days since the Braidwood Phase 2 report was released.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Death by taser

The Star (Toronto) - Death by stun gun [LINK]

The Province (BC) - Culture of dishonesty must end at RCMP [LINK]

UPI - RCMP officers blamed for Taser death [LINK]

Sunday, June 20, 2010

$300,000+ (!) judgment for unjustifiable taser use

Well into 6-figures for a simple unjustifiable taser hit.

...Off-duty Merced County sheriff's deputy Domingo Leyro ... was tasered in 2007 by [stupid] Chowchilla police officers... [LINK]


Memo to almost all police agencies:

Your Taser Use Policy is obviously defective. Remember? That's the policy document that you basically cut-and-paste from the draft version provided by the helpful and friendly stun-gun salesman? Burn it and start again. Google "Braidwood".

Also, your Taser Training is also obviously defective. Hey, judging by results.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Taser International's false claims about death by "excited delirium"

Below, in BS brown, is a press release [LINK] sent out by Taser International back in November 2007. This is presented here to remind blog readers that Taser International had tried desperately to pin the blame for the taser-associated death of Mr. Dziekanski on "excited delirium".

It's worth noting that the Braidwood Inquiry has firmly rejected "excited delirium" as a cause of death in this case (revealed as being logically implausible with Braidwood's detailed analysis of the timeline), and that Braidwood also stated that the term is completely unhelpful in any case. The primary conclusion about the cause of death is that it was directly caused by the immediate actions of the RCMP, and almost certainly predominately due to their use of the taser.

Careful and honest observers have long ago concluded that tasers can cause death through a variety of mechanisms. The repeated denials by Taser International in the face of real world evidence only serves to further increase their liability. And given patterns evident in their corporate behaviour, and considering the body count, a criminal investigation of Taser International would seem to be a reasonable next step.


SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov 16, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- TASER International, Inc. (Nasdaq:TASR), a market leader in advanced electronic control devices, released the following statement regarding the mid-October confrontation between Mr. Robert Dziekanski and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the Vancouver airport. An amateur video of the incident that was released earlier this week has received sensational coverage from the media with many reports drawing an unsubstantiated and uninformed conclusion as to the cause of Mr. Dziekanski's death.

"This tragic incident appears to follow the pattern of many in-custody deaths or deaths following a confrontation with police. Historically, medical science and forensic analysis has shown that these deaths are attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the TASER(r). Specifically in Canada, while previous incidents were widely reported in the media as 'TASER deaths,' the role of the TASER device has been cleared in every case to date -- including the widely publicized Bagnell in-custody death in Vancouver where the TASER device was cleared by an inquest jury."

"Cardiac arrest caused by electrical current is immediate. The video of the incident at the Vancouver airport indicates that the subject was continuing to fight well after the TASER application. This continuing struggle could not be possible if the subject died as a result of the TASER device electrical current causing cardiac arrest. His continuing struggle is proof that the TASER device was not the cause of his death. Further, the video clearly shows symptoms of excited delirium, a potentially fatal condition marked by symptoms of exhaustion and mania such as heavy breathing, profuse sweating, confusion, disorientation and violence toward inanimate objects."

"We are taken aback by the number of media outlets that have irresponsibly published conclusive headlines blaming the TASER device and / or the law enforcement officers involved as the cause of death before completion of the investigation. These sensationalistic media reports completely ignore the earmark symptoms of excited delirium shown in the video. TASER International is transmitting over 60 legal demand letters requiring correction of these false and misleading headlines and will take other actions as appropriate. These unsubstantiated, false headlines mislead the public and could adversely influence public policy in ways which could place the lives of both law enforcement and the public at greater risk," concluded Tom Smith, Founder and Chairman of the Board of TASER International, Inc.

Repost: Another possible taser-death mechanism

Reading Part 7 of the most-recent Braidwood Report reminded me of this previous post.


From Sunday, April 26, 2009: [LINK]

Another possible death mechanism (?)

Out of the mouths of...

...What killed Dziekanski... "This is not due to a Taser," says Deborah Mash [LINK], 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." [LINK]


Has anyone looked into the possibility that the taser shock is capable of affecting the nervous system (duh!) mechanisms such that these systems sometimes fail due to a long duration taser shock?

