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.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Leak: UK Police tasered Raoul Moat's dead body (?)

It's reportedly been leaked that Raoul Moat shot himself before the police fired their tasers. [LINK].

So, the police decided to taser Moat just after he blasted himself in the head with a shotgun?

Ah, Why?

Weird story.

Taser International (TASR) wins patent judgment on randomly-deadly waveform

PRESS RELEASE (Aug. 31, 2010) - TASER International Wins Judgment and Final Injunction in Patent Infringement Against Stinger Systems, Inc. - U.S. District Court Issues Final Injunction Against Stinger S-200

In other words, Taser International owns the exclusive rights to the sometimes-deadly, often-unreliable, taser waveform as used in the X26 taser.

This is the waveform that includes the DC pulse after the arc phase. A DC pulse that creates (is) more-dangerous low frequency and more-dangerous continuous 100% duty cycle.

It's worth noting that Stinger Systems reportedly used 75% less output than the X26 taser, and they reportedly made no false promises of safety.

If this randomly-deadly waveform represents the "Intellectual Property" of Taser International, then that's a reflection of the people that run the outfit.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Being Taser-Stupid costing Tybee, Georgia a fortune

A classic case of police officers replacing brain power with taser stupidity.
... The police officers apparently took Clifford Grevemberg's trouble communicating and emotional response to being handled - hallmarks of autism - as evidence of disorderly conduct, a charge for which the teenager was later cleared. ...
[via TNT]

The consequences just go on and on and on...

Political leaders should take a lesson from Tybee. Allowing tasers without imposing extremely strict restrictions on their use is dumb.

If police zap each other in the butt for fun, just imagine what goes on when they're dealing with the public...

Australia:
Two WA police officers have been stood down following claims one used her Taser stun gun to shock her boyfriend at a party. Police said the two officers from Carnarvon, on the WA's mid-north coast, are the subject of an internal investigation regarding the alleged misuse of Tasers. It is alleged that while on duty on July 23, the officer visited her boyfriend at a party, where he asked her to stun him and his friend with the police-issued Taser. ... The alleged incident comes one month after allegations four officers at Rockingham police station, in Perth's south, used Tasers on colleagues during initiation rituals.
[LINK]

Political leaders (assuming that they take their role in society seriously) need to round-up the idiot stun-gun salesmen. If the stun-gun salesmen (they typically control the taser "training") allow - even encourage - this type of attitude, are not brought under control, then there's no hope. Everyone's rights will be endangered by free use of electro-torture devices.

Damn lie: Tasers would "...only be used in strictly controlled situations."

The use of Tasers by police forces across the [UK] Midlands has hit record numbers with two potentially deadly incidents now taking place EVERY DAY. Cops have used the controversial stun guns twice as many times in the last 12 months as in the previous five years combined. ...
[LINK]

As I've pointed out many times before, tasers are used about one hundred times as often as guns ever would have been used. The police in the UK are historically unarmed, so I'm not sure what baseline could be used.

But it's obvious that these portable electro-torture devices are being used as a street level ASBO, without all that pesky due-process.

Trust me. It's all going to go pear shaped, and it'll all end in tears.

Fact: tasers can kill. Randomly. Without warning.

Police taser one too many ASBO-child and they'll end up with a death on their hands.

Watch for an outbreak of "excited delirium" in the UK.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Merseyside, UK - 23 lives saved by tasers (?)

In the first six months of 2010, the controversial 50,000 volt stun-gun was drawn by patrol officers on the streets of Merseyside 66 times during 63 incidents. ... Of the 66 times Tasers were drawn, they were actually fired 23 times, sending two pronged barbs into the unfortunate recipient...
[LINK]

Chief Insp Kevin Wellens goes on to claim that tasers save lives. Presummably he is implying that these 66, or 23, taser incidents might have otherwise ended with the police forced to use lethal force.

So, how many citizen of Merseyside are killed by the local police during a typical six month period?

23? Really? Seriously?

You don't suppose he's mindlessly spreading Taser International deceptive marketing propaganda, do you?

The UoM's "Excited Delirium Education, Research and Information Center"

I mourn the death of the scientific method.

At best, and being extremely generous, "Excited Delirium" is a hypothesis. It is a hypothesis that is widely UNACCEPTED. It is rightfully categorized as loonie pseudo-science probably incorrect because, as a purported cause of death, it is WAY too often associated with law enforcement and their use of tasers.

