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, November 30, 2010

Woman Attacked With Her Own Stun Gun

I... Can... See... The... Future...

Hoquiam, WA - A Silverdale man allegedly assaulted a Hoquiam woman with her own stun gun yesterday, Hoquiam Police report the 28 year old man grabbed the woman's stun gun after being told to leave her apartment, the 23 year old woman said that the man repeatedly stunned her until officers arrived just before 11 Monday morning. ... [LINK]

Stun guns as self-protection?

See [LINK] and [LINK] and many more...

"You can't handle the truth..."

Video protecting the truth? Of course that's true. What's not true is that the unexpectedly available video will validate the police version of events as being the complete truth.

West Australian Premier Colin Barnett has apologised to a family who were charged with obstruction before CCTV footage undermined the police case against them. The Walker family plan to lay a formal complaint against WA Police after son Ryan, 24, was tasered by officers outside Tiger Lil's nightclub in central Perth on January 16.

His parents, Ken and Raelene Walker, and friend Luke Hazell, 23, were charged with obstruction after questioning officers about their handling of a melee outside the club. Police have launched an internal investigation after all obstruction charges were dropped, along with a charge of assaulting police laid against Ryan Walker. CCTV footage shown in the Perth Magistrates Court on Monday showed no evidence he had punched a plain-clothes officer, as police had alleged.

Mrs Walker suffered a broken ankle as she was removed from the scene by officers, and she is planning civil action. Ken Walker told ABC Radio on Tuesday that his wife had been severely distressed and cried after seeing police taser their son, and the family was seeking an apology from police. "The officers involved, they didn't handle the situation very well at all," he said. ... [LINK]

I've highlighted the plurals because that reveals a very disturbing truth. It's not just one or two rouge police officers. There's a systematic and disgusting uniformity in that not one, NOT ONE, of the involved police officers bothered to come forward with the true story. Not one.

Sounds very familiar...

A large bucket of warm tar and a very wide brush, please and thank you.

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If anyone has any example news stories about how any police officer spoke-up about the actions of his 'brothers', then I'd love to hear about it.

Until then, I'll assume that there are a modest fraction that are bad apples, and a vast majority that would cover-up for them.

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This has a direct effect on the requirement for clear and tightly restricted Taser Use Policy. The old argument of "Just Trust Us" is rendered invalid by these sorts of examples that demonstrate wide-spread police corruption in their participation in the laying of false charges.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ineffective taser (3 times) - deputy killed with own gun

GREELEY, Colo. -- Hundreds of men and women, many in uniform, gathered in Greeley Monday to remember a Weld County deputy killed in the line of duty last week. A memorial service for Sam Brownlee was being held on the University of Northern Colorado campus in Greeley. At the end of a high-speed chase Tuesday, the 43-year-old Brownlee was grappling with an accused car thief who fought through three attempts to subdue him with a Taser stun gun, investigators said. Somehow 20-year-old Ruben Reyes was able to grab Brownlee's gun and shoot him three times before another officer shot and killed Reyes... [LINK]

Taser was ineffective once.
Taser was ineffective twice.
Taser was ineffective thrice.
Perp grabs deputy's gun and kills him with it.
Perp is then killed by another deputy (with a gun).

It seems to me that the ineffective taser (and the over-selling deception that accompany it) lead to an escalation that resulted in two deaths.

The stun gun salesmen told us that tasers are "...safe and effective...". They have much to answer for; especially concerning their deception about the rate of ineffective deployments. See this post [LINK]. As usual their bald-faced deception endangers lives. And now an officer (and a perp) are dead.

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My condolences to the family and friends of Deputy Brownlee.

This shouldn't have happened.

This needn't have happened.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ineffective taser, deputy killed - consider the implications...

Taser didn't stop man who killed deputy

Police used a Taser three times on a suspected Fort Morgan gang member Tuesday before he shot and killed Weld County Sheriff's Deputy Sam Brownlee, but it did not have the desired effect. ... [LINK]

Taser flummoxed by "bulky clothing".

You could hear a pin drop in Scottsdale right about now.

Why even mention "excited delirium" ?

The inquest heard testimony this week from Alberta’s chief medical examiner that Grimolfson, 38, died of excited delirium caused by high levels of the drugs ecstasy and ketamine, an animal tranquillizer. The levels of each drug in Grimolfson’s body were each high enough to have been fatal, Dr. Graeme Dowling said. ... [LINK]
 Then why-oh-why would you even mention the stupid, meaningless, unhelpful phrase "excited delirium"?

Why not just state that the cause of death is 'Drug Overdose' if that's what is indicated by the 1) drug levels AND 2) the timing AND 3) You wish to ignore the effects of the taser.

Why on earth would he even mention "excited delirium"?

Why? Why? Why?

--

Hey look! A unicorn.
Where?
There. Didn't you see it?
Nope.
Oh my Gawd, there's another one!
Where?
Right there!
There's no such thing as unicorns!
Sure there is, we just saw two of them! Oh, make that three!

--

Alberta's strange "excited delirium" and taser no-fault trend [LINK].

Dr. Dowling's DEMONSTRABLY INCORRECT claim about "15 seconds" [LINK]. This one is very strange. Why would he make this claim? Who told him this falsehood? And why was he even speaking with them?

Dr. Dowling's possible logical error [LINK].

Alberta's former SG crazy claim: [LINK]
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."

There's definitely a trend on display here.

I can't explain it.

But I can see it.

Taser Quote of the Month, "...it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do..."

"I could hear it (working), absolutely, but it wasn’t doing what it was supposed to do... He should have been on the ground. He should have been incapacitated, but he wasn’t," Scott said. [LINK]
Unreliable junk surrounded by false promises.

Waxahachie officers suspended after stun guns used on prisoner

Two Waxahachie police officers have been suspended indefinitely after being accused of inappropriately using their stun guns on a prisoner, Earl Ray Gay, to remove a bag of crack cocaine from his mouth. Officer George Pappas and Lt. Damon James were videotaped by fellow officers during the incident, leading to an internal investigation of the July 16 incident that concluded last week. "They do not work for the Police Department anymore," Police Chief Charles Edge said today. "They're indefinitely suspended." ... [LINK]

A glimmer of sunshine - officers being held to account for using electro-torture "inappropriately".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Mr. Grimolfson was tasered_and_died.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apparently not.

Question: Can the police, in general, be trusted [with tasers]?

