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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Joe Arpaio’s officer tasered Latino veteran that ended up dead

Video Shows Joe Arpaio’s Officer Used Taser On Latino Vet Who Later Died

Doctors found no drugs or alcohol in his system.

[LINK]

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Another good summary...

Note - this info goes way beyond what the manufacturer will admit, so the certified taser "experts" will not be aware of any of this.

The 1999-era M26 taser has a waveform that actually is a very short pulse of high frequency. These two characteristics actually did help to make it arguably reasonably "safe" with respect to direct cardiac effects.

Where it all went wrong was the 2003-era X26 taser. They changed the output waveform to also include a DC offset pulse that repeats at the 19Hz PRF. This component (the majority) of the output waveform is no longer short duration and no longer high frequency. They've unintentionally abandoned two key safety features for a trivial 5% increase in effectivity. The death rate PER DEPLOYMENT approximately doubled with the introduction of the X26 taser. The overall taser-associated death rate jumped from several per YEAR to about ten per MONTH.

Even one of the company's own experts has confirmed that the M26 has a wider safety margin than the X26. In other words, they've confirmed exactly what I've stated above.

For those that still refuse to accept the cause-and-effect relationship between being tasered and sometimes being dead, please respond to the taser's 'Curious Temporal Asymmetry' argument (Google the phrase).

For those that still feel that "tasers are safer than guns", please realize that tasers replace lower and safer forms of force in 99+% of all deployments. So your point is obviously true, but rarely applicable.

To be clear, the evil swirling around tasers is related to the waveform design error that makes the X26 far more potentially deadly than is reasonable, and the false claims by the manufacturer regarding the risk of death from the X26 taser. It's the false claims about safety that increase the usage pattern to the point where all sorts of people are being tasered, and the occasional non-violent subject is being killed by police (that have been fooled by the false claims).

I hope that this detail helps to clarify the complicated background of the actual problem with tasers.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ken Harris talks about $10 million Taser verdict

Old news (summer 2011), but still fresh: [LINK]

This is in connection to the taser-caused death of Darryl Turner, a 17-year-old student. Turner was killed by a taser hit directly to the chest.

Taser International continues to deny that the taser can kill in that manner, while simultaneously updating their fine-print legal warning language to warm of the same risk. I'll leave it to reader to calculate the morality of their two-faced approach.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Four RCMP Officers to stand trial for perjury

CTV News:

The four RCMP officers who tasered [TO DEATH] Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver airport in October, 2007 will stand trial on perjury charges. ... [LINK]

Const. Bill Bentley
Const. Kwesi Millington
Const. Gerry Rundell
Cpl. Benjamin Robinson

*Because* they had a taser, it became a taser incident. The use of the taser led directly to the death of Mr. Dziekanski. Then they lamely tried to cover it up.

If they didn't have a taser, it's overwhelmingly likely that Mr. Dziekanski would not have been killed.

What about Taser International's hired help? They also "testified" at the Braidwood Inquiry and much of what they claimed is clearly incorrect, and they know it. Perhaps they should also be held to account?

Friday, November 25, 2011

TASER basics: What every judge and jury should know

Tasers are potentially dangerous and it should not be a surprise to anyone that their use can occasionally cause and/or contribute to death.


PS: Meyer and his fans should look up Feynman on the distinction between 'Naming' and 'Knowing'. Meyer's column (14 Nov. 2011) is simply infested with plenty of 'Naming', but it reveals he's arguably a bit weak on the 'Knowing' front (apparently getting *all* of his information [vocabulary of taser-speak] from his sometimes "sponsor", Taser International).

Tasers are NOT "non-lethal"...

...and why the false claim is so dangerous.

Even the OEM [Taser International] has ever-so-slowly changed their tune and they now use the near-meaningless phrase "less than lethal". They've also added more and more direct health risks to their warnings. It's also a cold hard fact that some subjects have been in perfect health one moment and dead the next, and coroners have attributed some deaths to the taser's effects. Dr. Zipes, one of the world's leading experts in the field, has concluded that the OEM has systematically understated the risks. Canada's Braidwood Inquiry concluded that tasers can cause and contribute to death, and the OEM's appeal was tossed out of court.

