Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

Yeah right, 'Excited Delirium' my ass...

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The primary purpose of this blog is to provide an outlet for my observations and analysis about tasers, taser "associated" deaths, and the behaviour exhibited by the management, employees and minions of Taser International. In general, everything is linked back to external sources, often via previous posts on the same topic, so that readers can fact-check to their heart's content. This blog was started in late-2007 when Canadians were enraged by the taser death of Robert Dziekanski and four others in a short three month period. The cocky attitude exhibited by the Taser International spokespuppet, and his preposterous proposal that Mr. Dziekanski coincidentally died of "excited delirium" at the time of his taser-death, led me to choose the blog name I did and provides my motivation. I have zero financial ties to this issue.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Patrick Johnson, 18, "accidentally" dies of "heart desease" in taser-death

Welcome to 1984-speak.

Mentally-Challenged Teen's Taser Death Ruled Accidental
The death of an 18-year-old Northeast Philadelphia man who died in October after police Tasered him twice was ruled accidental by the city's Medical Examiner's office Monday. Patrick Johnson died from right ventricular cardiomyopathy -- a form of heart disease, city officials said. The shocks were a factor in the teen's death and could have kick started the heart condition but were only a factor -- not a cause of death -- for Johnson, authorities said. The official cause of death was accidental, according to the M.E. ... [LINK]

So the death was accidental.

And the cause of death was "heart desease".

And he died right after being tasered twice.

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Recommendation: Sue the city for 9-figures ($xxx Million). Seriously. This is so self evidently stupid that they're just begging for it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Abuse your tasers, lose your tasers

Mayor takes Tasers away from Waveland police

Waveland, MS - Mayor David Garcia on Friday took the Tasers out of the hands of Waveland police officers. The order issued to Police Chief James Varnell by the newly elected mayor comes a day after three lawsuits alleging Taser abuse by officers were filed in federal court. ... [LINK]

Garcia was the fire chief and was recently elected mayor by a very wide margin.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Zealand tasers used primarily to threaten mental patients with electro-shock torture

A new study shows that police tasers are more than twice as likely to be used at mental health emergencies than criminal arrests. The study was conducted by Anthony O'Brien, senior lecturer in nursing at the University of Auckland. O'Brien said he was shocked to find that tasers had been used by police in laser pointing mode at mental health facilities. The laser pointing mode is one step away from discharging the taser. "I was shocked to find that tasers have been used at mental health inpatient units. I would be extremely alarmed if we were moving the way of the United States where hospital staff have been given tasers. That is completely contrary to New Zealand policy which is aimed at improving in-patient services," O'Brien says. The study also found Maori and Pacific people are far more likely to be tasered than Europeans. The study was published recently in the International Journal of Law and Psychiatry. [LINK]

At this point, the idiot taser fan-boys say, "Yeah, so?"

Ineffective taser leads to death of Deputy

Ineffective taser, two dead.

Deputy Killed: Setting the Record Straight [LINK]
The death of Deputy Sam Brownlee is a tragedy for Weld County. ...
1) Deputies chased a known felon and gang member, Rueben Reyes...
2) ...A taser was reportedly utilized. However, the taser ... was ineffective...
3) ...Reyes apparently saw, and took, the opportunity to pull Deputy Brownlee's weapon from its holster. Reyes then shot Deputy Brownlee three times [killing him]...
4) Another officer then shot Reyes three times [killing him]...
The deputy chose to rely on the unreliable taser, and it cost him his life.

The perp saw that the gun wasn't being used, and took it.

Perhaps if the officers had approached Reyes with their hands on their guns, then perhaps the situation would have turned out better. Obviously it couldn't have turned out any worse.

Reliance on tasers is ill-advised.

UK Taser firm "Pro-Tect Ltd.2.0" (a.k.a. TSR Ltd. 1.0)

File under: "How stupid do you think we are?" (*)

(* Answer: "Very." Too bad it's the elected MPs that are asking...)