Answer:
OTTAWA - Stacy Bonds, a young black makeup artist with no criminal history was arrested by Ottawa police, apparently for asking why police had stopped her for questioning. A video of her treatment in police custody is now available on the Citizen’s website, OttawaCitizen.com.

The facts of Bonds’s treatment bear repeating. She was walking on Rideau Street in downtown Ottawa. She was neither drunk nor behaving inappropriately. The police stopped her and asked her name; she provided it. After checking her name and finding nothing, the police told her she could go on her way. Bonds, as is her perfect right, asked why she had been stopped in the first place.

In response, the police arrested her for public intoxication and handcuffed her. As Ontario Court Judge Richard Lajoie later held, Bonds was not drunk. Once Bonds was taken to Ottawa Police headquarters, the judge noted that she was anything but "violent or aggressive." As can be clearly seen in the video, Bonds is much smaller than the police who confronted her.

In spite of the lack of violence or aggression, Bonds was assaulted by police. Judge Lajoie found she was the victim of "two extremely violent knee hits in the back ... and has her hair pulled back and her face shoved forward." ... [LINK]

Note the classic "cover charge" (later tossed by the judge, by the way).

Note that the actions of these out-of-control and violent police were not unique, but are obviously  institutionalized (read that again, it's very important) None of the other officers present intervened, not one. This is self-evidently SOP (Standard Operating Procedure), and the police officers involved saw nothing wrong with their actions and/or they comfortably assumed that they can get away with it (choose your poison).

These officers may be fired or charged. But someone has to point out the obvious conclusion that this event is most likely the tip of a very large iceberg.

It is crystal clear that the police, as a community (in general), have regressed to a point of organizational immaturity such that they simply cannot be trusted.

Certainly not with tasers (instruments of torture). Might as well give toddlers a cigarette lighter. Same thing exactly.

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This story has nothing to do with tasers.

This story has everything to do with tasers.

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UPDATE: Actually there is a more-direct connection... See [TNT].

Monday, November 22, 2010

Trevor Grimolfson Inquiry

CBC News - Mother represents son at Taser inquiry [LINK]

Sometimes it seems like the debate has multiple battle-fronts. There will be one bunch still holding onto, or even propagating, the myth (lie) that tasers are safe; and another bunch that accept that use of tasers carries risks (including death) but they state that the police in a given incident were justified in using potentially lethal force.

The first bunch are either being deceptive, or are simply ill-informed. The fact is that use of tasers DOES carry risks, including the risk of death. One of the conclusions of the Braidwood Inquiry was that tasers can cause or contribute to death, even with healthy adults. Even Taser International has incrementally updated their legal warnings to now (1 May 2010) allow that death-by-taser is a risk with each deployment.

The second bunch are starting from a more-reasonable position, and it's worth taking their argument forward to maturity...

Given that tasers can occasionally (almost randomly) kill even healthy adults, then how much more risky are they for use on those already in a crisis? Do the police involved accept that there are risks? Or are they still in a state of denial?

I've stated my position many times before and I'll repeat it again here:

I don't care if the police are equipped with fricken flame-throwers, but when they start blaming 'Spontaneous Human Combustion' for the crispy-fried victims, then the salesmen should be arrested. 'Excited delirium' is to tasers what 'Spontaneous Human Combustion' would be to flame-throwers.

Braidwood pointed out that as an explanation for death, 'excited delirium' was "unhelpful". It's actually worse than unhelpful. One only has to examine the connections from those that make a career out of 'excited delirium', the links from them to Taser International (incompetently whitewashed through IPICD), and how Taser International has been actively promoting an essentially evidence-free conclusion to supplant death-by-taser (also essentially evidence-free). It's all way too convenient for those that might wish to conduct a deceptive marketing campaign based on false claims of safety.

--

Many of the commenters on the above CBC News website are not showing much sympathy for the family of Trevor Grimolfson. Many are quoting the "drug-fueled rage" report, and using that to justify the decision to use the potentially-lethal taser.

It has the potential to be a rational argument, but the entire law enforcement community first needs to get fully on-side with Braidwood. They all need to acknowledge that tasers are potentially lethal (with each deployment), especially with those that may already be in crisis.

It is not acceptable to first claim that "tasers are safe", and then (in cases where the subject does not survive) use the fall-back position that the death was justifiable.

It's not rational to permit the debate to be conducted on two fronts: "Tasers-R-safe, and he deserved it anyway."

Once everyone is fully on-side that tasers can occasionally (almost randomly) kill even healthy adults, and that the risks can only be higher with those in crisis, then they can tighten their Taser Use Policies.

I'd be happy if we could move the debate that far along.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Abbeville, policeman being sued over Taser

Like I was just saying...
The City of Abbeville and Abbeville Police Officer Spencer Roy are being sued by Buffus Bolden who was allegedly tasered by a police officer. [LINK]


This incident even includes the de rigueur 'cover charge'.

The gray area [LINK] is the most expensive real estate in the jurisdiction. LOL.

Tasers fall into the tricky grey area = problems

It really sometimes seems that tasers (inherently) make some police officers act stupidly. But it's not fair to simplify this observation. There's something deeper going on...

One possible explanation is that taser occupy a grey (gray) area. Tasers are colorful and look like cheaply-made toys. It's obvious that tasers can cause extreme pain, but the police are misled that a taser cannot possibly cause a death, ever. They're often called "non-lethal" (a lie). It's all a muddle and can be very confusing.

It's not even perfectly clear what is the actual purpose of a taser. If you actually think about it, the purported justifications fall like dominoes.

Operating within a grey area requires reasonably high intelligence, subtle education, well-developed ethics, and some luck. Frankly, many police do not always have all of these characteristics. Therefore it's inevitable that mistakes are made, people get tasered for no good reason. And some of them even die as a result.

It would be better all around if things were made very simple. Simple black-and-white and avoid the grey area.

Man stunned by deputies in his bedroom gets $380,000

Here's the lesson: anyone can be tasered, even you!

Skip Torrance is a commercial banker with no criminal record. He has committed no crime. He was not drunk. He's not on drugs. He left a restaurant one night, stubbed his toe, muttered a curse, and then went home to bed. Later, he is rudely awoken by Deputies Jose Pelayo and Jason Mann, who reportedly fail to properly identify themselves, at his bedside in the dark. Next thing - he's tasered. ...