Of course the taser death rate is low by any standard, but that misses the point.
The point is that false claims that tasers are inherently and always "non-lethal" is dangerously misleading and such false claims lead directly to the overuse of tasers in non-violent encounters (many examples). The result is often a net increase in the level of violence introduced into non-violent situations, and subjects being killed where it should not have happened. Not even touching on the entire torture question... Many hundreds of directly related lawsuits are costing US cities millions and millions and millions of dollars.

It's obvious that the *only* correct approach is to treat these weapons as "potentially lethal" (banish the misleading and dangerous concept of them being "non-lethal") and invoke strict policy that only allows their use immediately below lethal force (a huge narrowing of their too frequent misuse as a compliance [torture] tool). Such a better-informed approach eliminates virtually all of the misapplications while sticking closer to the advantage that tasers are obviously less lethal than gun fire.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

$1,000,000 "...a litigation settlement for an officer injury during arrest..."

Stupid is as Stupid pays.

A source tells me that Taser International’s Annual Report for 2010 (Form 10K) includes the following tidbit:

...a charge of approximately $1.0 million relating to a litigation settlement for an officer injury during arrest claim, included in other expense...

So, if you're a Police Officer that has been let down by the unreliable and sometimes ineffective taser, leading to an on the job injury, the line forms here.

HTV

Friday, November 11, 2011

National Institute of Justice connects use of tasers to "causing....death"

CBS News - A National Institute of Justice study concludes some police are going to their Tasers to subdue suspects 'way too fast' causing unnecessary pain and, in some cases, death. ...[LINK]

Yes, tasers can sometimes cause death.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fort Worth Weekly: "Taser Gets Zapped"

Quote of the Week:

That was a fully fabricated lie,” said Burton.

Referring to a statement issued by Taser International's long-nosed spokespuppet Steve Tuttle in relation to the taser-caused death of Darryl Turner. [LINK]

CSM - 'Tasers in the crosshairs'

The Christian Science Monitor

Three deaths in one weekend puts Taser use by cops in crosshairs
Tasers were involved in three deaths over the weekend, renewing the debate over when and how the police-issued stun guns should be used. [LINK]

...recent studies have shown that the weapons can have an outsized impact on people with health problems or who are very high on drugs and in a state of "excited delirium." ... Tasers contributed to some 351 US deaths between 2001 and 2008, says Amnesty International, which adds that 90 percent of those tasered were unarmed at the time they were electrocuted. The website Truth Not Tasers claims that 39 people have died in relation to "conducted energy devices (CEDs)" this year in the United States, an average of five per month. ...

More background on KARBON Arms

From an on-line discussion:

I am not sure about your credentials on these products but I find your comments uninformed and very biased. I have been a Taser instructor for the last 6 years and have trained over 500 in the use of the Taser. I am also a Karbon Arms instructor and was a stinger 200AT instructor for the past 3 years before it was bought out. I work for a large Sheriff's office and we have had great success with both products. We just received our Karbons that you claimed "fishy". 100 this year and we are buying 100 more in 2011. I am alarmed buy the amount of TASERs that we have that are broken. TASER just released a training bulletin stating that 5 years is the expected life of their product. The Karbon works as good or better than the TASER. The $950 TASER vs the $500 Karbon is not much to think about. The lawsuit you refer to was against the Stinger 200 that was 1st generation technology. Karbon arms is now on 3rd generation technology and has their own patent that was awarded shortly after TASER won the lawsuit over the 1st generation technology that Stinger was no longer using. TASER International wants $450 each to fix the 27 broke TASERS we currently have in inventory. Close to half of those have the infamous defective on/off lever. [Somewhere online]

KARBON ARMS - An alternative to Taser International ?

Interesting...

KARBON MPID [LINK] - Highlights of the Karbon MPID include:
"Off The Shelf" batteries – Save your department time and money
Internal Cartridge Retention – Protect the cartridge when things heat up
Unbreakable Push Button On/Off Safety – Extremely durable and simple to use, ensures the Karbon MPID turns on when it’s most needed
Single Finger Cartridge Eject System – Eject the cartridge quickly and effectively, no fumbling equals no accidents.
Uni-Body Solid Frame Construction – Durability to last through daily abuse
Integrated Front Sight and Integrated Flashlight – Makes sure everyone knows where the darts are heading
Wireless Data Conveyance – No open ports on the unit, simple to place on data dock, has virtually no clock drift

Their features list is neatly aligned with the many practical failings of the products designed by the idiots at Taser International.