Pro-Tect were stripped of their licence in September. A spokesman for the Home Office told the Guardian: "Inquiries following the Raoul Moat operation revealed Pro-Tect breached its licence by supplying Tasers direct to police...The inquiries carried out by Northamptonshire police also revealed the company breached rules governing the secure transport of the devices and ammunition." ... [LINK]
Two months on, and the authorisation to supply Tasers has been handed over to Pro-Tect 2.0 Tactical Death Safety Responses Limited (TSR), also of Daventry, Northamptonshire... A number of committee members expressed surprise that both companies were in Daventry: TSR’s registered office lies, according to the AA route planner, just 1.8 miles – or seven minutes' drive – from that of Pro-Tect Ltd. ...
Intense questioning of Home Office official, Graham Widdecombe of the Policing Directorate, by Committee Chair Keith Vaz, and Dr Julian Huppert, Lib Dem MP for Cambridge, revealed some overlap of staff. ...
TSR Ltd was set up on 28 September – the same day that newspapers were reporting the demise of Pro-Tect’s contract...
...and the first director named on the TSR Ltd particulars is a Mr Glenn Cameron – who is also listed as Secretary for Pro-Tect Ltd. ...

In other words, the slime-ball stun gun salesmen are giving the finger to the elected MPs and the rules. And there's NOTHING that the MPs can do about it...

Ha ha...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taser QotD: "Given the choice, I'll never carry a Taser again."

Taser Quote of the Day:

A police officer [Sergeant Aaron Strahan] who tasered Aboriginal man Kevin Spratt 10 times at Perth Watchhouse has told a corruption hearing that given the choice he would never carry a Taser again. ... [LINK]
...He later added that now following the subsequent events, widespread publicity of the incident and the corruption hearing, he felt uncomfortable carrying what he called a "flawed weapon". "Given the choice, I'll never carry a Taser again." ...

Some learn faster than others...

Surprise, surprise...

Why, you could have knocked me over with a feather when I read the following:

The CCC yesterday produced evidence showing Mr Spratt was not the only person to be tasered at the East Perth lock-up, giving examples of two other men who also refused to be strip-searched. One was tasered four times before police removed his clothes. Another was tasered once when he wouldn't drop his pants during a search. The police incident report said the taser "made him let go of his trousers". The names of the men were suppressed. ... [LINK]

Geesh, I am so surprised... [LINK] ...not.

Do you think that they won't find more?

Ah, that's called TORTURE

Kevin Spratt was tasered 'to force compliance'

The first officer to taser Kevin Spratt at a Perth watchhouse concedes he used the weapon to force the Aboriginal man to obey his orders, a corruption hearing has heard. ... [LINK]

Clearly, using severe pain to force (verb) or coerce someone to do something meets the exact internationally-agreed definition of "Torture".

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Hints:

Notice that "lawful force" is a noun.

Using severe pain to "force" (the verb) someone to obey you is Torture.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Memo to Medical Examiners

To the attention of Medical Examiners and Coroners:

It is becoming a pattern that findings of death by "excited delirium" are being overturned upon judicial review.

  • Mr. Dziekanski in Vancouver. Justice Braidwood determined that excited delirium was not the cause of death and that the concept itself was "unhelpful".

  • Mr. Hyde in Halifax. Judge Derrick rejected the explanation of excited delirium and called it "a red-herring".

Putting yourself in the situation where a judge is forced by the obvious facts to correct your supposedly-expert medical findings is a huge embarrassment.

It's over... The era of getting "medical advice" from the manufacturer of electro-shock torture tools and their merry band of bought-and-paid-for deceptive minions.


Another point worth mentioning: It's a fact, tasers can kill.

If someone is tasered-and-dies, then do not reject the possibility that the taser caused the death. Frankly, you'd have to be a naive moron to take the insane position that the taser will be given a free pass. When someone is tasered-and-dies (immediately), then the obviously-significant direct and indirect effects of the taser must be placed at, or very near, the top of the list of possible causes-of-death.

Feel free to list as many contributing factors as the facts support. But it is an outright lie to claim that a taser cannot cause a death. An outright lie.

If you value your reputation, then you should be very careful about where you're obtaining your information about taser safety and "excited delirium" as a cause of death.

Homework: Google the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry.

Good luck.

Taser-associated deaths per month up to end-November 2010

Click image for larger version.

Black line shows running average, now settled on about five or six taser-associated deaths per month.

More on Richard Chrisman

In 2005, Richard Chrisman was caught on video participating in the planting of drug paraphernalia on a mentally-disabled homeless woman.




Direct YouTube link [LINK].

For this criminal act, he was given a one-day suspension and his name was placed on a list of Bad Cops That Shall Remain Employed Until They Actually Kill Someone.