Nailing up a sign over the lab door, a sign that includes an implicit assumption that "excited delirium" is a correct and complete explanation for all the deaths is an abandonment of the scientific method.

The name of this "lab" is an admission that it's now a sort-of religion. Their motto should be "We Believe! And you won't change our minds."

Is it a branch office of The Church of Taser?

There have certainly been some very weird connections.

Excited Delirium Quote of the Month

...The “excited delirium” cause of death is controversial. Dr. Werner Spitz, the former medical examiner in Detroit, says it is simply “a term that is used for death during restraint.
[LINK]

Nevada Highway Patrol stun-gun associated death

A motorist has died after he was subdued by Nevada Highway Patrol trooper stun guns during a Las Vegas freeway road rage confrontation. Officials refused to discuss the exact time-line, and the man's name has not been released.

Another case of someone that was tasered-and-instantly-reacted-and-died?

Refusing to discuss the time-line is often a sign that the "time-line" was more of a point-in-time.

Cause-and-effect.

UPDATE: Eduardo Lopez-Hernandez, 21 [via TNT]

Speculation: Age 21? Probably tasered with a trans-cardiac vector and was dead within minutes. Pure speculation.

Taser use leads directly to man's death

50-year old Michael Ford, variously reported [LINK] as having a knife or perhaps not having a knife, was tasered, fell down, struck his head (and his pelvis, and his spleen [?]), and died of his injuries. Since gravity on this planet is a given, the only variables here are the taser use, the surface, and luck.

To be fair, at least Taser International does not deny this particular mode of taser death.

The village of Sleepy Hollow pays $200,000 for one taser incident

Hey! How's that "tasers save money" theory holding up? LOL

See [LINK].

The key seems to be a "Federal Civil Rights Lawsuit".

Tybee Island, GA still cleaning up after taser incident

SAVANNAH - Two former Tybee Island policemen Wednesday were indicted on charges of concealing the role of a non-certified jailer in the May 21 stunning of autistic teen Clifford Grevemberg. Chatham County grand jurors charged Travis Daniel, 25, and Timothy Sullivan, 36, with concealing the participation of Adam Thran in police reports involving the stunning. The offices also are charged with reporting to Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent John Barry that only they were present during the events leading to the stunning, the grand jury said. Sullivan was indicted alone on a charge by false writing on the police report by omitting Thran from the portion of the report and reporting Thran was called to the scene after EMS arrived and treated the victim.

Grevemberg, 18, was stunned May 21 by Tybee police while sitting on a curb outside the Rock House on the night of the annual Beach Bum Parade. He sustained a broken tooth. He was charged with disorderly conduct, but that charge was subsequently dismissed.

Grevemberg's suit against the City of Tybee remains pending in Chatham County State Court. In the wake of the incident, GBI officials were called in to investigate the matter. Daniel and Sullivan were suspended and resigned. Thran, a jailer, also resigned. Police Cpl. Javier Valdes resigned soon thereafter to pursue other opportunities. City Manager Diane Schleicher suspended Tybee Police Chief Jimmy Price. While Price remains suspended, Lt. Bob Bryson is acting chief.

[LINK]

It seems clear to me that tasers and their associated "training" (deceptive marketing) can lead directly to lawsuit-inducing abusive behavior that would likely not have otherwise occurred.

Stupidity is expensive.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Professional Bull-sh_tter

Taser International treats the truth with utter disrespect.
[Steve] Tuttle said although many of the findings of the [Braidwood Inquiry] are consistent with the company's warnings and training materials, it is important that the safety of its devices was recognized.
[LINK]

No Steve, that's not what the Braidwood Inquiry concluded.

The Braidwood Inquiry concluded that tasers are fully capable of causing death, even with healthy adults, and that their use should therefore be restricted to match that ugly reality. This is an ugly, death-dealing reality that has for too long been denied by Taser International.

The Braidwood Commission Phase 1 report, dated June 2009, was cover-to-cover full of criticism of the way tasers were being used (almost entirely traceable back to Taser International through the vertically-integrated marketing and "training" propaganda scheme).

Steve, you know all this.

Which makes your claim (as quoted above) a bald-faced ___.