Perhaps, with bad luck and thus occuring in just a fraction of incidents, the central nervous system pathways that control the heart and the lungs just happen to carry enough of the randomly-placed taser current to have their stock of neurochemical transmitters depleted by long duration electric current from the taser.

In the same way that bright lights can temporarily blind you. In the same way that loud sounds can temporarily deafen you. In the same way that repeated impacts can eventually lead to numbness. In the same way that a constant smell eventually becomes imperceptible. Nervous systems eventually shut-down if they're been triggered too much.

Perhaps the taser current sometimes (randomly) rides the pathways that control the heart and lungs. Perhaps those pathways become depleted and thus incapable of functioning for a critical period.


This proposed explanation makes as much, or possibly more, sense than 'excited delirium' in many cases where the late victim obviously wasn't even as excited as the police, and certainly wasn't even the slightest bit delirious.


Something to keep in mind is that the taser is really the first device that often applies the current directly across the chest. Most of the safety standards are not written to assume that the electrician falls chest-first into box of high voltage circuitry. Those standards often assume that the current arrives on one hand, and exits down one leg. This may be an important element in solving the taser-associated death mystery.

Also, I'm very suspicious of those 'expert' calculations of smooth distributions of current through the human body (as if it made of large homogeneous chunks of material). I suspect that the current prefers to travel on small structures that are good conductors and cover larger areas (nerves?).

This post is just a suggestion for further consideration.


PS (June 2010): It's obvious to me that there are probably several different internal taser-death mechanisms. Direct cardiac impact (several variations), blood pH, depletion of neurochemical transmitters, and probably several others. Those that might be looking for just one explanation would become confused.

Low End of Single Digits

CBC News - RCMP Commissioner William Elliot said there have been many changes in the aftermath of [Robert Dziekanski's] death, including policy changes to ensure offices are warned there is a risk of death with ... Tasers, and an emphasis on using the least amount of force necessary. [LINK]


What is the approximate level of that risk?

Taser International claims it is so low that it could be rounded to zero. That wording allows ratios as high as 0.49% risk of death (1 in 200), but they're intentional unclear about what they're actually claiming. If we could demand a number, they would deny anything even within several orders of magnitude of 0.49%.


This just in: A recent study by Dr. Swerdlow included a significant finding that supports the proposition that the electrical current from a conducted energy weapon is capable of capturing the heart and triggering ventricular fibrillation. He determined that one out of 56 subjects collapsed immediately after a conducted energy weapon was deployed across his chest, and the first cardiac rhythm presented was ventricular fibrillation. The subject had no drugs or cardiac pathology. In relation to this subject, Dr. Swerdlow stated: "The time sequence and electrode location are both consistent with electrically induced VF [ventricular fibrillation] in one subject (subject 1), and neither drug use nor cardiac disease provides alternative explanations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported fatality suggestive of CEW-induced VF." Braidwood, p. 329

"...one out of 56 subjects..." is about 2% (roughly).


What did I fricken tell you?

I've posted many times: It's the "Low End Of Single Digits", given actual taser hit to the chest.

See previous posts such as [LINK], [LINK], [LINK], and many others.


The reason that this specific topic is such an important issue is that acknowledging the significant risk of death obviously leads directly to better policy. It also leads to reduced sales of tasers, once the police decision-makers come to the conclusion that they've been sold a bill of goods by the smarter-than-them, slick-talking stun-gun salesmen. Finally, this long-delayed acceptance of the ugly reality should also lead to criminal prosecution of those making false claims of safety, as those claims (wrapped in training brainwashing) have led directly to bad cut-and-paste Taser Use policy, and thus tragic outcomes. It's a chain of moral and ethical failure with ground zero located in Scottsdale, AZ.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dziekanski criminal probe reopened

CBC News - The B.C. government will reopen the investigation into the actions of the four RCMP officers linked to the death of Robert Dziekanski... The move follows the release of retired justice Thomas Braidwood's harshly critical final report into the fatal incident at Vancouver airport in October 2007. "There was misconduct here ... and that reflects badly, and that's why Mr. Braidwood used the language that he did," said Attorney General Mike de Jong. [LINK]


See also Liars [LINK]

See also post from 7 March 2009 - The YVR-4 (Sìrén bāng) [LINK]

Braidwood Report - phase 2

WHY? - The Robert Dziekanski Tragedy

BRAIDWOOD COMMISSION ON THE DEATH OF ROBERT DZIEKANSKI

20 May 2010 [LINK] [zipped pdf]


I've quickly reviewed the entire document, and I've read Part 7 (The Cause Of Mr. Dziekanski’s Death) fairly carefully.