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Now - take a moment to look at the video again. How many other officers "of the law" were present and participated in this criminal act? What is the percentage of participation?

At least three others, and 100% participation rate.


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This story has nothing to do with tasers.

This story has EVERYTHING to do with tasers.

The very strange case of Richard Chrisman


[News from October 7th, 2010]

Phoenix police Officer Richard Chrisman (left) killed Danny Frank Rodriquez.

...Chrisman and Virgillo, patrolling in separate vehicles, both responded to the call at 12:20 p.m. Virgillo said Fernandez asked them to go inside the trailer and talk to her son. When the man refused to let officers in, Virgillo said, Chrisman responded by holding his service weapon to the man's temple and stating that he didn't need a warrant.

Virgillo said Chrisman re-holstered his weapon but that a scuffle ensued inside. The officers attempted to subdue Rodriquez with a Taser and with pepper spray. Amid the struggle, Virgillo said, Chrisman shot a dog that was barking inside the trailer. As the struggle continued, Rodriquez tried to leave the trailer on a bicycle and grappled with the officers over the handlebars. As Rodriquez stood near the bike, Virgillo said, Chrisman raised his gun and fired. Paramedics declared Rodriquez dead at the scene. ... [LINK]
Michael Johnson, a former Phoenix homicide detective and the only African-American on the City Council, ... commended Virgillo for "coming forward" and "telling the truth" about the shooting. Other community leaders also praised Virgillo's actions. "He needs to be protected from peer scrutiny and publicly commended for his integrity to the sacred oath he lives by," said Adolfo Maldonado, a south Phoenix community activist who sits on the city's police-review task force. ...
Barbara Attard, a consultant who served as independent police auditor for excessive force cases in San Jose, gasped when portions of the initial report were read to her over the phone. "There is a thin blue line, and officers are very reluctant to testify against other officers," Attard said. "I think it's going to be a different kind of case than you usually see."

Look at the neck... Look at his neck! It's wider than his head!

For some reason, the phrase "steroid abuse" springs to mind. Maybe that will be his defense...  Insanity caused by illegal drug abuse, specifically steroids.

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Note - the above comments are pure speculation. There is no evidence that Officer 'Dick' Chrisman has abused steroids.  Well... ...except for the obvious fact that his neck is wider than his head, and he appears to have "anger issues".  But except for those, no evidence whatsoever.

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PS: Virgillo should get an award and a fat bonus. Bless his heart.

Taser International "...a Fortune 500 business..."? LOL...

Unfortunately, the Chiefs of Police that use TASERs have delegated their duty to protect the public to a Fortune 500 business like TASER International whose sole concern is its bottom line. [LINK]
Yeah right, in their dreams...


No, not Fortune 500 (annual revenue of US$4.2 billion or more)

Not even 3% of the annual revenue to be Fortune 500.


Not even Fortune 1000 (annual revenue of US$1.5 billion or more)

Not even 10% of the annual revenue to be Fortune 1000.


They'd probably make the Evil 10 list.

They certainly punch above their weight when it comes to killing people and damaging society with the deceptive marketing that surrounds their sometimes-deadly "non-lethal" weapons.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Wilmington, Delaware pays $875,000 for taser-fiasco killing of decorated Marine

Wilmington paid $875,000 to settle a lawsuit filed by the widow of a decorated former Marine who was fatally shot more than four years ago (November 2006) by police investigating the Pagans Motorcycle Club, according to documents filed Friday in federal court. ... Derek J. Hale, a 25-year-old former Marine and member of the Pagans Motorcycle Club from Virginia, was sitting on the steps of another club member's Wilmington home when police surrounded him and stunned him with Taser guns before shooting him. ... Hale's grandfather, Von Ridings of Cape Girardeau, Mo., said, "I still think they murdered the boy. I don't know of anything they can do to make me change my mind because if they weren't guilty, they wouldn't have paid out a damn dime." ... [LINK]

So...

Examination time again.

What was the benefit of the taser in this case?

Does the term "cluster-f**k" spring to mind?

Are the police putting too much faith in an unreliable weapon?