[No wonder Steve's nose is so long and pointy...]

Taser Quote of the Week, "Lawsuit! Lawsuit! Lawsuit!"

When officers pull a Taser, they are to warn: “Taser! Taser! Taser!” Should not the Taser warning we hear be, “Lawsuit! Lawsuit! Lawsuit!”?
[via TNT]

Good column.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Setting standards for tasers in Canada - screwing up the details?

Montreal Gazette [via TNT] [LINK]
OTTAWA — A team of researchers led by a Carleton University professor has developed a new system for consistently testing the thousands of Tasers used by Canadian police. Andy Adler, a Canada Research Chair in biomedical engineering, working with five other academic and industry experts has established a method for agencies across the country to test Tasers and other "conducted-energy weapons" and determine whether the devices are operating within their manufacturers' specifications. ...

Adler said the testing procedure the authors are recommending goes beyond the guidelines proposed by manufacturer Taser International. "Taser has their guidelines, but they needed to be augmented," Adler said. "We made a much, much more specific protocol." ...

A maximum-charge limit is also being proposed based on electrical safety specifications. Currently, Taser calls for an average charge of 125 microcoulombs, a measurement derived by combining the intensity of a charge and the time it lasts. The new protocol calls for a maximum charge of 182 microcoulombs. ...

Thunk, thunk, thunk [the sound of my head repeatedly banging the table]

I can only hope that this is simply incomplete reporting, and not engineering insanity.

Let me explain...

The 125 microcoulombs reportedly quoted by Taser International is the electrical charge emitted by (for example) the X26 taser...


Let me first point this out - way back in March 2009, I explicitly pointed out [see my post Masters of Understatement] that their written specification at the time of "100uC" (100 microcoulombs) seemed to be a bit low.
"This simple analysis indicates that 100uC might be just a bit of an understatement."
It really appears (and this is the first I recall of seeing "125 microcoulombs") that they either read my post (oh yes they do!), or perhaps they finally figured it out for themselves, that "100uC" was a bit of an understatement. So they changed the spec to match the uncontrolled, randomly-chosen, accidentally-higher-than-stated, actual output?

What did I fricken' tell you?

How is your confidence level in the skills of the Taser International engineering staff holding up? Does it actually require a unknown blogger [me] with a straightedge and a crayon [LINK] to correct their work?

Geesus H...



Back to the main point...  The 125uC charge in the pulse repeats with each pulse. And the X26 pulses repeat at either 17 or 19 pulses per second (various spec sheets quote these two values). Multiply 125uC by 17 pulses per second and you get the deceptive "2.1mA average" so often mentioned by Taser International.

Specifying the maximum charge per pulse is not a complete safety specification. Not when the number of pulses isn't mentioned (I'm only reading the news). If the pulses repeated at 10,000 pulses per second, then the subject would probably start smoldering. You have to pay attention to the time axis. Not just per pulse.

Especially that it's perfectly obvious that Taser International will feel free to adjust the specs ("100uC") to match the product as built ("125uC") without so much as blink. Or change the pulse rate from 19 to 17 pulse per second, or perhaps 28 next time. Or completely change their "magic" (sic) waveform from the M26, to the X26, to the XREP, to the X3 - all without any oversight whatsoever.


As I wrote above, I can only hope and pray that this obvious omission is simply incomplete reporting and not an engineering oversight.


ALSO: Given that even 125 uC repeated at 17 or 19 pulses per second is already established as potentially lethal by (among other) the Braidwood Inquiry and the evidence from the real world, what the heck has gone wrong that the ultimate limit has been set almost 50% higher still?

With the bell curves already overlapping and deaths resulting, allowing another 50% is not a good idea. Due to the shape of the bell curves, things get worse more quickly than you might expect.

Thunk, thunk, thunk [the sound of my head repeatedly banging the table]

Taser output PROVEN to be unreliable and potentially dangerous

CBC News [LINK]
Researchers led by a Carleton University professor have found the charges delivered by some Tasers and other conducted-electricity weapons can vary from the manufacturer's specifications, delivering either too much or not enough of a jolt.

Andy Adler, the Canada Research Chair in biomedical engineering at Carleton in Ottawa, said three to 10 per cent of the 6,000 Tasers and other stun guns tested were found to be delivering charges that were outside specified thresholds, or tolerances.