They also specifically mention that their waveform is constant current and computer controlled. If true, then perhaps it offers a slightly higher margin of safety (?).

The major question is so far unanswered: What are their claims of safety, and how are these issues communicated during marketing and training?

In other words, how are their basic ethics?

Toronto G20 thugs positively identified

Justice Melvyn Green's judgment caused a stir because of its harsh criticism of police tactics. He said police officers acted as the aggressors that evening. "The only organized or collective physical aggression at that location that evening was perpetrated by police each time they advanced on demonstrators," Green wrote. ... [LINK]

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

REMINDER: August 2010 - Taser International settles with Butler for $3M

News from about one year ago [LINK].

This was yet-another HUGE legal setback (loss) that they pretend to ignore.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Taser International tasers itself in the arse

Taser International's 2nd Quarter results are about as expected. They're idiots and have managed to post yet another loss (again(again(again...))).

They've abandoned the obviously-stupid 'Protector' product / "service" (sic); it's not exactly an unexpected failure. That real-world IQ Test cost them at least $1.4M. LOL.

They've also been forced by their legal loss in the Darryl Turner case to set aside $3.3M. I'm not bad at seeing the future and I predict that they'll not be winning the appeals in this case. That money, along with another $6M+ from their extremely unhappy insurance carrier, will almost certainly eventually be signed over to the family.

There's still a backlog of other cases that should keep them in court and in the red until the end of time.

Idiots.

News Flash! - Taser torture of inmates is a serious civil rights violation

NEWS FLASH!!

A former Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy, Althea Mallisham, 52, has been charged with violating jail the civil rights of three inmates by using a stun gun on them. ... Mallisham is charged with using a stun gun to illegally punish the three inmates during separate incidents in June and September 2008. According to the indictment, she used an X26 Taser to shock the three inmates... Each of the inmates was injured as a result, according to the court document. ... Mallisham faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count. ... [LINK]

What? Electro-torture of inmates is illegal? Geesh. Who would have guessed THAT?

Decades in prison? Seems fair...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Kotzebue, AK cop loses his immunity in stun-gun case

...The Alaska Supreme Court has reversed a judge's finding that a Kotzebue police officer who used a stun gun on an 11-year-old should get immunity... [LINK]

Something to think about.

"After ineffective taser attempt, police shoot man"

...officers surrounded the suspect in a neighboring back yard and the man threatened to shoot himself. After convincing the man to holster his weapon, officers deployed a taser, which was ineffective. Chief Steve Robinette could not address the reason why the weapon did not work. "We hope to determine why it was ineffective through the course of the investigation," he said. After officers deployed the taser, the man unholstered his gun. According to reports, officers fired at the man in order to protect themselves. He was apparently hit in the torso and the hand. ...[LINK]

Unreliable and dangerous (to all present) weapon.

Taser International claims it is "generally safe and effective", and utterly refuse to acknowledge the risks.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Illuminating taser use stats from New Zealand

Figures obtained by the Sunday Star-Times show police have "presented" Tasers to offenders 797 times since March 2010 and, of these, they were fired 102 times. However, the police's Tactical Options Research database shows the weapons were ineffective on 36 of those 102 occasions, meaning the weapons worked only two-thirds of the time. [LINK]

Tasers are "presented" about 800 times, but only deployed about one hundred times.

If this sort of 8:1 ratio applies more generally, then there 'should be' thousands of people falling over dead at the "presentation" of a taser (assuming that Taser International's disgusting lie about taser safety is true).

Tasers are ineffective in about one-third of all attempted deployments. For whatever reason, it's a huge and dangerous failure rate.

This well-known ratio reveals that Taser International's claim that tasers are "generally safe and effective" is a bald-faced lie from a bunch of bald-faced liars. They know about this sort of failure rate - it's been seen before. But they try to deflect attention away from it. Even though it is inherent with the flawed concept and design of the taser.

If they'll lie about tasers being "generally effective" then they'll also lie through their teeth about taser safety too.

Scum.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Random thoughts - Hubris comes home to Taser International

A federal jury awarded $10 million against TASER International Inc. for the wrongful death of a teenager who died after being shocked in the chest by a TASER. The jury found that the company failed to warn that discharging the device near the heart could cause cardiac arrest. The model in question was the X26 ECD. [all over the news]

The long-term impact of this finding is huge.