It's a very good report. The conclusions are perfectly logical and flow naturally from the evidence.

Thank you Thomas R. Braidwood, Q.C., Commissioner [et al]. You do good work.

Bless his heart.

Braidwood shreds Dr. Ho

Braidwood (referring to Taser International's junior minion: Dr. Jeffrey Ho) - In my view, it would defy common sense to conclude from all the evidence that the physical altercation exacerbated the hyperadrenergic state that led to Mr. Dziekanski’s fatal cardiac arrhythmia, but that the multiple deployments of the conducted energy weapon played no part. To the extent that Dr. Ho did so, I do not accept his evidence. It is beyond dispute that a single five-second deployment of the weapon causes intense, extreme pain, as well as emotional trauma. Multiple deployments, even if intermittent, must compound that pain and trauma. In my view, it would be insulting to the intelligence of any objective and thoughtful person who sat through our evidentiary hearings and viewed the Pritchard video to baldly assert that the physical altercation, but not the multiple deployments of the conducted energy weapon, was responsible for the hyperadrenergic state that led to Mr. Dziekanski’s fatal cardiac arrhythmia. [p. 336]

That's quite the smack-down.

And well deserved in my opinion.


Braidwood (p. 303) - Dr. Ho suggested: "post hoc, ergo propter hoc - just because Mr. Dziekanski’s death was proximate in time to deployment of the conducted energy weapon does not establish a causal relationship." Bull crap!  The taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry" ([LINK], or Google the phrase) clearly indicates that there sometimes exists a cause-and-effect relationship between being tasered and ending up dead. As happen to Mr. Dziekanski.

Braidwood (p. 303) - "Dr. Ho said ...the average delivered current of a Taser X26 is only 0.0021 amperes." Pure deception. See [LINK].

"Why?"

Braidwood's report echoed the last words of Robert Dziekanski, "Why?".


Actually it's fairly obvious.

In 2007, the RCMP were still firmly under the spell of The Church of Taser.

Their inexcusable naivety was  taken advantage of  by the slick-talking stun-gun salesmen. The officers, fully trained brainwashed to believe that tasers are safe and cannot possibly be a cause of death, were on hair trigger to taser anyone or anything. These despicable and fraudulent assumptions about taser safety and suitability (directly traceable back to the false claims from Taser International) are a direct root cause of the entire issue.

Braidwood concludes that the taser "played a more prominent role" in death of Robert Dziekanski

Braidwood concludes that the taser played a more prominent role in the death of Robert Dziekanski than the other (physical) force.

The evidence does not allow me to conclude, with mathematical exactitude, how much the weapon and the physical altercation contributed to the hyperadrenergic state that led, ultimately, to Mr. Dziekanski’s death. Unquestionably, they both contributed substantially to that tragic result. However, I consider it to be a reasonable inference to be drawn from all the evidence that the multiple deployments of the conducted energy weapon [taser] played a more prominent role. [p. 337]

Braidwood also stated that if the RCMP had not been equipped with the taser [and encumbered with all the associated brainwashing] then they would have reverted to their other training and probably de-escalated the situation.

The stungun salesmen and their false claims are, in my opinion, partly responsible.

More to follow...

Liars

CBC News - Braidwood ...also concluded that the officers later deliberately misrepresented what happened at the airport to justify their actions, and he called on the B.C. government to establish a civilian-led body to investigate police incidents in the future.

A deliberate misrepresentation is a lie.

For example: "TASER International Inc. ... says there is no evidence the stun gun has resulted in any fatalities..." [LINK]


(update) CTV - The report by the former B.C. judge is riddled with terms like "untrue", "misleading", "misrepresented", and "overstated", to describe the testimony of the four RCMP officers involved. [via TNT]



See latest: [LINK]

I hope that the criminal probe opens wide enough to examine the behaviour of the stun-gun salesmen.

Braidwood: RCMP wrong to taser Mr. Dziekanski

CBC News - The final report into the death of Robert Dziekanski has concluded that the RCMP was not justified in using a Taser against the Polish immigrant. [LINK]

More to follow...