Weapons that deliver a more powerful shock than they are rated for could put the target at greater risk, said Adler. And weapons that deliver too little charge can also pose dangers too, he said. "The weapon that is below tolerance would have less effect on the subject," said Adler. "That would worry a police officer because they are looking for a particular effect. They are relying on their equipment to do something and if the equipment doesn't do it, it puts everyone involved in a dangerous scenario."

Unreliable, untrustworthy, poor quality, dangerous CRAP.

And keep in mind that the specifications and tolerances were created (for the tasers) by Taser International. They made them up and they STILL can't consistently meet them.

And those values, chosen by Taser International, are not as safe as they have repeatedly claimed. Even the Maryland Attorney General concluded that Taser International has "significantly understated" the risks of taser use.

And don't get me started about their (obviously intentional) DECEPTION in their use of the phrase "2mA average" and implying that it is relevant. Google "How many amps in a police taser?" for the complete explanation about how they have been deceptive with the output current specifications.

Warren, Michigan settles taser abuse case for a reported $300,000

It might be less expensive to be, ah, less stupid.
...The dashcam video, captured Sept. 2 [2007] outside an East Market Street bar shows Patrolman Richard Kovach using a taser multiple times on Heidi Gill, twice while she was in handcuffs. The last jolt caused her to fall to the pavement where she was knocked unconscious. Before that, Gill is seen on the tape trying to kick out the rear window of the cruiser [a.k.a. 'drunk'?]. ... Kovach was given a 60-day unpaid suspension for his actions involving Gill and the arrest.
[LINK]

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Taser "associated" death toll hits 500

Martin Harrison, age 50. In custody. Reportedly fighting with guard. Tasered twice, collapsed, and died later. Details about the exact timing of the sequence of events is not being released. But if there had been a large delay between the final taser hit and his medical reaction, I'm sure that it would have been mentioned. No mention of a gap in the timing probably means that he reacted to the 2nd taser hit by collapsing. [via TNT] [LINK]

It's worth noting that The List (no matter who maintains it) can never be perfectly complete nor perfectly accurate. So this #500 is a tragic milestone, but the exact number of those who have "died" after being tasered may vary.

What is now perfectly clear is that use of tasers carries with it a risk of death.

The existence of this risk has been repeatedly denied by Taser International. They were wrong.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Globe and Mail - On tasers, the evidence is in

Every provincial solicitor-general, police board and police chief in the country should know what Taser International did not want them to know: that the taser has fatal risks.
[LINK]

Does anyone care to take the next logical step in this process...?
  1. Did Taser International know about the once-denied, now-accepted risk of death?
  2. Did Taser International continue to deny the risk of death even after they knew about it?
  3. Did the "experts" at Taser International actually believe that the "2mA average" is a relevant measurement technique? Seriously?
  4. Did the management at Taser International ever pay any attention to the death rate per deployment of the older M26 taser as compares to the 2003-era X26? How many paper shredders have they purchased over the past few years?
  5. Did the management of Taser International engage in deceptive marketing practices that left a false impression with key decision makers within the law enforcement hierarchy?

Hey, I'm just asking questions...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Taser International settles with Steven Butler for $2.85 million

But this amount is under a confidentiality agreement, so don't tell anyone.

Mercury News [LINK]