As critics of Taser International have been stating (the obvious) for years, tasers are perfectly capable of causing or contributing to death. Taser International has systematically (and deceptively) denied these risks for many years.

The case of Darryl Turner is one of the clearest examples. He was tasered directly in the chest, which killed him.

The scum at Taser International, and they are the worst type of scum, will continue to deny these risks, while simultaneously adding legal warnings to the fine print.

They will file appeals, primarily as a stalling tactic. They're madly trying to enter other markets (over-priced phone apps, and VASTLY over-priced ear-cams). I suspect that the timing isn't going to work out for them. Their total potential liability exceeds the market valuation of their company by several times.

Their liability insurance payments are probably going to increase. $6M for ONE case? Do the math. Hundreds and hundreds of taser associated deaths.

Their most-recent legal record isn't anything to be proud of. They've lost several significant cases.

Plaintiff lawyers should consider getting some subpoenas on the "private" information held by the insurance carriers. I don't believe that there is any priviledge in the insurance client-provider relationship.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Taser International found liable in killing of Darryl Turner

Taser International, manufacturer of potentially lethal stun guns, was found partially responsible for the death of 17-year-old Darryl Turner after police in Charlotte, N.C., used a Taser device on him during an altercation at a grocery store on March 21, 2008. [LINK]

Mr. Turner was young and in generally good health, was tasered and was dead almost immediately.

Taser International was ruled responsible for about $9.23 million of the total award; about $6 million of that will be covered by insurance. The city of Charlotte will cover $730,000 as part of a settlement, and $40,000 will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

The $3M+ judgment not covered by their insurance consumes their potential profit for even a good year; and that's going to bite very hard. The next pain they feel will be when their insurance carrier(s) realize that this is the new trend. The third pain will be when the investors (a.k.a. morons) read about this and start complaining.

I've not been posting much recently, primarily because I've been waiting for this day.

Taser International can appeal this judgment all they want. The cold hard fact remains that their "safe" product killed Darryl Turner directly.

This one will stick.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sucks to be Taser International - maker of occasionally-lethal weapons

Scottsdale, Arizona arrived directly on "Autopsy confirms inmate killed by Taser".

All those false claims about taser safety that they promoted over the years. Now directly contradicted by real-world evidence, not to mention their latest legal warnings. Tsk tsk tsk.

The 'Curious Temporal Asymmetry' - finally, a counter-example.

It is extremely rare that the subject will die during a taser incident, unless the taser actually makes contact.

But finally we have what seems to be a clear-cut counter-example:

52-year-old Daniel Murrell - Louisville Metro Police Officer Matthew Mount pulled out his Taser, but didn't use it. Investigators then said Mount walked with Murrell a little further and then Murrell agreed to be handcuffed without incident. After Mount and Murrell returned to the corner of Greenwood and Cecil, investigators said Murrell collapsed. He later died. [LINK]

The Curious Temporal Asymmetry [LINK] is still the smoking gun that clearly demonstrates that tasers are perfectly capable of, and actually are, causing or contributing to death. It's just that we finally have a counter-example on the other side.

Just one. It should be (*) many hundreds or thousands. But just one so far.

(* If the fairy tales of taser safety were true...)

Const. Christopher "taser yer nuts" Hominuk bursts into tears

See [LINK] for full story...

Legally, that's 'Torture'. These actions (as have been reported) fit the definition perfectly.
The max of 14 years might be a bit harsh, but four years in the slammer would be about right.

Here's the disturbing punchline:
This is how tasers are often used. Typically not in the crotch, but as torture.


Howard Hammon multiple-tasered and then died "of car crash"

Questions continue to come up surrounding the death of Howard Hammon [LINK]

...There are questions about the number of times Hammon was tasered. The Chief claims it was twice, but police first-hand account records show he was hit five times by three separate officers. After Hammon was cuffed, he was left face down in a grassy area for five minutes while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. It was in this same position paramedics found him, not breathing and with no pulse. ...

Gee, I wonder what killed him?

Now that the claim that tasers are incapable of causing death has been shown to be a bald-faced lie, and it is now clear that tasers can and do cause death... ...then maybe, just maybe, the multiple taser hits caused or contributed to Hammon's death.