Deputies arrested Torrance anyway... Orange County prosecutors later declined to criminally charge Torrance with resisting a peace officer, citing ...idiot deputies I have to deal with... insufficient evidence.

Torrance sues, and is awarded $380,000. The county of Orange paid $300,000, while the city of Laguna Beach paid $80,000.[LINK]

The sheriff's department, in a statement, said it "...has conducted an extensive review of policy, procedure and training in all areas of Sheriff's operations including Fourth Amendment search and seizure requirements and the use of the electronic control device," since the September 2008 incident. "The department has also implemented systems of review and accountability, which include the timely review of critical incidents, the identification of related issues or concerns, and the implementation of immediate corrective action where necessary."
That's their way of saying, 'sorry'.

$380,000 seems low. But on the other hand, it's enough to move into a nicer house. Or retire early. So perhaps not too bad.

--

I seriously doubt that the police would have fired their gun in these circumstances.

I also seriously doubt that the police would have beaten Mr. Torrance with a club in these circumstances.


Somehow, it's just the taser that comes with inadequate guidance relative to the abusive electro-torture and the risk of death or other risks.

Was Julian Fantino involved with illegal wiretaps???

Former shopping mall security guard, turned OPP Commish, turned Conservative Party candidate (and uncritical taser fanboy [LINK])  Julian 'Off-The-Rails' Fantino has had his name mentioned [ROLLS-EYES] in a CBC report (*) about illegal wiretaps.

CBC News: Toronto police illegally bugged ex-chair: tapes [LINK]

...Then police chief Bill McCormack and Julian Fantino - Superintendent of Detectives at the time and later police chief and OPP commissioner - have repeatedly refused to say whether they requested or were aware of the surveillance. ...The officer who made the tapes, Det. Garry Carter, claimed he was acting on orders. ...
File the following under You Couldn't Make This Sh_t Up:
Carter left the force in 1995, but later pleaded guilty to stealing $47,000 in connection with the missing money from the police investigative fund. He was sentenced in 2002 to a year of house arrest.

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* Note to CBC: It's much more entertaining to FIRST allow Them to be elected in peace and quiet, and THEN publish all the old dirt. That way we can all enjoy hypothetical future headlines such as "Federal Justice Minister arrested".

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Australia - Spratt-gate reveals that "truth" is a function of time

What is the truth about the Kevin Spratt Affair?
Andrew O'Connor, ABC News Australia

The truth can be elusive, morphing into different forms over time. In the weeks since the Corruption and Crime Commission released the video of Aboriginal man Kevin Spratt being tasered 13 times in the Perth Watch House, we've been offered three versions of the truth. ... [LINK]
[via TNT]

A recommended read.

WA Police Union worried about something or other

Police Union questions CCC taser investigation [LINK]

The Police Union has questioned the need for a new investigation into the recent taser incident at the East Perth Watch House. Yesterday, the Corruption and Crime Commission announced it would take over the investigation into the use of tasers on Kevin Spratt, sidelining the WA police. The Commission has also told WA police to stop any active investigations of their own. Mr Spratt was tasered on five separate occasions in 2008 and at the watch house, he was tasered a total of 13 times in the one incident.

That amount of taser abuse CLEARLY meets the internationally accepted definition of 'Torture'.

...the union's Russell Armstrong says the cover-up whitewash investigation was of the highest standard. ...

Let's stop and think. What on Earth could he actually be worried about? If the previous investigations were actually done to a high standard, then the next layer of oversight will arrive at the same conclusion, and it'll be another vote of confidence in The System. They should look forward to the opportunity.

The CCC will also review the police internal investigation.

Oh, I see. Well, in that case, they're all screwed.

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See also Australia: Corruption and Crime Commission Takes Over Spratt Probe [via TNT].

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

More on "Sleeper holds" - and parallels to the taser-safety scam

Read this:

Prosecutors aim to wrap up case in '04 jail death [LINK]

...Eighteen witnesses, including 12 employees of the sheriff's office, testified over eight days as federal prosecutors presented their case against Sheriff James Telb, Internal Affairs [OMG!] Capt. Robert McBroom, and retired employees Sgt. John Gray and Deputy Jay Schmeltz. The four are named in a 12-count indictment on criminal charges related to the 2004 death of inmate Carlton Benton and allegations of a subsequent cover-up. ...

What originally [Previous Post] caught my attention was...

...When questioning the three forensic pathologists, defense attorney Richard Walinski spoke about "excited delirium" and asked whether Mr. Benton displayed symptoms of the disorder. ...

--

Excited delirium.

The new millennium version of, "He, uh, he fell down the stairs."

"Yeah, four times!"

"Shhhhh!"

--

It's nice to see that 'Internal Affairs' has been invited to participate in the proceedings.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Australia: Taser-torture victim Kevin Spratt was 'cover charged'

It has been revealed that on the night Mr Spratt was tasered 13 times by police at the East Perth Watch House, he was also charged with obstructing officers. The police statement says Mr Spratt became violent and aggressive to police trying to restrain him, by kicking and flailing his arms. This account is contradicted by video of the incident in which Mr Spratt appears subdued before being tasered. [LINK]

A classic taser-incident "cover charge".

And notice how many police officers were involved in what can only be described as a cover-up.

Although most police officers are "good people" (etc. etc.), it seems crystal clear that rate of membership in the 'Blue Brotherhood of Silence' is approaching 100%. Incidents such as this one, and the taser-death of Robert Dziekanski, reveal the problem. This disturbing truth should be more widely acknowledged. And measures must be put in place to discourage it.

The next layer of disturbing truth is to consider that these videos must have been reviewed by another, presumably more-senior, layer of supervisors. Let that obvious fact percolate in your mind for a while.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Taser International attempts to distract the public

Taser International, manufacturer of electro-torture weapons that are far more dangerous than they falsely claim, hosts the Arizona 'Distracted Driving Youth Summit'

Good source of details regarding the taser-death of Nickolos Cyrus

Jury could decide whether police used excessive force with taser gun in man’s death

[State Bar of Wisconsin]

... At that point, Mukwonago Lieutenant Thomas Czarnecki drew and fired his taser gun, striking 29-year-old Nickolos Cyrus in the back. Cyrus fell to the ground, and was lying on his stomach. Either before or after back-up arrived, Cyrus stood up, staggered, and then fell to the ground again. More “taser stuns” were deployed. Czarnecki testified that he fired the taser gun six times, twice upon the initial encounter and four times when Cyrus was on the ground. However, the taser gun’s internal computer registered 12 trigger pulls during the relevant timeframe. When the officers finally handcuffed Cyrus, they rolled him over to find that he was not breathing. He never gained consciousness and was pronounced dead later that day. ...
...Czarnecki argued that “asking a jury to infer causation without expert testimony would be akin to proceeding under a theory of res ipsa loquitur – improper in a [section] 1983 action. …” In that case, Czarnecki argued, the Cyrus estate would be arguing that force must have been excessive because people do not ordinarily die from taser shock. ...
One wag noted that the taser is "a street-level death lottery".