Perth man 'tasered 40 times in one week'

A Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) hearing in Perth has been told a man may have been tasered more than 40 times in one week. The Commission is conducting a public inquiry into whether police or corrective services officers engaged in misconduct in relation to the arrest and detention of Kevin Spratt. Video footage of Mr Spratt being tasered more than a dozen times on the floor of a police watch house in 2008 was released by the commission earlier this year.

Now security footage of a separate incident has been released. The security video taken on September 6, 2008 shows members of the department's specialist Emergency Support Group tasering Mr Spratt repeatedly as they attempt to forcibly remove him from a cell at the Perth watch-house.
[LINK]
It's important to clarify one little detail...

A taser deployment is a bit like a "bunch" of green onions.

Some produce, such as green onions, are sometimes sold by the "bunch". But I've notice that the grocery store might have green onions "on sale" at $0.79 per "bunch", instead of $0.99 per bunch. But I've noticed that the size of the bunch can vary from week to week. Which makes the sale price a bit dubious...


A taser hit is almost as ill-defined.

The X26 taser emits 19 pulses per second. Each pulse causes pain that is approximately 2000 times what can be called intense.

One taser "deployment" or "hit" might last for a second. Another one might last for five seconds. And if the trigger is held down, another taser hit might last until the batteries are drained.

Unless someone has carefully counted the pulses (at 19 per second) and then normalized the durations back to some un-defined standard, then the claim that someone was tasered 'N' times is a bunch of garbage.

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It is fair to conclude that Mr. Spratt was electro-tortured to a degree that is way past merely evil.

THINK !!!!

COLLINGWOOD, Ont. - The father of a man killed earlier this year by a jolt from a Taser says the police weapon should be reclassified as lethal. On Monday, the Ontario's Special Investigations Unit cleared a provincial police officer who administered the lethal shock to Aron Firman, 27, and blamed the weapon itself – only the second time in Canada that an official link been drawn. [LINK]

The ONLY reason that this is "only the second time in Canada" that a taser has been implicated as a cause of death is because there was a time when the lies and deceptions originating from Taser International were naively believed. There is little doubt that more than a few taser-CAUSED deaths were passed-off as 'excited delirium', or assigned to other causes, or the contribution of the taser was given a free pass.

Now that we understand that, in fact, a taser can cause a death (surprise-surprise), then we have to go back and re-examine some of the previous cause-of-death conclusions.

1) Any deaths by "excited delirium" need to be re-opened. Judicial inquiry after judicial inquiry has rejected this fraudulent or "unhelpful" finding.

2) Any taser-associated deaths need to be re-examined. In many cases that role of the taser in the death was incorrectly excluded at the outset. Now that we have two counter-examples, the truth is starting to peek out from under the carpet.

Only two cases in Canada?

Don't be stupid. Don't be ignorant.

Look at the history.

Look at the trajectory of truth.

Only two, my ass....

Mental health crisis, taser, cardiac arrest

A man is suing Clackamas County for $3 million after a deputy shocked him with a Taser and he went into cardiac arrest. On Dec. 2, 2008, Paul Streeter ran through the parking lot at Clackamas Town Center Mall, pounding on the windows of a mall security car and threatening the guard.... Deputies were already on their way because Streeter’s father had called 911 saying his son had mental health issues and he was off his medication. When Deputy Steve Shelly arrived, he ordered Streeter to get on the ground but he would not comply. Shelly then used the Taser, according to the Sheriff's Office.Deputies put Streeter in handcuffs but realized he stopped breathing. They called paramedics and revived him. [LINK]

Tasers and cardiac arrest.

Taser International and their minion Mark W. Kroll assured us repeatedly that tasers have a huge 15-to-1 safety margin and that there's no way that a taser could ever affect the heart.

But there sure are a statistical surplus of "difficulty breathing" [cardiac effects] happening right after being tasered.

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Telling someone to get on the ground when they're off their medication... Might as well toss them a Rubic's Cube and demand that they solve it.

21-year-old Eduardo Lopez-Hernandez - tasered, stopped breathing, died.

The upcoming inquest was to examine the actions of officers involved in the death of 21-year-old Eduardo Lopez-Hernandez. He was arrested and stunned with a Taser following what police described as a road rage incident the night of Aug. 25. After he was stunned, officers said Lopez-Hernandez stopped breathing. He was rushed to University Medical Center but died a short time later. [LINK]

Gee, I wonder if the taser had anything at all to do with his death?

See also [LINK].