Unless clear-cut evidence of an alternate rational explanation is found (not guesswork under the banner of "excited delirium"), then taser-caused-death must be considered as a possibility.

Former officer Todd "taser in Ruiz's neck" Lappegaard PERSONALLY liable

IT IS RECOMMENDED that the Minneapolis City Council AFFIRM the City’s decision not to defend or indemnify the Respondent, Todd Lappegaard, in connection with Rolando Demetrio Ruiz v. City of Minneapolis and Todd Lappegaard. [LINK]

See also [LINK], [LINK], [LINK] and [LINK].

Good decision. If Lappegaard's life is ruined, then perhaps that will send a clear message to meat-heads everywhere - and thus help to protect the rights of citizens.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Autopsy confirms inmate killed by Taser

Taser International's nightmare has arrived.

LILLINGTON, NC - The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner issued autopsy results Tuesday that list a Harnett County inmate's cause of death as complications from being Tasered multiple times. "Given the autopsy and investigative findings, it is our opinion that the cause of death is complications of conducted energy device application," reads the report. ... [LINK]

24-year-old Brandon Jolvon Bethea of Fayetteville. Reportedly not restrained in any other way.


Taser International makes weapons that can kill.

And yet, they once claimed that Tasers were essentially inherently safe.

Scum. Slimeball scum.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Taser Quote of the Month: "Tasers do not usually kill..."

Tasers do not usually kill... [LINK]

Fair enough.

Put another way, Tasers sometimes do kill.

That's a long way from the old lie that Tasers were inherently incapable of ever causing or contributing to death.

It shouldn't be such a great mystery when some people react to taser hits by dying.

Taser International may play word games, but the fact remains that Tasers can and do cause or contribute to death. Therefore, their use must be tightly regulated.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Taser fails to help Vancouver Police with sword-wielding man

File under: Unreliable weapon

CBC News:
Police used rubber bullets and a Taser to try to take down a sword-wielding man in downtown Vancouver near the busy intersection of Burrard Street and Georgia Street on Monday. ...a shot from a Taser stun-gun failed to take the man down, and he was then tackled to the ground by several officers... [LINK]

Not only inherently potentially dangerous. But also dangerous due to the relatively high rate of it being ineffective.

FAIL.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Canadian Province of Nova Scotia heading in correct direction

The province and policing partners agree that the use of conducted energy weapons should only occur when a person’s behaviour is aggressive or violent and could harm the person or the public or the police officer. [LINK]

Geesh. Basic Common Sense 101.

File under: Duh!

I've stated several times that if the subject is actually violent, then I don't care of the police are forced to use "a fricken flamethrower" on the subject. That statement is, I readily admit, a vast overstatement. Hopefully the brave police would display restraint and heroism, and would struggle to find a way to defuse the situation rather than mindlessly meet mindless violence with more mindless violence. Especially in the cases where the subject is probably mentally ill.

...it speaks volumes that the use of the stun guns has already dropped by over 70 per cent since Hyde’s death in 2007
Not a bad start.

But it's still about thirty times the historical rate of police use of lethal force.

That ratio should be more like about five (roughly) to achieve an ethical balance.

New civilian agency to probe police incidents in B.C.

CBC News - British Columbia's solicitor general has introduced long-awaited legislation to create an independent civilian agency to conduct criminal investigations into serious incidents involving all police in B.C., including the RCMP. Solicitor General Shirley Bond introduced the legislation to end police investigations of other police in serious incidents that result in death or serious harm... [LINK]

It's 2011 - about time.

Memo to police in B.C. - covering-up for your brother officers will not be accepted.

Prediction: They'll still fall in groups.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mounties in Dziekanski Taser case charged with perjury

Perjury charges have now been laid against the four Mounties who confronted Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver's airport and repeatedly stunned him with a Taser in October 2007. The officers - Const. Bill Bentley, Const. Kwesi Millington, Const. Gerry Rundell and Cpl. Benjamin Robinson - are accused of lying during the testimony they gave during a public inquiry into Dziekanski's death. [LINK]

What about the bought-and-paid-for so-called "expert" witnesses brought in by Taser International, not to mention the executives too. Some of their testimony was described by Justice Braidwood as being "an insult to the intelligence" and was rejected. Other testimony was in contradiction to the company's official position and other statements made before and after the Inquiry. Their testimony is at least as far fetched as that from the four RCMP Officers, and should also result in perjury charges.