Steven Avila's condition improving

The condition of 16-year-old Steven Avila, who was nearly killed "with a taser", is improving. [LINK]

Taser International will now be left scratching their heads trying to invent a mythical pre-existing medical condition that can go (presumably) from being completely unnoticed for 16 years, to being life-threateningly critical, back to being in recovery.

A simpler explanation is that his heart rhythm was directly affected by the shock from the taser. This is something that Taser International has strenuously denied, due to simple technical errors, obvious deception, and what might be outright criminal fraud.

The Feds should be investigating those running this company.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Braidwood Inquiry report into death of Robert Dziekanski to be released Friday

The long-awaited final Braidwood report will be released Friday, ending the work of a probe into the death of Robert Dziekanski in a widely broadcast 2007 confrontation with RCMP at Vancouver International Airport that raised enduring questions about the police use of tasers. [via TNT]

Steven Avila, 16, in critical condition shortly after taser hit

Steven Avila of Southeast Salem, 16, is in critical condition after police officers used a Taser on him this morning... ... Troopers encountered the teen who "refused to comply with their commands and actively resisted their efforts to take him into custody." Trooper ... used his Taser on the teen. The boy continued to resist efforts to take him into custody until he fell unconscious. A medic at the scene, later joined by Salem Fire paramedics, attended to the boy until he was taken to Salem Hospital by ambulance. He was transferred to Doernbecher where he is in critical condition... [LINK]

I wonder what the time delay was between the taser hit (I'll assume it was a transcardiac chest hit, but that's just a guess on my part) and the on-set of near-death (I'll assume about 20-30 seconds, but that's just a guess on my part).

Do the words "attended to the boy" imply CPR?

Even with the very carefully crafted wording (*), the same-old pattern still shines through.

(* A bit too obvious there guys...)

Let's hope for a full recovery.

UPDATE: See latest good news [LINK].

Montreal recommended tough taser-use policy

Montreal Public Safety Commission
Tasers / Stun-guns - Advantages and disadvantages
Report submitted to council June 14, 2010 and Metro council June 17, 2010

...
R-1 - La commission recommande au conseil d’agglomération : QUE le SPVM bonifie son programme de formation des policiers en ce qui concerne les techniques et stratégies d’intervention auprès de personnes souffrant de problèmes de santé mentale, qu’elles soient agitées ou confuses, de personnes intoxiquées ou encore de personnes violentes ou en état de crise.
R-2 - La commission recommande au conseil d’agglomération : QUE la procédure d'utilisation de l'AIÉ ayant cours au SPVM soit revue de manière à y inclure les éléments suivants : • toute personne fortement agitée, confuse et/ou intoxiquée doit être considérée comme une urgence médicale; • confrontés à cette situation et avant même toute intervention, les policiers feront appel à Urgence-psychosociale-Justice et/ou aux ambulanciers; • l’AIÉ ne pourra être utilisée que dans les situations pour lesquelles il y a risque de mort ou de blessures graves du policier ou de la personne visée, en privilégiant d’abord d’autres moyens d’intervention; • si l’AIÉ doit être utilisée à l’encontre de personnes fortement agitées, confuses et/ou intoxiquées, le policier doit limiter son intervention à une seule décharge.
R-3 - Considérant que la commission souhaite obtenir des données qui permettront par la suite au conseil d’agglomération de pendre des décisions éclairées et de faire les représentations requises auprès du gouvernement du Québec en regard de la prestation de services en santé mentale : La commission recommande : QUE le SPVM lui soumette annuellement un rapport détaillé comprenant des informations quant aux personnes visées par l’AIÉ, que ce soit en mode démonstration, contact ou projection. Ces informations comprendront, entre autres, les éléments suivants : sexe, groupe d’âge, niveau de revenu, race/origine ethnique, niveau de scolarité, motif initial justifiant l’intervention policière, état mental, état d’intoxication et interventions préalables à l’utilisation de l’AIÉ.
R-4 - Considérant la demande de retrait de l’AIÉ formulée par la Coalition pour le retrait du Taser; Considérant que la commission de la sécurité publique souhaite évaluer la portée de ses recommandations précédentes avant de se prononcer et de recommander au conseil d’agglomération tout retrait éventuel de l’AIÉ de l’arsenal du SPVM ; La commission recommande : QUE le SPVM obtienne l’avis de la commission de la sécurité publique préalablement à toute modification au protocole d’utilisation, à la formation et au nombre d’armes à impulsion électrique dont dispose le service.
Les recommandations ont été adoptées à la majorité en séance à huis clos le 4 juin 2010.
[Document on file]


En anglais (approximately, translation not certified) ...