Five of six people will survive a spin at Russian Roulette, but one of the six will have a bullet in their brains. So it can be claimed that "people do not ordinarily die from Russian Roulette".

Although the odds vary, the logic is identical.

Fish, barrel, bang.

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See also previous post Federal Appeals Court says 'Not so fast there, Sunshine' [LINK]

RCMP rookie stabbed in arm, uses taser, makes arrest

Stabbed RCMP rookie still makes arrest [CBC News]
The incident began with a complaint about a suspicious vehicle. Insp. Al Ramey said "A member with six months' experience attended the scene and was confronted by a man brandishing a knife. The man attacked our police officer, cutting him severely in the forearm. Our member responded with the deployment of a conducted energy weapon [assume taser], managed to immobilize the suspect and take him into custody."
It is good to read about a story that describes an incident where it appears that a potentially-deadly weapon was used successfully and (assuming the story is accurate) without any moral/ethical downsides. As some comments on the CBC website have noted, the officer could have drawn his revolver and plugged the suspect in the chest.

That he chose to reach for his taser is a questionable decision (due to the relatively high rate of ineffective deployments). But perhaps the details not mentioned made his choice rational.

--

Critically - please compare the rate that such apparent success stories appear to the rate of taser use.

--

UPDATE: More details here [LINK]. Subject is 61 years old.

Speculation Alert - I wonder if the story will eventually shift so that it is revealed that the stabbing occurred because the officer was relying upon his untrustworthy taser?

Taser expert Patrick Burrell fails to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth

I realize that the above post title is redundant. The honorific "Taser Expert" implies a certain baseline level of deception (and often deep ignorance of technical topics, for example electricity). This comes from them being too-closely associated with the fork tongued stungun salesmen.

Australia - Antonio Galeano taser death inquiry:

Police training warned of Taser dangers [LINK]

Taser expert Patrick Burrell told the inquest into the death of Antonio Galeano that... ...a 2005 bulletin issued by Taser International stated that repeated or prolonged exposure to the electrical charge generated by a Taser could impair breathing.

Did he mention anything about how Taser International later retracted that exact warning based on a made-to-order study? Their ever-changing and self-contradicting claims are clear evidence of The Great Taser Safety Scam.

He said evidence of flashes of blue light between the Taser wires and a loud clicking noise suggested the device was not able to perform a complete electrical circuit. The device was almost silent when working effectively with only a small arc of electricity visible between the metal barbs which were in contact with the subject's skin, he said. If the device was able to generate a complete circuit, only a small arc of electricity would have been visible between the two barbs which had connected with Mr Galeano's skin, he said.

Taser International claims that the taser is effective even with a TWO-INCH air gap. That's what the 50,000 volts is intended to do. This extraordinarily high voltage is intended to ionize the air gap and establish a good conductive path, through up to two inches of air. Accomplishing this technical feat is obviously going to put on quite a display.

The taser can be effective if it makes direct contact. And the taser can be effective (I'm quoting Taser International) even with an air gap of up to TWO INCHES combined gap. These two extremes will obviously result in different displays of arcing and different sounds.

But since the taser is supposed to be a constant current source, the effects on the subject should be similar over the entire range of air gap, from zero up to the maximum of approximately "two inches".

Therefore his "expert" testimony that there are only two possibilities, and that one of them can be assumed to be ineffective, is not in keeping with the information published by Taser International.

His claims are not true.

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Also, as if further proof were required, review the many videos of Taser International demonstrating the taser by firing it into a tin-foil coated target. Those demos clearly show sparks and arcs, and one can hear loud clacking sounds. And yet the darts are firmly embedded in the target's layer of tin-foil. Conductive tin-foil.

--

But his testimony is hanging those involved in the taser death out to dry. And that's a different approach than typically used in North America.

Weird...

Deja vu all over again a second time just like before

Groundhog Day
Groundhog Day

JULY 17, 2009 - $145M taser-associated lawsuit to proceed [LINK]
A federal judge has ruled [LINK] that a wrongful death lawsuit can go to trial against Frederick County and the sheriff's office in the death of 20-year-old Jarrell Gray who was ShockedWithATaserAndDied by Corporal Rudy 'Call Me Sparky' Torres [LINK] in 2007. The family is, according to some reports, seeking $145 million. [LINK]

NOVEMBER 10, 2010 - $145M suit in Maryland taser death will go to trial [via TNT]
WASHINGTON - Four years after a 20-year-old man died after being shocked twice by a Maryland sheriff's deputy's Taser, a federal appeals court has ruled the family's $145 million lawsuit can go to trial. ...

Observations:

Notice how Taser International no longer even bothers to pretend to be indignant when a headline uses the phrase "Taser Death"? After Mr. Dziekanski was killed by a taser in 2007, Taser International went ape-sh_t and sent out "over 60 Legal Demand Letters" demanding that the media retract those outrageous words. These days, not so much.

Notice how many of these taser death lawsuits or criminal cases are associated with particular police officers that lead their department in their overuse, misuse and abuse of tasers. E.g. Corporal Rudy 'Call Me Sparky' Torres [LINK]. E.g. Scott Nugent [LINK]. There are several possible explanations for this correlation, all of them ugly.

Medical emergency + police response := death

Precious time: The death of Bob Rigg [Denver Post]

...The officers pulled him from the car....handcuffed him, put him in a police car and headed for jail, suspecting that he was driving under the influence of drugs and in a trancelike state sometimes referred to as "excited delirium." -- But Bob Rigg wasn't on drugs. He was diabetic and suffering from heart disease, and he was dying. ...

Here's a death that really was caused by "excited delirium", but in way the reflects poorly on those that promote it as a handy but misleading label.