Allen Kephart 'died' immediately after being taser multiple times

43-year old Allen Kephart died after he was tasered multiple times by a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy. ... The deputy used his taser to subdue him. Moments later Kephart was unconscious. Despite efforts to revive him, Kephart died. [LINK]

Alive for 43 years. Dead moments after being tasered multiple times.

Hmmm....

Of course there can be contributing factors. But those contributing factors have failed to kill him for weeks, months, years, decades. He was tasered multiple times, and his immediate reaction was to become unconscious and die. It seems obvious that the use of the taser is in a cause-and-effect relationship with his death. Any other description is a cover-up.


Those that seek to obscure the truth will play evil games with language.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"Man Dies After Being Tasered 34 Times", nothing to see here, move along

A Man Dies After Being Tasered 34 Times, But The State Rules Police Officers Involved Aren't Responsible For His Death [LINK]
... Taser International, maker of the electronic weapon that has become a police mainstay, is ferociously opposed to any suggestion that these stun guns can be lethal. Their spokesmen insist that when someone dies after being Tased, the actual cause of death is some other condition such as drug use, psychiatric- or obesity-related diseases. ...

Their public protestations that tasers-R-safe does not align with their official, legal warnings issued 1 May 2010 [LINK]. They are contradicting themselves so obviously that it is to the point of being farcical. Courts do not look favorably upon such self-contradictions.

It's a fact - tasers can kill.

Allowing a lax Taser Use Policy can permit great evil to occur.

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, s.12

The prevalent use of the Taser, in my view, is unconstitutional under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which states in Section 12: "Everyone has a right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment. ..." [LINK]
Many taser deployments are clear cases of exactly that.

Especially those that involve the use of the taser in "pain compliance" mode (a.k.a. Touch Torture mode, Drive Stun mode, Dry Stun mode).

Also, repeated taser-torturing of those that are incapable of obeying shouted orders.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Four RCMP Officiers charged with perjury - commentary about the evil 'Blue Brotherhood'

Isn't it interesting: Four out of four.

Isn't it interesting: Other than being reassigned, these four have not had any internal discipline imposed.

Isn't it interesting: Paul Pritchard had to hire a darn lawyer to gain return of his video of Mr. Dziekanski's taser-caused death.


Although the rate of intentional misconduct by police officers is not high, it really seems that the rate of coverup is extremely high. It's probably about time for the courts to pay attention to this issue of  The Blue Brotherhood of Silence  (and sometimes even Lies).

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Taser Quote of the Month

The Taser was initially conceived as an alternative to deadly force. In practice, it's often fired by police officers hoping to avoid a physical struggle or to get someone to comply with an order. [LINK]

40-year-old Daniel McDonnell was already in a jail cell. He was tasered_and_died. Up to the point of being tasered, he had lived 40 years. Tasered_then_dead.

Google the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry".

Corruption of "Science" revealed by analysis

Lee's study looks at other Taser studies funded by Taser International. He found results come out favorably 75 percent more often than other studies funded independently. "We have seen this with the cigarette companies and now I think we're seeing it again with the Taser companies," said Lee. ... [LINK]

Many of those involved in mass production of so-called "scientific" studies are financially linked to Taser International. Unsurprisingly, their "scientific" studies essentially never find any danger with tasers.

The danger that has now been revealed is the corruption of the scientific method.

Taser International is following in the footsteps of Big Tobacco.

By the way, did anyone bother to go back and jail any of the bought-and-paid-for scientists that were in the pocket of Big Tobacco? There should be severe penalties to go along with the stock options.

Same thing for these more-modern scoundrels that are in the pocket of Taser International.

Steve "Tuggle" with Taser International makes a joke

Steve Tuggle (sic, and sick) with Taser International said, "Most of our research goes through a conflict of interest committee run by the Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota." [LINK]

Bwa ha ha ha ha ha...

For those that don't know...

Jeffrey Ho, MD, is associated with the Department of Emergency Medicine, Hennepin County Medical Center. Dr. Jeffrey Ho is a sworn peace officer and serves as an expert consultant to TASER International on issues of research and sudden, arrest-related death. He owns shares of stock in this company. His research in this area has received funding from TASER International, Inc.

Dr. Ho's testimony at the Braidwood Inquiry was described by Justice Braidwood as "...an insult to the intelligence...".