Seattle taser instructor forced to shoot subject

A Seattle police officer at the center of Tuesday night's shooting is an expert in the use of tasers and an instructor in non-lethal force, but was forced to use his weapon [gun], according to Seattle police. The officer involved in the shooting at Third Avenue and Yesler Way in downtown Seattle was identified as Officer Chris Myers, a 20-year veteran and former Officer of the Year. Investigators said police responded to a 911 call of a man at a bus stop with a gun. Officers said they confronted the man, but he began to walk away. According to police, Myers tried to taze the suspect, then saw the suspect reach into the waistband of his pants grab what appeared to be a metal object. Myers dropped the taser, drew his gun and fired one shot into the suspect's torso. A gun was recovered, but it was not loaded. ... The suspect was last listed in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center. [LINK]
 When a suspect reaches for a gun and the officer uses his gun to protect himself, then there's nothing to complain about. Nothing.

When the subject reached for the gun, this officer chose not to rely upon his unreliable taser. He dropped the taser, and then dropped the subject. A very wise decision.


And a few more questions need to be asked:

Why wasn't the taser wasn't effective?

Did the taser help the situation in any way?

Did the taser actually encourage the subject to reach for the gun?

Taser International plays with the world's stupidest investors

Taser International's shares rose as much as $0.74 per share based on the news (released all at once) that they'd, ah, sold some tasers.
The company said the first order received was from a U.S. federal agency to provide 692 of its X26 electronic control devices with 1384 cartridges. The other orders were from four "international customers" and included 3,110 M26; 712 X26 with cameras, and enough cartridges to electro-torture 65,000 citizens. [LINK]
I would have expected that this would be just another week or two's worth of business for a company with a market cap of between $250M and $300M.

The market cap rose about ten times the retail value of the combined sales. Perhaps the idiot investors figured that there's be a similar announcement every day for the rest of the decade.


I notice that the sales of the older M26 continue. Perhaps it's because some overseas clients realize that it might actually be safer with respect to cardiac effects.

Weird...

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The share price has since retreated by about half the inexplicable increase (I guess once the sheeple were all fleeced).


Disclaimer - I have zero financial interest in this.

"Chilling" second video of the tasering of Kevin Spratt

Seven heavily protected prison officers wearing helmets and carrying batons are shown entering Mr Spratt's prison cell and yelling at Mr Spratt to turn around and lie down. "If you don't lay down, I'm going to taser you. Turn around and lay down. That's it, I'm not going to ask you again. If I have to ask you again I'm going to taser you," one officers shouts. After an unarmed Mr Spratt apparently refuses, a prison officer tasers Mr Spratt twice and he is then pinned face down on the floor. The officers then demand Mr Spratt extend his arms straight out while an officer drives a Taser into the small of his bare back and uses it nine times. During the ordeal Mr Spratt can be heard talking in native tongue and praying to God. ... [LINK]

Torture defined:

Under the United Nations Torture Convention of 1984, torture involves intentional infliction of pain, by a public official, to obtain information [...or other purposes as listed below]. The full definition of torture in the convention is:

"Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

This definition excludes "pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions", which seems designed to permit the death penalty. [LINK]

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You can read and re-read and read it again until your eyes fall out.

Those officers were torturing Mr. Spratt.

Torture.

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UPDATE: Highly-disturbing video of long-duration electro-torture available here [LINK].

Do this and do that or we will apply high-voltage shocks to your body to cause extreme pain.

It's torture.

Torture.

Torture.

Torture.

Torture.

Australia: Two officers at the Rockingham police station have been sacked

Officers sacked over taser 'entertainment'
An investigation found the Sergeant and Senior Constable improperly used tasers against other officers as a form of entertainment. Police Commisioner Karl O'Callaghan said he made the decision because neither of the officers told the truth to internal investigators when they were first questioned. ... [LINK]
Merry Christmas. The shopping malls are busy this time of year, perhaps they'll be looking for a few good men to patrol the corridors...

The Police Union expressed surprise at the dismissals:

Union says 'taser' officers should be demoted, not fired
"Yeah, we were absolutely not expecting that they'd be held accountable. Normally we police officers really do expect to get away with serious criminal acts such as these. Frankly, our members are in a state of shock at the new reality - that they need to start behaving as if they're in some sort of civil society. Geesh, the transition is going to be very difficult...", Mr. Armstrong [LINK] did NOT say, but may have been thinking...
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You know, an ounce of common sense - that's all it would take.