Even the mere existence of the idiot-concept led to bad assumptions, delayed the correct medical response to Mr. Rigg's diabetic state, and these appear to have contributed to his death.

As Justice Braidwood stated, 'excited delirium' is "unhelpful"... ...the understatement of the decade.

Tybee, GA to pay Clifford Grevemberg $250,000

City of Tybee, GA Mayor Jason Buelterman said that 18-year-old Clifford Grevemberg will receive $250,000 to settle the case. [LINK]

Previous posts:

MAY 24, 2010 - City of Tybee, GA rummages around desk, looking for checkbook [LINK]. Included a prediction of the eventual settlement "...well into six-figures..."; a three-pointer.

JUNE 10, 2010 - Two officers and the Police Chief 'down' in Tybee [LINK]

JUNE 29, 2010 - Autism is not a crime - please stop with the tasers already [LINK]

AUGUST 27, 2010 - Tybee Island, GA still cleaning up after taser incident [LINK]

AUGUST 30, 2010 - Being Taser-Stupid costing Tybee, Georgia a fortune [LINK]

Because this incident was so perfectly crystal clear, the repercussions are large in relative magnitude and very wide in scope and coverage. Two officers in a world of legal pain. Chief caught up in the mess. Careers ruined. A huge mess. All because the "Taser Training" is clearly defective (judging by results).

It's not really fair that such outcomes are so rare.

"Sleeper holds" - some parallels to the taser-safety scam

Coroner testifies in Telb trial [LINK]

That are some very disturbing similarities between the taser-safety scam, and what's happening in this case of death-by-'sleeper hold'.

Read the article at the above link. How long until the defense raises the possibility of "excited delirium" as a handy-dandy excuse for death? ...Paragraph 13.

Notice the bit about how an incomplete report from the police led to initial conclusions that relied upon THE LACK OF EVIDENCE to support a fantasy conclusion. Sound familiar?

You'd be forgiven for assuming that one important difference between the taser problem(s) and 'sleeper holds' is that at least there isn't a 'sleeper hold' industry with ill-qualified, ex-policeman "experts" (sic) running around claiming that 'sleeper holds' are "perfectly" safe no matter what. Unfortunately, there are such folks.

The parallels reveal the underlying pattern.

Federal Appeals Court says 'Not so fast there, Sunshine'

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ruled the parents of a man [Nickolos Cyrus, 29] who died [July 2006] after being Tasered by  police in 2006 can proceed with their lawsuit against the officers and the village and town of Mukwonago. ...officers fired a Taser at him repeatedly... The Waukesha County medical examiner later ruled that he died from cardiorespiratory failure, partly [?] as the result of the multiple electronic shocks. An inquest jury in Waukesha County concluded the officers used reasonable force. [LINK]
His family sued, claiming he had been subjected to excessive force. U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa granted summary judgment to the defendants in April 2009, finding that the force used by officers was reasonable. [But] ...the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Randa and sent the case back for trial. The court ruled that key factual disputes under the Fourth Amendment -- like just how much of a danger Cyrus posed, and how many shocks were administered -- can't be resolved by summary judgment. ...


UPDATE: See this decision CYRUS v. TOWN OF MUKWONAGO [LINK].

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Repost: Instant Cure for 'Tasers-R-Safe' Brainwashing

From 26 July 2009 [LINK].

--

Instant Cure for Tasers-R-Safe Brainwashing:

See the Taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry [LINK]

[Explained yet again below with alternate wording in case it helps...]

If taser use has zero cause-and-effect relationship to the many hundreds of taser-associated deaths, then one would expect to see a constant rate of death-per-unit time by "excited delirium", or via the subject's "pre-existing medical conditions", or by whatever pathetic excuse they dream up, during the entire temporal sequence of all taser-associated death incidents.

I mean both before and after the actual taser hit. The period BEFORE the taser hit provides a built-in experimental control. And there seems to be at least as much BEFORE time as AFTER, possibly much more.

There should be many hundreds, or even thousands, of police reports where the taser was drawn from the holster (thereby triggering a written taser incident report in many jurisdictions), but the subject fell over stone cold dead in the time just BEFORE the taser was fired.

Or the police incident reports (if not 'taser-incident' reports) specifically mentioning the inexplicable sudden death ~and~ the ALMOST-fired taser.

Or the inexplicable sudden death incidents where the taser completely missed the subject, but the subject fell over dead right anyway - at that time - in spite of the taser MISS.


If you share the worldview of Taser International, then you should believe that there are vast numbers of such almost-tasered but died anyway incidents.

Where are they?


Furthermore, if you believe the worldview of Taser International, then the death rate per unit time should plunge after application of the taser. After all, it stops the 'badness' and is 'perfectly safe', thus there should be a sharp downward step-function in the death rate per unit time comparing the minutes AFTER to the minutes BEFORE the taser hits.

Do you think that is true? Show me.

By any accounting, there should be many hundreds, probably thousands with complete accounting, of such incidents where the subject died during a 'taser-drawn-from-holster' incident, but BEFORE the taser hit the subject.

I believe that this is the end of the line for Taser International's claims of zero cause and effect.

Plaintiffs' lawyers paying attention?

Hurry up. We have a company to bankrupt.



Basically Taser International is technical "correct" in their claims.

Given the inherent lack of physical evidence that could be found postmortem when dealing with a device that might be capable of triggering death via arrhythmia, then it may be impossible to use deductive reasoning to prove that any particular taser-associated death was "directly caused" by the taser.

But it ignores the larger picture. If you take a big step back, and look at the endlessly-repeated sequence of tasered-then-dead that occurs over and over and over again, then one can observe the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry. This observation, based just on the news reports and the lack of rebuttal from Taser International, appears to be completely inexplicable given their worldview.

But if one applies inductive reasoning, given the many hundreds of news reports of tasered-then-dead incidents, combined with the apparent lack of people falling over dead at the mere sight of a drawn taser, then the conclusion that tasers can "cause death", "even in healthy adults", and "through a variety of mechanisms" is well supported by simple inductive logic.


It'll be pretty tough to maintain that tasers-R-safe given the simple observation of the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry.


Braidwood, p. 322: "I am satisfied that these weapons [tasers] have the capacity to cause death to a human subject, through a variety of mechanisms."

Braidwood, p. 229: "...to cause heart arrhythmia even in healthy adults..." [Left untreated, as is often the case, arrhythmia typically leads to death.]