SANTA CRUZ -- A Watsonville man permanently injured after he was shocked with a Taser nearly four years ago won a $2.85 million settlement against the stun-gun maker this summer, the first time Taser International has settled a product liability case, according to court documents. However, the company did not admit to any liability for the anoxic brain injury Steven Butler, 49, suffered after being shocked. Over objections by the company's attorneys, Judge Jeff Almquist declined Thursday to seal the court documents that divulge the dollar value of the agreement. Almquist said there's "therapeutic value" in leaving the court's business open to the public, even though those involved in the case signed a confidentiality agreement that forbids them from discussing the settlement. "The agreement seems to be the best that can be accomplished," Almquist said. Butler was drunk and off his psychiatric medication in October 2006 when he refused to get off a bus and a Watsonville police officer used a Taser X-26 electronic control device to subdue him. After being stunned, Butler went into cardiac arrest and stopped breathing. It took medical personnel 18 minutes to resuscitate him and, as a result, Butler suffered a debilitating brain injury. Butler has brain damage and no short-term memory; he also lost mobility and his motor skills decreased. He needs around-the-clock care and can't be left alone, according to court documents. His condition is stationary, meaning there's little chance Butler will recover, Almquist said in court.
Since the injury, Butler's brother, David, has been caring for him. Part of the settlement award will be put into a special-needs trust to provide the family with more than $4,700 a month to cover medical and other costs. The payment begins in September and is guaranteed for at least 20 years. "This resolution will allow the Butler family to comfortably care for Steve for the rest of his life," attorney Dana Scruggs, who represented the Butlers, wrote in court papers. Other money from the award will pay old medical bills and possibly purchase a home for Butler. A significant portion of the settlement will go to the family's attorneys, who spent more than 600 hours and $250,000 preparing the case for trial. During Thursday's hearing, Steven and David Butler sat together in the back of the courtroom. Outside of court, the brothers, thin men with matching mustaches, declined to talk about the resolution. Another of the family's attorneys, Nathan Benjamin, said "they're very happy to have this resolved." In a declaration filed by the court, Scruggs outlined the challenges in taking on the stun-gun company. Taser International claimed Butler had several pre-existing cardiac and health conditions that contributed to his injury. However, Scruggs said most of the scientific and medical research about the adverse effects of electric shock from a stun gun is directly or indirectly financed by the company. At the time of Butler's injury, the company had never lost a lawsuit. Attorney John Burton, who won a lawsuit against the city of Salinas and Taser International on behalf of the family of Robert C. Heston Jr., helped with case. Heston died after being stunned multiple times by a police officer armed with a Taser in February 2005. The Heston case, in 2008, marked the first time a stun-gun victim had won a product liability trial against Taser International. The legal team assembled for the Butler case compiled investigation, discovery, pleadings and research that filled 11 banker's boxes. They were prepared to go to trial in the spring, but the case was postponed and then settled.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Taser International going into quiet mode?

The Truth ... Not Tasers blog reports [LINK] that Taser International has deleted their own in-house blog.

This fits with my general observation that Taser International has become a bit like a turtle with his head pulled in.

They used to actually have a cocky attitude.

Now they're just pretending.

And even that's just once in a while.

Joining the dots...

Sewell also notes there is nothing in Braidwood's report "which a fair-minded person would construe as an attack or criticism of the petitioner's reputation."
[via TNT]

Judge Sewell doesn't understand about "2mA average".

Braidwood's report plus an understanding of the back-story in "How many amps in a police taser?" makes for some very interesting implications.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taser International loses its most important case

For the record - it's a loss. A legal loss for Taser International.

The Braidwood Inquiry, the people of Canada, truth and justice - all winners.

Taser International - losers.

CBC News [LINK]

Fact - Use of tasers carries a risk of death.

BC Supreme Court rejects Taser International's appeal of the Braidwood Inquiry

Taser International's appeal of Braidwood rejected by BC Supreme Court. [via TNT]

What next? Canadian Supreme Court? LOL.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Alberta's six taser associated deaths

Alberta has had six taser associated deaths.

Ronald Perry, 28 – Edmonton, AB - March 23, 2004 - X26 - "Official" cause of death: Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy due to cardiorespiratory arrest due to excited delirium with Marijuana as a contributory factor
 
Alesandro Fiacco, 33 – Edmonton, AB - December 24, 2005 - tasered 3 times - "Official" cause of death: "acute cocaine toxicity," and "a complete lack of evidence" the Taser contributed to his death (Medical Examiner Dr. Graham Dowling)
 
Jason Doan, 28 – Red Deer, AB - August 30, 2006 - RCMP - tasered 3 times in 38 seconds - "Official" cause of death: undeterminable
 
Trevor Grimolfson, 38 - Edmonton, AB - October 29, 2008, X26 - tasered 3 times - "Official" cause of death: excited delirium brought on by drugs
 
Gordon Walker Bowe, 30, Calgary, AB - November 2, 2008 - tasered 1 time - "Official" cause of death: excited delirium due to cocaine
 
Grant William Prentice, 40 - Brooks, AB - May 6, 2009 - RCMP - tasered 2 times - "Official" cause of death: acute cocaine toxicity and "the medical examiner also concluded the taser did not play a role in the death"

When Amnesty Intetnational made an extreme effort to track down 150 autopsy reports of persons that had died after being tasered, they reportedly found that the taser was mentioned as a cause or contributing factor in 50 of those deaths.