An ounce of common sense...

They could hire me at $10,000 per day to come Down Under and explain it to them. They'd all gather in an auditorium, I'd walk out to center stage, check the microphone, and then I'd explain it all to them:

"Good morning.

Stop acting like morons!

Now, who do I see about my cheque?"

Judge points out that the use of the taser worsened the situation

Nova Scotia Provincial Court Judge Anne Derrick ...concluded that Mr. Hyde, a 45-year-old musician, died because of the effect on his body of being restrained in the jail. She said that guards and police employed proportionate force, but that use of the taser, while within the accepted guidelines, worsened the situation. She urged that these weapons be applied only as a last resort on agitated people. [LINK]

Obviously tasers are a form of violence.

What's less obvious to some of the more thick-headed folks is just how violent tasers really are. They're off-the-scale with respect to pain. With each deployment there's a risk of death.

Those that treat them as a handy-dandy persuader to encourage a subject to behave are, at best, ill-informed, and at worst, evil and dangerous.

The escalation of violence is itself an evil act. Read some of the details of this case and it's perfectly clear that it was handled very badly from start to finish.

Judge rejects ‘excited delirium’ as cause of NS inmate’s death

A Nova Scotia judge probing the death in custody of a paranoid schizophrenic man has waded into the debate over excited delirium, rejecting it as the cause, and questioning if the controversial condition even exists.

Howard Hyde died the day after he was arrested for allegedly assaulting his wife while off his medication. The Dartmouth man was tasered repeatedly and wrestled into submission by police in a fracas during booking. He struggled later with guards at a local jail before collapsing and dying.

The province’s chief medical examiner had concluded that Mr. Hyde’s death was due to excited delirium.

Provincial Court Judge Anne Derrick – who presided over an 11-month inquiry and tabled a massive report on Wednesday with 80 recommendations aimed at improving treatment of the mentally ill – concluded that Mr. Hyde’s death was the accidental result of being restrained. "
This case should sound a loud alarm that resorting to ‘excited delirium’ as an explanation for a person’s behaviour and/or their death may be entirely misguided," she wrote. ... [LINK]
Yes, exactly as we've been pointing out since late-2007.
Judge Derrick rejected the finding of Matthew Bowes, the province’s chief medical examiner, who said that Mr. Hyde died from "excited delirium due to paranoid schizophrenia."

"Excited delirium, if it exists at all, is irrelevant to this case, a red herring," she wrote. "Furthermore, I believe it is inappropriate to say that Mr. Hyde’s death was ‘due to schizophrenia’ ... he did not die because he was mentally ill."
[ibid]

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scratch one more "excited delirium" death

Howard Hyde "excited delirium" findings overturned.

Howard Hyde, who died 30 hours after being stunned with a Taser... Three years after Howard Hyde died in a Halifax-area jail cell, a provincial court judge says his death was accidental and not the result of excited delirium. ... A medical examiner [had] concluded the cause of death was excited delirium with three contributing factors: the restraint technique used by guards and Hyde's obesity and heart disease. ... [CBC]

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"Excited delirium"... Part of the lexicon of deception.

--

Background (based on previous news reports):

Mr. Hyde was off his medication. Police were called. At the station, one officer apparently thought it would be a good idea to approach Mr. Hyde with an open knife, in order to cut off part of his clothing. Mr. Hyde, perhaps unsurprisingly, reacted badly. A struggle ensued. Mr. Hyde was tasered-and-immediately-died, but was heroically revived. Later, another struggle, and he died again.

Antoine di Zazzo is a liar, or perhaps just ill-informed

"A Taser has never killed anyone," the director of the Taser’s French subsidiary, Antoine di Zazzo, told the news agency AFP. ... [LINK]

How about Aron Firman? [LINK]

di Zazzo-for-brains either knows this, or he should know it. Mr. Firman's death is not the first to be attributed to the taser.

The simplest explanation is that di Zazzo is a bald-faced liar...

A reasonable alternate explanation is that he is simply a stun gun salesman, but that's essentially the same as the previous explanation.

Tasers can kill. 

   Tasers do kill. 