PS: If Taser International has a rebuttal, they have my e-mail address (right-hand column). Or they can post a comment to the blog. If their rebuttal makes sense then I'll be happy to broadcast it and I will explicitly acknowledge their point. But their rebuttal will be examined closely and if it contains logical errors, then I'll tear it to shreds publicly.

I'll take their continuing silence as a passive admission that the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry is a completely devastating observation.

Family of Trevor Grimolfson seeking justice

From the Truth ... Not Tasers blog:

I repeat - Justice must be SEEN to be done, to be done [TNT]

"It took me awhile to figure it out but my humble opinion is that once the lawyers for the police found out who I had found to take Trevors case, they contacted Taser International, who then requested to be a part of the inquiry."

But funding was denied, and legal representation is now lacking. Many families are unable to fund legal representation. So the inquiry risks becoming a one-sided whitewash.

Taser International might even show up, but there may be nobody in the room both fully capable and interested in pointing out their false and deceptive claims, highlighting their ever-changing claims, explaining their technical errors, and contrasting the contradictions in their statements.

By way of comparison, look at how the inquiry into the death of Robert Dziekanski started and ended; and look at the resources that were required to make that happen. A multi-million dollar inquiry that finally concluded that tasers can kill, that the taser was the most prominent cause of Mr. Dziekanski's death, that a so-called "expert" hired by Taser International provided testimony that was "an insult to the intelligence", and that 'excited delirium' as an explanation for death was "unhelpful".

Can families of victims be expected to fund one side of the inquiry into the taser-associated death of their loved-one? Is that reasonable? What if it's simply not possible?

Trevor Grimolfson, 38 - Edmonton, Alberta - October 29, 2008 - tasered 3 times by an X26 and died of "excited delirium brought on by drugs".

It would be best if the inquiry was fair and looked fair.

But if it's not going to be fair, then it's best that it not appear to be fair. It looks like that's the way it's going. Which makes it a complete waste of time and money.

Frank Paul - 12 years later...

This story has nothing to do with tasers.

This story has EVERYTHING to do with tasers.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge says Vancouver police submitted an "incomplete" report about the actions of two officers involved with a homeless man, Frank Paul, who died of hypothermia in 1998. ... [CBC News]
Justice Austin Cullen, who was the regional Crown lawyer at the time Frank Paul died, ...said the Vancouver Police Department report didn't include complete statements from the two officers or any recommendation on charges. There was enough evidence to suggest manslaughter charges but there was reasonable doubt about the officers' actions, he said. ...

12 years later, and still not sorted out.

An "incomplete" report.

Why do we allow it?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Australia: "Taser death could ruin careers", says senior cop

Yeah, and it could ruin the victim's entire day too. [sarcasm]
The death in custody of a north Queensland man who was tasered multiple times by police could ruin the careers of the officers involved, an inquest has heard. Townsville region inspector Dominic McHugh told an inquest into the death of Antonio Galeano that the incident might have far-reaching consequences for the officers. "Emotionally, if they can come out of this and continue as police officers good luck to them, but I don't think most of them will," Insp McHugh told the inquest in Townsville on Monday. ... Witnesses reported seeing or hearing Const Myles taser Mr Galeano six or seven times while data recorded by the device showed it had been deployed up to 28 times. ... [LINK]

As much as anyone, police themselves should be questioning the false safety claims and obviously-defective training propaganda promulgated by the deceptive stun gun salesmen.

Maybe they should investigate the stun gun salesmen with respect to criminal fraud charges?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Johannes Mehserle gets two years

BBC News
A white ex-police officer has been sentenced to the minimum possible jail term of two years for shooting dead an unarmed black man in California. Johannes Mehserle was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter in what was seen as one of the most racially divisive US trials in recent years. ... [LINK]

The taser angle to this story is that Mehserle claimed that he intended to give Oscar Grant an unjustifiable taser-torture session [he didn't use those exact words...] and that he mistook his gun for a taser.

If you think about it for a while, this excuse opens up many disturbing questions about tasers and their place in society (as an instrument of torture).

Although the punishment doesn't fit the crime, his life is still well and truly shattered.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Man lives 40 years, is tasered_and_dies

Wilmington, Delaware - A man [who had somehow lived for 40 years] has died almost immediately after he was shot with a taser. Delaware state police were called to South Market Street where a couple was fighting in the middle of the road. When the man resisted, one official tasered him. Officers later realized he had gone into cardiac arrest. [LINK]

Mother-RCMP eats own 'naughty' child

CBC - RCMP Commissioner William Elliott has further demoted one of the senior Mounties, Deputy commissioner Raf Soucca, who challenged his leadership and triggered a workplace assessment of the force. ... [LINK]

Just remember: 'Change is good.'

Feds turn their attention to taser-torture of inmates

Franklin County jailers find themselves on the opposite side from the Feds in a lawsuit over their use of tasers and/or stun guns to electro-torture naked and restrained prisoners, and to punish inmates for routine rule violations.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Jailers in a central Ohio county regularly use stun guns to "soften up" inmates who pose no threat and often use the guns on inmates who are disabled, pregnant or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the Justice Department said in a federal complaint. ... The government wants to join a lawsuit against Franklin County brought last summer by a legal rights group on behalf of four current and former inmates. ...[LINK]

Four inmates? Tip of the iceberg?

Imagine the total liability.

What bunch of walking brain-donors figured that electro-torture was "a good idea"?

Being ethically-challenged and morally-bankrupt can be very expensive.

Surprise of the day: police clear police of wrongdoing after they beat the wrong man

Just another example of why police are simply incapable of investigating each other.
Yao Wei Wu was dragged out of his east Vancouver home in January and severely beaten by two undercover officers who were responding to a domestic assault call but went to the wrong address.
The Delta Police department was called in to conduct an investigation independent (sic) of the Vancouver police, and their conclusion is that the officers are not guilty of any wrongdoing.
[LINK]

Laundry list of errors:
1) Sending "undercover" police to knock on a man's door at 2am. Stupid.
2) Going to the wrong fricken door. Really stupid.
3) Failing to exercise appropriate caution given unreliable info. Stupid.
4) Making and acting on single-thought assumptions. Unsmart.
5) Unnecessary roughness. Dangerous.