This result is typically reported as "50", but since I see no reason why it could not be extrapolated to all 498+ taser associated deaths, I believe it should be summarized as about "one third".

Of the six taser associated deaths in Alberta, reportedly not one (0%) mention the taser as a cause or contributing factor. Not one.

Strange.

Six isn't quite a big enough number to draw any firm conclusions.

But it is an indicator.

It's a little red light on the dashboard of common sense, saying "Check Assumptions".

Once upon a time...

Once upon a time, in a lovely province on the left coast of Canada, tasers were considered to be safe. In this land of myth, if someone was tasered_and_died, then the death must have been caused by "excited delirium", or perhaps an unfortunate micrometeorite strike to the skull. Attributing a death to the immediately-previous taser shock was unthinkable because, after all, Taser International said that tasers are safe. And those guys simply had to be competent and honest, right?

Then a man named Robert Dziekanski was tasered_and_died, and the tragic event just happened to be captured on video. It was obvious to everyone that the most significant thing that happened to Mr. Dziekanski in the final minute of his life was that he was tasered for 31 seconds.

A pair of massive public inquiries were called - Braidwood Inquiry phases 1 & 2. Millions of dollars were spent. Taser International sent their best and brightest. Justice Braidwood concluded that tasers are perfectly capable of causing death.

Note, tasers were perfectly safe.

But now they're not.

'The System' had it wrong.

Coroners were operating under false propaganda. Given the false assumption of the day, that tasers could not possibly cause or contribute to death, they were forced to reach for the meaningless ("unhelpful") phrase of "excited delirium" as a placeholder for ignorance.

Obviously, and this follows directly, all those existing autopsy reports for taser associated deaths where the taser was given a free pass based on the false assumption of its inherent safety, all those reports are suspect.

If it weren't for the video, Robert Dziekanski would have died from "excited delirium" too.

Open your minds, and reopen some of those cases.

(Obviously this doesn't just apply in BC.)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Alledged threats of child sodomy are "nothing out of the ordinary"

(Note: This report refers to "stun gun", not TASER-brand taser.)
AP -
Jefferson County deputy David Bowers allegedly pushed one boy toward his bed and repeatedly shocked him with a stun gun. Bowers then held down a second boy, stunned him several times and threatened to sodomize him, ultimately causing the child to soil himself, the lawsuit claimed. A third child complied with the deputies' demands that he sit on a couch, but Lawler handcuffed him before Bowers zapped him repeatedly, the lawsuit said. The fourth child, a girl, pleaded with the deputies to stop but Lawler handcuffed her. Bowers lifted her off the ground, pressed her against a wall and choked her, the lawsuit alleged. "Do you want to live or die (expletive)?" the lawsuit claimed Bowers asked the girl before she was thrown into a closet, vomiting.
Sheriff Roger Mulch — has defended their actions, insisting the law enforcers followed protocol and did "nothing out of the ordinary."
I believe him...

The case was settled for $750,000.

How to prevent most taser "associated" deaths

Here is the sequence of a typical taser "associated" death:

Someone is acting irrationally. Police are called. The police race to the scene. The subject is tasered, immediately becomes unresponsive, and dies. The interval between being tasered and the onset of death is often extremely short. Example: [LINK].

The next part of the typical sequence is that the coroner, having been brainwashed by deceptive propaganda, concludes that the use of the taser was not a cause of death. They conclude that the death was from other causes.

So, following this logic, all the police need to do to totally prevent a taser "associated" death (not prevent the death, but prevent it being associated with their taser) is just drive a bit slower while enroute to the scene. If they were to arrive even one minute later, then the subject would crumple to the ground while the officer was still reaching for his taser.

The police would be able to honestly report that they were considering use of the taser, but the subject died all by himself during that extra minute.

The above suggestion follows logically from the denial of causality in so many taser "associated" deaths.

A tale of two cases of "excited delirium"

Keep your eye on the taser, and the time axis.