Recommendation 1: ...Montreal Police should expand their program of police officer training in regards to intervention techniques and strategies of dealing with people suffering from mental health problems, the agitated or confused, intoxicated persons - violent or in crisis.

Recommendation 2: ...the operating procedure for l’arme à impulsion électrique (AIÉ) [stun-gun, taser] usage within Montreal Police be revised to include the following limitations:

[2a] • any person strongly agitated, confused and/or intoxicated must be considered medical emergency;

[2b] • in this situation, even before any intervention, the police will call for "Urgence-Psychosociale-Justice" [mental crisis professionals] and/or ambulance;

[2c] • The stun-gun can be used in situations where there is risk of death or serious injury of the officer or the person, focusing first other means of intervention;

[2d] • If the stun-gun is to be used against people highly agitated, confused and/or intoxicated, the officer must limit its use to a single discharge.

Recommendation 3: ...Montreal Police submit annually a detailed report including information about persons shocked by the stun-gun, either in demonstration mode, contact or projection. These information will include, inter alia, the following elements: sex, age group, level income, race/ethnicity, education level, initial reason justifying the police action, state mental state of intoxication and intervention prior to the use of the stun-gun.

Recommendation 4: Considering the demand of withdrawal of the stun-gun made by the Coalition for the withdrawal of the Taser; and considering that the Committee of Public Safety wishes to assess the scope of its previous recommendations before deciding and recommending to the Metro Board regarding the possible withdrawal of the stun-guns from the Montreal Police's arsenal. The Committee recommends that Montreal Police obtain the opinion of the Committee of Public Safety prior to any protocol amendment to use, training and the number of stun-guns [tasers] in service.

These recommendations were adopted by a majority in closed session on 4 June 2010.


The above recommendations are approximately what would be expected of those that have been paying attention to the findings of Justice Braidwood and other similar independent investigations.

Limiting the use of tasers to a single discharge (see 2d above) is hardly a ringing endorsement of the [false] claims of safety made by Taser International (Kroll, "Cardiac Safety") with respect to repeated taser hits.

Recommendation 2c calls for police to rely first on other methods of force. The Committee wouldn't make this recommendation if they were convinced that the taser was the best thing since sliced bread.


Considered in total, these recommendation do call for a fairly strict Taser Use Policy.

It's not perfect. But it's a pretty good first step.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The RCMP's "sames and opposites"

Vancouver, BC - One day before RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass publicly apologized to Robert Dziekanski's mother for the Mounties' role in his death, Bass emailed an RCMP member assuring him the apology did not mean the force was sorry for anything specific its officers did. ... [via TNT]

RCMP Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass said, "...Your son's death is a tragedy and for the role the Force played in this tragedy, we offer our sincere apology. There are no words to express how sorry the RCMP is about your son's death and the pain this has brought."

Hmmm...

"...for the role the Force played in this tragedy, we offer our sincere apology..."

Hmmm...


The words from Comic-Singer Demetri Martin's "Sames and Opposites" [YouTube] might be applicable:

In life there are many things;
some of them are the same
and some are opposites.
...
Saying 'I apologize' is the very
same as saying 'I'm sorry';
...they're the same. ...
Unless you're at a funeral.
...


It's one thing to say "I'm sorry" in relationship to a death.

But when you apologize in relation to a death, it has an entirely different implication.

Trying to mince words doesn't change that.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Evidence of taser-death cause-and-effect grows more obvious

William Owens, 17, of East Lake... hit with the taser twice... unresponsive... later pronounced dead. [LINK][LINK]

Let me guess:

X26 taser ?
transcardiac chest hit ?
"difficulty breathing" (perhaps nobody monitored for this?)
"unresponsive" !
followed by death !

All that's left is to see how they pin the cause on anything except the taser hits.


Even if you're not a sensitive and attentive observer, the pattern is becoming crystal clear.