I think it's pretty obvious what's really going on here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Toronto Star investigation: Above the Law

A Toronto Star investigation: Above the Law [via TNT] [LINK]
A Toronto police officer inexplicably floors his gas pedal, speeds into an illegal right turn and runs down a grandmother, severing her brain stem and killing her instantly.

An OPP constable wearing a bulletproof vest and carrying a baton and pepper spray shoots and kills an intellectually challenged 59-year-old man holding a small pocket knife.

During a traffic stop near Canada's Wonderland, York Region officers rough up a small, 50-year-old accountant, breaking his arm and leaving him roadside.

A Peel Region police officer sucker-punches a handcuffed prisoner and breaks his jaw in two places.

Two teens chatting on the grass in a public park are run over by a Durham Region squad car, suffering extensive injuries.

All of these officers were quickly cleared by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) — the provincial agency responsible for investigating serious injuries and deaths resulting from interactions between police and the public. All still work as police officers. ... [LINK]
--

The solution to the inherent problem of Police investigating Police is simple.
  • Civilian oversight.
  • All records as open as possible as soon as possible.
  • Pay the investigation staff good salaries (higher than those they investigate).
  • Pay serious-money performance bonuses when they make a good clean catch of dirty misdeeds.
  • If they or anyone involved minimizes police misdeeds, fired and 30-days in jail. (*)
  • If they or anyone involved fails to correctly report any police misdeed, fired and 90-days in jail. (*)
  • If they or anyone participates in any cover-up or whitewashing of police misdeeds, fired and one-year in prison. (*)
  • Just following orders (or approved policies) would not be acceptable defense; everyone must know and respect fundamental laws and fundamental rights.

* We have to add a protective layer of double-or-nothing to the process.

Columbia voters reject taser-use ban

Columbia voters rejected a proposal to ban the use of tasers and similar weapons, by a 77 percent to 23 percent margin. [LINK]

Curious as to why?

Here's why.

One commenter wrote:
"...Break the law and be prepared for the consequences."

In other words, street-level electro-torture of suspects is considered acceptable.

This interpretation of the comment is absolutely and perfectly accurate.

Grade 6 Civics classes need to be given higher priority.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sparks flew out of tasered man's chest

Police repeatedly fired a Taser into a man until a spark "like a piece of lightning" shot out of his chest, an inquest has heard. Witness Sandra Wynne yesterday told an inquest into the death of north Queensland man Antonio Galeano, 39,  how she begged a police officer to stop firing the 50,000-volt device.

"His face turned black," she said. "I could hear the buzzing of the Taser and Tony screaming in pain. Every time I could see a little spark, like a piece of lightning, coming out of his chest."

"I said to them: 'How many times can you hit him with that bloody thing until you kill him?'"

She broke into tears as she told the inquest how she watched as her lover died and his "eyes rolled back in his head." ... [LINK]

As unfair as unfair can be...

October 20, 2010.
 
MEDIA RELEASE:  CANADIAN CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT (CCRM)
 
Edmonton (Alberta) Fatal Inquiry into Death of Trevor Grimolfson, who died in a confrontation with Edmonton police officers October 29, 2008.
 
 
The Canadian Civil Rights Movement (CCRM) has significant concerns about the legitimacy of  an Inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death of Trevor Grimolfson who died in confrontation with Edmonton police officers on October 29, 2008.
 
The matter was investigated by the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) which determined the police officers “actions were justified, when considering all of the circumstances.”   No criminal charges were recommended against the police officers involved.
 
A Fatal Inquiry, under the Alberta Fatal Inquiries Act is scheduled for November 22-26, 2010, in the Provincial Court of Alberta.  The police officers statements indicated the officers fired tasors three times, twice in the chest and a third time in the back of the neck, when the two officers involved were allegedly behind Mr. Grimolfson, and attempting to restrain him and had his left hand in handcuffs.  Mr. Grimolfson went into medical distress and died shortly thereafter.  Subsequent testing on the tasors (X-26 model) indciated they may have been fired five times.   One of the tasor applications appears to have been cycled for as long as fifteen seconds. 
 
Government lawyers acting for the Inquiry are relying on the investigation by ASIRT and opinion evidence of the Chief Medical Examiner (CME) for Alberta and a toxicoligist that the cause of death was “Excited Delirium” and multiple drug toxicity.  This includes the conclusion of the CME that “there was no evidence to suggest that the conductive energy weapon was the cause of death.”  The conclusions relied upon do not accord with the findings and recommendations of the Braidwood Commission into the death of Robert Dziekanski at YVR.   Commissioner Braidwood concluded that tasors do pose fatal risks and can cause death.  He made numerous recommendations restricting the manner and circumstances in which they ought to be deployed.  Commissioner Braidwood also determined that “Excited Delirium” was not scientifically supportable and a “convenient label.”   The Braidwood Inquiry Report(s) have been drawn to the attention of government legal counsel for the Inquiry. 
 
The CCRM is concerned that there has been a consistent theme of blaming the victim and that the Inquiry will be a whitewash.   The government has appointed counsel at the Inquiry, the Edmonton Police Services has retained legal counsel and so has Taser International.   No provision is made for legal funding to assist the family of the deceased and no member of his family has been invited to testify. Mr. Grimolfson is survived by three children (ages 19, 16 & 13) and one grandchild. His children are being cared for by his mother, Bev Broadhead, of Dauphin, Manitoba. Ms. Broadhead is a single grand-parent.   Mr. Grimolfson and his family are Metis.   The family has sought the legal assistance of William Sundhu, a lawyer in Kamloops, British Columbia ... who was involved in assisting Zofia Cisowski, the mother of Robert Dziekanski.  Mr. Grimolfson’s family is unable to afford legal counsel and Mr. Sundhu has been assisting them pro-bono.   An application is pending before the Judge assigned to the Inquiry seeking a judicial recommendation that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General for Alberta make reasonable funding for the legal representation of the family to properly participate in the Inquiry.   Previous government decisions indicate an unwillingness to provide funding to assist the families of deceased victims. The judge may only make a recommendation and it is then up to government to decide if it will honour the judicial recommendation or not.
 
The CCRM is concerned about the ASIRT investigation and that the evidence the government intends to present to the Inquiry is flawed and biased.   The purpose of the Inquiry is to look into the circumstances surrounding the death and to make recommendations to prevent future deaths. The CCRM does not have confidence that the judicial Inquiry will be able to make appropriate findings and recommendations without the family being represented by legal counsel acting on their behalf and asking important questions and presenting proper evidence.
 