Yes indeed. It certainly is a Conflict of Interest committee.

Hennepin County Medical Center is a hot-bed of Taser fan-boys. Anyone that examines the many financial links from Taser International to some of the people there would see that they couldn't be trusted.

It's simply disgusting.

Four Mounties face charges of perjury in Dziekanski taser case

Four Mounties involved in a fatal confrontation with Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski will face charges of perjury in relation to the evidence each officer gave at the Braidwood inquiry into the 2007 incident, the provincial criminal-justice branch said Friday. [LINK]
Good. Holding these officers to account for their outrageous testimony is critical.

No citizen is safe (not even YOU dear reader) if the police can get away with lies and deception on the witness stand.


If they are convicted, they must be punished at the high end of the scale. These are "Officers of The Law", and they must therefore be held to the highest standards. If they are found to have lied, then nail them to the wall.

--

PS: Now, what about those scoundrels sent by Taser International to "testify" at the same inquiry? Remember Dr. Jeffrey Ho's te$timoney was described by Justice Braidwood as "an insult to the intelligence"? [LINK] What about that other 'unknown' Taser-funded walking-talking ethical-vacuum that tried to stuff the ballot box of a poll that this blog was running at the time? [LINK]

Tainted Taser Studies

UCSF Cardiologists Find Taser Studies Tainted - Research funded by the stun-gun maker significantly more likely to conclude the weapon is safe [LINK]

A new study by two UCSF cardiologists suggests that many of the studies attesting to the safety of Tasers are funded by the stun gun's manufacturer or authored by researchers affiliated with it.

Dr. Peyman N. Azadani and Dr. Byron K. Lee looked at every study of Taser safety that they could find -- some 50 of them -- and found that 23 of the studies were funded by Taser International or written by an author affiliated with the company.

The researchers found that studies either funded by Taser or written by authors who were affiliated with the company were significantly more likely to conclude the devices were safe than studies that were funded independently.

Some 96 percent of studies supported by Taser concluded that the devices were “not harmful” or “unlikely harmful.” By comparison, only 55 percent of the independent studies found the devices to be “not harmful” or “unlikely harmful.” ...

Possible explanations:
1. Coincidence (odds 0.00%)
2. Corruption (bingo!)
3. Conniving (bingo!)
4. Cash (bingo!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

The taser's 'Curious Temporal Asymmetry' caught in action

Nine dead in Connecticut after being Tasered by police. That’s the estimated body count during the past five years from incidents in which a person was hit by a police electronic stun gun and died immediately or soon after, according to reviews of state records, interviews and news reports. In none of those cases were the deaths directly attributed to the use of Tasers. Autopsy results included causes of death such as “cocaine toxicity,” a self-inflicted stab wound to the chest, heart disease and (in three cases) “excited delirium,” a finding not recognized by top medical authorities. ... [LINK]
Isn't it curious how nobody ever dies in that often very long-winding shouting match that precedes a typical taser use (after the taser is drawn and displayed, but just before it is about to be used). Plenty of people die after they've been actually contacted by the taser, but nobody in recorded history has ever died at the sound of the "Taser! Taser! Taser!" warning. There should be hundreds or thousands of such cases, if their fairy tales about "excited delirium" were true.

Considering that tasers are displayed about ten times more often than actually fired, it's a very curious temporal asymmetry.[CLICK HERE]

Consider also that Taser International now "officially" - but very quietly - acknowledges the risk of taser death (while simultaneously lying about it in public forums), the existence of this temporal asymmetry is no mystery.

Tasers can cause or contribute to death. That's a fact. A sad fact.

And perhaps that's why so many people are dying immediately after being tasered.

Those that lie about taser safety in public forums have blood on their hands. They themselves are causing or contributing to taser overuse, that can only lead to more unnecessary deaths.

Evil scum.

Report: "X26 Tasers have had a greater than 25 per cent failure rate"

It's simply amazing how often we are exactly correct...

We've noted before that there seemed to be a very high rate of reports that tasers were ineffective. Ineffective tasers puts the poor officer into a situation that has suddenly become violent, but his taser ain't working.

We figured the rate of ineffective tasers was significant, by the fork-tongue stungun salesmen denied it.

Now this:
Police figures show the X26 Tasers have had a greater than 25 per cent failure rate since they were reintroduced in 2010. [via TNT]

That's a very dangerous level of unreliability.