CBC: RCMP to get new oversight agency

CBC News - RCMP to get new oversight agency

The federal government will introduce legislation Monday that would create a civilian oversight body for the RCMP, CBC News has learned.


I wonder how's the pay? ;-)

Friday, June 11, 2010

Montreal to adopt common-sense (i.e. strict) restrictions on tasers

Montreal's Public Security Committee is reportedly set to recommend tough restrictions on the use of tasers. Although I can't read their minds, their reported recommendations are exactly what would be expected from those that are unconvinced by the false assurances of taser safety. Interestingly, the news report mentions that a minority report is calling for a moritorium.

(Montreal) The Gazette - Exclusive. Taming police Tasers [LINK]


This is obviously a huge win for common sense, moral judgment and ethical values. And those concerned citizens that have worked so hard to bring complete information to the attention of the committee members.

It is also a slap in the face for those that would promote positions that encourage taser overuse, misuse and abuse.

The taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry"

The stun-gun salesmen have repeatedly claimed or implied that there is absolutely "zero" cause-and-effect relationship between any given taser deployment and any apparently-associated death. They base this outrageous claim on a pyramid of mistakes, falsehoods and deceptions - as have been exposed one after the other on this blog, and by others examing the same topic.

The stun-gun salesmen have depended upon the unfortunate fact that any taser-associated death leaves few if any explicit postmortem clues. Individual deaths are therefore typically assigned to long-standing pre-existing medical or mental-health conditions. The typically very close temporal ordering between the taser application and the onset of death is explained away as "a mere coincidence".

Too bad for them that they overlooked the built-in experimental control: The time during every taser incident before the taser actually hits the subject. Or those taser incidents where the taser is displayed, but not actually fired. Or those taser incidents where the taser darts both miss the subject (and the circuit is not completed via alternate mode ground path).

The simple observation of the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry" reveals that there obviously IS (in general) a cause-and-effect relationship between taser hits and the occasional onset of death.

See the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry" for the detailed argument. [LINK]

Disclaimer: Now, to be fair, if they can pull-up several thousand police taser-use reports where the subjects fell over dead (of "excited delirium", LOL) at the pre-deployment verbal warning, "Taser, Taser, Taser!!", then I'll be more than happy to accept their position as being potentially valid. I'm not expecting them to be able to find very many such reports.

By the way, they've had about a year to publish a rebuttal to this simple observation. I'm not aware that they made any such rebuttal.

They certainly have the right to remain silent, but we have the right to draw our own conclusions about taser-death cause-and-effect.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Taser found to be "...in good working order."

Antonio Carmelo Galeano's face 'turned black' after being Tasered by police

Antonio Carmelo Galeano, 39, died June 12 last year after being tasered 28 times was not given breathing assistance by police because they could not find a mask and gloves, a coronial hearing has been told. [LINK]

...analysis of the Taser had found it was in good working order.

It seems pretty clear to me that the subject in this case was tasered to death, but that's just a common sense reaction.

Perhaps certain people can look at this report and then claim that they're able to draw other conclusions. But perhaps they're not being completely honest. Perhaps they have other motivating factors than rational deduction.

Two officers and the Police Chief 'down' in Tybee

One stupid taser incident claims three victims... LOL.


Follow up to:
City of Tybee, GA rummages around desk, looking for checkbook [LINK]



Tybee Island, GA - Tybee Island Police Chief James Price has been suspended pending a disciplinary hearing regarding the May 21 incident where his offers used a Taser to stun an autistic teenager. Clifford Grevemberg suffered a broken tooth and scrapes to his face and knee when Tybee Island police officers used a Taser to subdue him. Police said the 18-year-old seemed intoxicated and acted unruly before he was arrested on a disorderly conduct charge. Grevemberg says he did nothing to provoke police. ...two officers involved in the arrest have resigned. [LINK]

Welcome to the new reality on taser overuse, misuse and abuse. One incident - two officers resigned, one chief suspended pending a disciplinary hearing.


Hey, don't forget to scratch your local stun-gun salesman off your Christmas card list.

Tasered, difficulty breathing, death

UPDATE: Terrelle Leray Houston, 22, reportedly in good health.