      Tasers have killed.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

If "tasers save lives", then show me the 683 saved lives in Chicago

The Independent Police Review Authority, a review agency created by a political city ordinance in Chicago, released a new report which claims there were 683 incidents in twelve months, ending September 30, 2010, when Tasers, also known as stun guns, were used by police officers. The 683 figure is much larger than the previous years figures of 197 usages in 2009 and only 163 in 2008. [LINK]

Do you think that tasers "saved" 683 lives in Chicago during that same 12-month period?

How about 68 lives (10%)?

Maybe seven (1%)?

Perhaps none?

Was there actually an increase in officer-involved deaths?

UK Taser firm stripped of license! Changes name, moves down the street.

Staff from the Taser firm stripped of its licence after its weapons were used in the stand-off with gunman Raoul Moat will be working for the new company set up as its sole replacement in the UK, Home Office officials said today.

Pro-Tect Systems will be replaced by start-up firm Pro-Tect Systems 2 Tactical Death Safety Responses (TSR), which is based in the same area and will use some of the same staff as its Northampton-based predecessor.

But Graham Widdecombe, of the Home Office, denied MPs' suggestions it was a "shotgun marriage" to get a firm in place very quickly in an effort to avoid a shortage of Taser weapons and cartridges.

Earlier, Pro-Tect managing director Kevin Coles told the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee that his firm broke its licence when its late director of operations Peter Boatman, a former police officer, decided [Suggestion: check the communications records...] to take the X12 Tasers, which were still being tested by Government scientists, directly to police involved in the Moat manhunt.

Mr Widdecombe agreed the Home Office had withdrawn authorisation to Pro-Tect, then granted a new licence to another company based in the same area with some of the same employees of the previous firm that had been struck off. ... [LINK]

Always a scam going on, isn't there?

PS: Tasers can cause death. Yes they can. It's essentially random.

Taser CAUSED "a" death. -- Okay, now think !!!

How many taser-deaths have been assigned to other causes because of the lies that tasers-R-safe and tasers cannot possibly cause a death?

How many?

Now it is clearly acknowledged that tasers can, IN FACT, cause death.

Taser caused schizophrenic’s death, investigation concludes [LINK]

And the obvious truth about taser safety is becoming more and more clear with each tragic killing. Tasers can kill. Are you surprised?

So what about all the past cases where deaths were arbitrarily assigned to other causes, no matter how far-fetched, because "...it couldn't have been the taser..." ?

WHAT ABOUT ALL THOSE PREVIOUS CASES?????

Taser killed Ontario man

"The Taser is characterized as a less lethal or intermediate weapon both in the OPP operator recertification material and the use of force model," SIU director Ian Scott said in a release. "However, in this incident, the Taser's deployment in my view caused Mr. Firman's death." ... The "officer could have reasonably thought that the Taser deployment would not be lethal based upon his training," he said. "In these circumstances, and in light of Mr. Firman's demonstrated degree of aggression, I am of the opinion that the Taser's deployment was not excessive, notwithstanding the fact that it caused Mr. Firman's demise." [LINK]

Taser International falsely claimed that tasers are essentially safe. Specifically with respect to the possible cardiac effects.

They embedded these lies and deceptions into the training packages, that they control.

OPP probably relied on this defective training long after it had been obvious to everyone that it was flawed.

So the officer is cleared of wrong-doing because the failures were higher up the chain of command.

It seems to me that the OPP and Taser International are in the legal cross-hairs.

I recommend that Firman's family hire a very good law firm, and launch a MASSIVE lawsuit against both of these organizations. Eight or nine figures. Hit 'em hard. If the dollar amount is too small, then nothing will change.

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The primary good news is that this investigation only required five or six months. That tight timing is a very good thing.

Aron Firman's attributed to taser

Aron Firman, 27, Collingwood, ON - June 24, 2010 - OPP

...In his report, Ian Scott, director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), attributed Firman’s death to the deployment of the Taser, but said the device is characterized as “less lethal,” which led the officer to reasonably believe it would not cause death. ... [via TNT]

24 June 2010 is a bit late to be using the excuse that they "...didn't get the memo."

Although this is "a good excuse" (sic!) for the officer, it also opens up the OPP to perfect liability for not communicating the true facts about tasers and safety; facts that have widely known since well before June 2010.

This outcome crumbles under the weight of its own self-contradictions.