The CCRM believes that the current direction of the Inquiry raises serious questions about fairness and balance.
 
Zygmunt Riddle
CCRM – Vancouver, B.C.
+1 (604) 868-7070
...

Australia (NSW): Rules draw new line on the use of Tasers

Australia catching-on to the evil side of tasers.
NSW Police will only be able to use Tasers as a last resort and in situations where negotiation and conflict resolution has failed, under new operating procedures. ... Mr Daley said all frontline officers trained in the use of Tasers were already told never to use the device to resolve a passive or non-threatening situation. ... [LINK]

I'm happy to read that Australia is taking steps to rein-in the use of tasers. Tasers have too freely been used as an instrument of "persuasion" (electrotorture), considering that they are perfectly capable of causing or contributing to death.

--
Police Minister Michael Daley said, "They present an option that is infinitely less lethal than a firearm."

"...infinitely less lethal than a firearm..." (ibid)

The above short statement contains two falsehoods.

The first is the comparison of tasers to firearms. In every jurisdiction I've studied, tasers are used approximately one hundred times as often as the police have historically used lethal force. It's an approximate ratio, but a good round number. (The second part of this first falsehood is that police use of firearms tends to increase when tasers are introduced, typically dropping back to the original level after a year or two. I've seen this same trend mentioned in two studies, one covering numerous cities in the US.)

Any comparison of tasers to firearms is approximately 99% pure pro-taser propaganda.

The second false aspect is the word "infinitely".

Taser safety margins are primarily external. The inherent (internal) safety margin is significantly lower than the "15-to-1" claimed. Once taser darts land on the chest with a transcardiac vector, the risk of death (real world on typical real world subjects) creeps up to surprisingly high levels.

And perhaps that explains why Taser International has apparently yanked down their "Cardiac Safety" webpage, and recommended not aiming at the subject's chest.

It's only by what I've termed 'denominator washing', where the taser usage figures are inflated with might-as-well-be FAKE training and demonstration hits into the back, and in some cases perhaps even display-only mode deployments, that they can manipulate the figures down to very low values.

If you estimate the actual darts-on-chest rate and compare that to the real world death rate (including so-called 'excited delirium' taser-deaths), then you see that the word infinitely is a hopeless exaggeration.

I'm not arguing that tasers are as lethal as firearms (don't be stupid). My position (shared with many) is that the claims of safety are vastly overstated, and the risks associated with taser use are significantly understated.

The new guidelines came in after the death of a Vietnamese man who was stunned by a police Taser in Sydney’s southwest last month.

Do your own math...

Compare the answer to "infinitely".

PS: police firearms appear to be about 50% lethal.

Taser Quote of the Week by Columbia police Chief Ken Burton

Columbia police Chief Ken Burton:
"When people are under the influence, the extended shock has shown to be a problem." [LINK]

"...problem..."

Without putting words into Chief Burton's mouth, I'm fairly certain that, by the word "problem", he means that people die. As in "DEAD".

What else could he be hinting at?

Herein lies a problem.

Taser International, while recommending minimal use, simultaneously and strenuously denies that repeated taser hits are in anyway dangerous. See their claim quoted here [LINK].

Their chief minion, "Dr." Mark Kroll (advisor, Board of Directors, head of their so-called "Medical Safety [cover-up?] Board"), has claimed that taser hits are similar to ping pong (table tennis) balls in that even endless electro-torture would be "safe"; "If one ping-pong ball hit to the head does not kill you, 1,000 probably cannot either." [LINK].

So, in addition to the "problem" mention by Chief Burton (taser deaths), there's also the little problem that the stun gun salesmen are fork-tongue scum that repeatedly deny the potential lethality of their product (while burying legal admissions deep within the Legal Warnings). Every honest and informed observer knows full-well that tasers are perfectly capable of causing or contributing to death. And yet the OEM denies it.

It's pure insanity to allow this discrepancy to remain unresolved. And that means holding the OEM to account for their deceptive marketing. You cannot 'agree to disagree', see [LINK].

Antonio Carmelo Galeano tasered, tasered, tasered, ...

Antonio Carmelo Galeano was tasered three seven twenty-eight times. And died. [LINK]

He reportedly did have amphetamines in his system, and obviously that day was the first time that ever happened [sarcasm]. See previous post 'Drug addicts - get past the image, use logic'[LINK].

Would multiple taser hits carry an increased risk of death? Taser International and their distributors should know about such things, right? They wouldn't just make it up as they go along, would they? See [LINK]

For the correct answer, see [LINK].

Facts:

Use of tasers carries a risk of death, even with healthy adults. [LINK]

Long duration or repeated tasers hits increase those risks. [LINK]

Those risks increase when the taser is used on the sorts of vulnerable people that it tends to be used on. [Common sense]

It shouldn't be such a great mystery when a vulnerable person is repeatedly tasered and dies.

The taser would leave no postmortem evidence.

The only real mystery is why we allow the stun gun salesmen to describe tasers as "safe", a la cigarettes 1960s.

16-year-old waits eight long years for the possible start of justice

Eight farging years...

The disciplinary hearing for an Edmonton police officer accused of deploying a Taser on a 16-year-old boy eight times in one minute in 2002 got underway Monday. Const. Mike Wasylyshen faces five charges under the Police Service Regulation of the Police Act, including two counts of unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority and three counts of insubordination. ... [LINK]
In 2005, a provincial court judge ruled the police officers who arrested him had violated the teen's rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Judge Jack Easton called the officers' actions "cruel and unusual" treatment. Acting police chief Darryl da Costa dismissed allegations of abuse against Wasylyshen later that year and said the officer wouldn't face any charges because the accusations were unfounded.

Police should NEVER be permitted to police themselves.

NEVER.

Their worldview (judging by their actions, and their inactions) is highly distorted.

Actions that are obviously "cruel and unusual" become what-seems-like a good idea.

Acts that should be considered criminal, are ignored.

Has anyone had a little sit-down chat with Darryl da Costa yet?

If police are going to "police" themselves, then any whitewashing or inaction should be the ultimate double-or-nothing game. Automatic jail terms for anything resembling a coverup, minimizing, or whitewash.

If they believe that they're doing a good job, let's see them put their *sses on the line.

EIGHT FARGING YEARS!!