Hempstead, TX (9 June 2010) - ...Officers noticed that the man, whose name has not been released, was having trouble breathing after he was shocked. He was taken to Bellville General Hospital, where he later died. ...at least one officer fired his Taser, hitting the man. When the man was taken into custody, officers noticed he was having trouble breathing and they called Waller County EMS personnel. He stopped breathing and paramedics performed CPR on him. ... [LINK] [LINK] [LINK]


Tasered, immediate "difficulty breathing", followed by death.

It's a pattern that happens over [Adil Jouamai] and over [James J. Healy] and over [Hatchel Pate Adams III] and over [Rory McKenzie] and over [Ryan Wilson] and over [Kevin Piskura] and over [Samuel K. De Boise] and over [Daniel Joseph Barga] and over [Troy Tackett] and over [unknown] and over [Michael Jacobs Jr.] again...


So, are you getting it yet?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Physiology and pathology of taser electronic control devices

By Mark W. Kroll, the man that keeps forgetting his Fourier (EE101).

Tasers "...are small, battery powered, handheld devices. They deliver short duration, low energy pulses to stimulate motor neurons, causing transient paralysis." [LINK]

Mark, Mark, Mark... tsk tsk tsk...

How many times do I have to explain this to you?

The X26 taser, as distinct from the older M26 taser, has a waveform with a distinct DC pulse after the arc phase. Although appearing to be small in peak height, it changes everything. This pulse is DC offset and *is* 19 Hz (and harmonics) low frequency.

It is THUS not a short duration.

The X26 waveform has significant low frequency spectral components that are continuous 100% duty cycle for as long as the trigger is held down.

THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS 100 MICROSECONDS OF 19 Hz!!

This is a cold hard fact.

It also explains why even Taser International allows that the safety margin is larger with the older M26 taser, in spite of the self-evident ratio of peak output.

If your analysis is demonstrably incorrect in the 2nd sentence of the Abstract, then what other flaws exist in your 'logic' that you apply to "prove" that tasers are cardiac-safe?

It would be a funny error except that your assurances of safety lead directly to overuse, and probably misuse, of tasers (abuse may be a separate issue, but you're not helping there either). These false assurances of safety are therefore increasing the risk of death of ordinary citizens.

Bad.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Another taser "associated" death settlement

#199 - April 16, 2006: Billy Ray Cook, 39, Dublin, North Carolina

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- It happened months ago, but we're just learning of a settlement between Bladen County and the estate of a man who died while in the custody of the Sheriff's Office. Billy Ray Cook died in April 2006 after deputies Tased him while trying to arrest him. Lawyers for his estate claimed they may have used the Taser as many as 38 times on Cook. North Carolina Lawyers Weekly reports earlier this year, before a federal judge could rule in the wrongful death case, the two sides agreed to a $325,000 settlement. [LINK]

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fort Worth PD Chief seeks to remove the Kroll-hubris feature from taser

Taser International and their minion "Dr." Mark Kroll, an electrical engineer (not a medical doctor) that dabbles in medical matters, have repeatedly claimed that tasers can be used repeatedly without fear of serious medical consequences (such as, to choose one example, DEATH). Kroll's infamous "paper" (sic), that compared repeated taser hits to being hit with a ping pong ball, seems to have been yanked from the Taser International website. It was previously given prominent exposure under "Cardiac Safety" (sic).

Now the Chief of the Fort Worth police is explicitly suggesting that Taser International reprogram the taser so that a continuous trigger pull is limited to a ten seconds discharge cycle (instead of endless tasered-until-dead as it presently is designed). [LINK]

The liability issues swirling around Taser International are getting thick.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Semantic games

"He did have a heart condition, demonstrated on autopsy. We listed cause of death as heart condition and tasering as a contributing factor to his death." [LINK]

Wow. Getting a bit obvious, aren't we?

"Taser Death of Border-Crosser Probed"

No mincing of words with Fox Phoenix.

"Taser Death of Border-Crosser Probed" [LINK]

Dishwashers versus Tasers

The news today mentioned that Maytag is recalling 1.7 million dishwashers because of a fault that has caused 12 fires, one serious fire.

Meanwhile, Taser International continues to market tasers, accompanied by claims of safety that "significantly" understate the risks, while hundreds have died after being tasered. No sign of a recall.

This leaves me shaking my head wondering how they get away with it.