June 2010?

Didn't know?

Puhleeze...

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PS: This news just in! Tasers can cause death. Gee, do ya think?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Lee County Sheriff’s Office finally acts on advice from a Mommy

FORT MYERS - The Lee County Sheriff’s Office fired a jailer who used his Taser excessively, turning it against his wife, his son and even the boy dating his daughter. Deputy Gene R. Ulbrich, a corrections deputy hired in 2007, violated agency rules for handling a weapon, according to an internal investigation. Sheriff Mike Scott fired Ulbrich on Nov. 23. ... [LINK]

Sheriff Mike Scott has apparently not been fired for failing to implement a taser use monitoring program. Ulbrich had reportedly been 'playing around' with his taser since at least April. But nobody bothered to check the records until prompted by a complaint from the mother of the boyfriend of the daughter of Ulbrich.

Does the taser "training" include any advice about what to do with the available on-device records of deployments? Shouldn't they be audited once a week or so?

Idiots.

Use of taser lands officer in legal trouble

BEAUMONT - Testimony is underway in the trial of a Beaumont police officer charged with official oppression. Prosecutors say James Cody Guedry, 28, used his Taser twice while assisting at a traffic stop in August of 2007. [LINK]

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Taser Quote of the Day:
In an audio tape of the stop, Duchamp said to Guedry, "I told you I would get you a tase before ya left."

I told ya I'd git ya in a legal mess before ya left.

Brilliant.

Even if he's acquitted, it's still a mess.

Western Australia - catching up with common sense

Western Australia Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan has announced a major policy change on Tasers, saying the stun guns should now only be used when officers believe they are at risk of serious injury. Mr. O'Callaghan said the WA Police Professional Standards Division would also review police use-of-force incidents captured on CCTV to determine if police accounts of incidents matched the tapes. ... [LINK]

So the police and political leadership around the world are so ill-informed that each and every jurisdiction has to have their own tragic or disturbing taser incident before they even begin to impose the sort of common sense (basic ethics) measures that critics and bloggers have been calling for, FOR YEARS!!

Are other jurisdictions paying attention?

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Anyway, bad news for the scummy and deceptive stun gun salesmen.

And good news for common decency and civil society.

9th issues "landmark" ruling against tasers

In a landmark ruling yesterday, a panel of judges from the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals determined that police use of tasers can constitute excessive force, and that officers should exercise discretion in deploying such electronic weapons against suspects. [LINK]
...The majority’s response, written by Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, was unsparing. Wardlaw’s opinion took issue with the basis for the dissent, stating that it was based “upon the largely unsupported and nonsensical belief that use of a device designed to fire a dart up to one-half inch into bare skin and deliver a 1200 volt charge somehow does not constitute an intermediate use of force.” ...

We're getting there.

Decision after decision is going the right way.

Taser International's (TASR) sales figures aren't going to be climbing as they wished if use of Tasers is tightly restricted.

Judge questions Taser rules constitutionality

A federal judge decided last week he wanted to hear more evidence about whether police rules for using Tasers are inadequate and unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Timothy Black said the evidence he's seen so far shows that police officers are "permitted" [by defective policy] to use Tasers against people who are not suspected of committing a serious crime and who do not pose a threat of harm to anyone else. [LINK]

Ah, yeah, duh!

Grade 6 Civics class is all that's required to figure this out.

Tasers are torture. Tasers are potentially deadly. Tasers are almost always excessive force.

And anyone that denies these obvious facts is a threat to civil society.

Aussie Police "threaten" to hand-in their tasers

The Police Union president Russell Armstrong says the Comissioner's announcement has upset officers. "They've said that they should hand their tasers back and we'll start carrying our batons and only our firearms," he said. [LINK]

Hey Armstrong!

You "guys" still have those puffter tasers? I heard that only weak wussies carry those yellow plastic (sometimes deadly, sometimes ineffective) toys. You guys (?) still carry them? Hey, not that there's anything wrong with that... ...ahem. It's 'good' (?) to walk around with a yellow plastic portable electro-torture device on your belt to let members of the public know that they could be the next Spratt, bouncing around on the floor, if they dare to mouth off. Maybe you should get the leopard skin print version, they look simply adorable. What next? A hot-pink Holden with menacing spikes glued on the bonnet? LOL.

Turn 'em in.

Wussies.