Excited delirium: Consideration of selected medical and psychiatric issues, by Edith Samuel, Robert B Williams, and Richard B Ferrell. [LINK]

A case of untreated excited delirium and sudden death
...The police used pepper spray and Taser in attempting to restrain him. It took four officers to subdue him and almost immediately after being restrained he stopped breathing. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was initiated and a call was made for emergency medical assistance. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. ...[coroner found] eight Taser wounds.

A case of treated excited delirium
...By the 18th day of hospitalization it was determined that electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) should be initiated and five treatments were administered during thee days.

Case 1: Tasered*_and_died (*& pepper sprayed and restrained)
Case 2: Leisurely treatment over several weeks, electroshock therapy applied by experts in a non-lethal manner

It's really asking a great deal to propose that "excited delirium" ("untreated") is acutely lethal within a minute or so of being repeatedly tasered.

And naive and gullible to accept that the taser could not possibly be a causal factor just because the manufacturer says so. Especially when you scratch the surface of their claims and find endless discrepancies and evidence that they've been playing the system.

Reminder: Alberta SG Fred Lindsay on tasers

Keep in mind, this guy made decisions.

Fred Lindsay, Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security for Alberta (from 14 December 2006 until 13 January 2010) said, "I want to go on record as saying that of all the thousands of times that a Taser has been used in this province, it has saved thousands of lives."
[LINK]

Ah, yeah. If it weren't for tasers, police in Alberta would have been forced to use lethal force on THOUSANDS of Albertans. A murderous rampage not seen since Pol Pot. That's exactly what he is quoted as having said.

See previous posts [LINK] and [LINK].

The real question is why wasn't this insane claim mocked more widely? Why haven't I found any evidence that it's ever been withdrawn, corrected or clarified? I mean, what's up with that!?!?

Unreliable and unpredictable tasers

Taser International clearly states that tasers do not depend on pain compliance, but work directly by incapacitation. What they sometimes fail to highlight is that tasers are relatively unreliable and the effects are unpredictable. The effects range from "no effect" all the way up to risk of death.

Taser proves useless against drug-affected man [LINK]

"...pepper spray, batons and a Taser stun gun failed to have any effect."

Taser International makes the explicit claim that the taser would be effective in such circumstances. Of course they make a lot of claims...

PS: The police in this incident appear to have hone above and beyond.

"More police arrived and unsuccessfully attempted to negotiate with the man before eight officers were finally able to restrain him. Four police were injured during the incident. The 24-year-old man suffered a cut finger. He was taken to Westmead Hospital under guard."

Nice work under difficult circumstances.

Anchorage, Alaska PD distances itself from bear tasering stupidity

Anchorage Police Department
...Local news outlets recently reported on the use of a civilian TASER by off-duty Anchorage Police Lieutenant Dave Parker for the purpose of discouraging a food-conditioned bear. Had this event been a life-threatening or property-threatening encounter, any kind of force would have been authorized [even a flamethrower]. But the circumstances were not so, and thus the use of the TASER in this case entailed unnecessary risk. Media attention, coupled with Parker's well-known connection to the police department, may have given the public the misperception that TASER use of this kind is acceptable or even recommended. The APD regrets the role one of its employees may have had in sending an incorrect message on this topic, and welcomes this opportunity to join the ADF&G in setting the matter straight. ...
[LINK]

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Who will be the 500th Taser "associated" death?

See The List [LINK] on the Truth ... Not Tasers blog.

The count is presently 497. With the taser associated death rate recently running at about six per month, the listed death toll will hit 500 soon, probably within the next week or two.

A typical taser associated death victim is unarmed, is typically not in a situation where lethal force could be justified, will immediately react (medically) to the taser hit, may complain about "difficulty breathing", will become unresponsive followed by death.

If drugs are involved, then the dose will typically be 'normal' (not a fatal overdose).

The final characteristic is that the coroner will ignore the time axis and will attribute the death to anything except the massive electric shock that was applied in the final minute of the victim's life.

New Zealand police reading Taser Manual upside-down

Police are trained to manually insert Taser probes if firing them into a target fails, national headquarters says. ... Taser implementation team member Senior Sergeant Paddy Hannon said a "stun drive" or "contact stun" involved an officer taking one of the unconnected probes and pressing it on to the skin of the target.
[LINK]

Really? Just pick up a dart from the floor, then wander over to the subject, and poke the taser dart into him. That's an interesting approach...

Gee, I wonder if perhaps there's been a miscommunication somewhere along the way?