Search this blog for "ineffective" [LINK].

People have been KILLED because of ineffective tasers.

We spank 'OfficialTASER'

OfficialTASER (Hi Steve!) shows up and gets a good spanking. [LINK]

I pity them (not really, they're scum). They've put themselves into a position on the subject of taser safety that, quite literally, cannot be legally defended without causing hilarity in any court.


excited.delirium at 3:31 PM May 6, 2011

It's also worth noting that tasers are used about one-hundred times as often as police have historically and generally-acceptably used their guns. This overuse ratio varies with jurisdiction and varies over time, but 100X is a good round number.

Keep this in mind in case anyone drags out the old argument that "tasers are better than guns".

Such claims, while very attractive, are about 99% beside the point.

Taser most often replace lower and EVEN-LESS-LETHAL forms of force.

excited.delirium at 3:27 PM May 6, 2011

DaveDavid, assuming it's the same David E. Z____n as last time, is a retired USN corrosion expert. He is apparently (based on his interest in stocks, specifically Taser International) heavily invested in Taser International stock. He vigorously defends Taser International in many on-line forums, and then he sends a message to "Official Taser" to join in with a follow up.

As has happened here...

excited.delirium at 3:23 PM May 6, 2011

Amnesty International dug up 150 autopsy reports (not easy) for taser associated deaths and they found that 50 (or about one-third) listed the taser as a cause or contributing factor.

One third. That fraction can only be a low ball value. Taser International has gone to extreme lengths to install "excited delirium" as the place holder cause of death in cases where no other postmorten evidence is found. I personally suspect the honest ratio is much higher; not 100% obviously, but probably well over half.

The list of taser associated deaths now reaches 600+ (most up-to-date list is on Truth Not Tasers). If the one-third ratio is holding firm, then tasers have caused or contributed to at least 200 deaths.

excited.delirium at 3:16 PM May 6, 2011

The government of the Canadian province of British Columbia held a multi-million dollar public inquiry into the taser death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancover airport.

Google the Braidwood Inquiry.

The arguments of Taser International's bought-and-paid-for experts was rejected as being an "insult to the intelligence." Justice Braidwood concluded that the most significant event in the last minutes of Mr. Dziekanski's life was the repeated and long duration tasering. That was the "most prominent" cause of death.

excited.delirium at 3:13 PM May 6, 2011

Taser International settled with Steve Butler for $3 million. Mr. Butler's heart was stopped by the application of a taser. His life was saved, but the after-effects included permanent brain damage. Taser International tried to keep this settlement secret, but the court would have none of it.

excited.delirium at 3:11 PM May 6, 2011

The condition sometimes called "Excited Delirium" has a long history. It was originally called Bell's mania, where mental patients stopped eating and slowly died over a period of many weeks. This condition had no obvious root cause and left no postmorten clues. So it was adopted by Taser International as a handy-dandy excuse for taser associated deaths since tasers also leave few postmortem clues. They even promoted excited delirium via their funded front - the IPICD. Plenty of funny-business going on between Taser International and IPICD.

As far as testing goes... Those studies have never proven that tasers are completely safe. The studies have been misleadingly characterized as such, but they do not prove that tasers cannot kill. One so-called study demonstrated that tasers are safe, but accidentally also indicated that they don't work at all. There's plenty of dirt in this area as well.

excited.delirium at 3:11 PM May 6, 2011

With respect to taser use and its causal relationship to those that die after its use, what is striking is how nobody has ever died at the sound of the "Taser! Taser! Taser!" warning. Individuals that die in incidents involving tasers die vastly more often after being tasered, than in the often long-winded shouting match that precedes many taser deployments. It's a 'Curious Temporal Asymmetry' (Googe the phrase) that clearly indicates a cause-and-effect relationship between actual contact with the taser and the fatal reaction that occassionally follows.

excited.delirium at 3:10 PM May 6, 2011

One year ago, Taser International modified their "official" position on taser safety. Up until that point they had repeatedly claimed that tasers could never affect the heart, and could never cause or contribute to any death. But on 1 May 2010, Taser International released a new training package that contained newly-updated legal warnings that finally acknowledge what so many people have already concluded: tasers can affect the heart, especially if the darts land on the chest; tasers can cause effects that may endfanger life; use of tasers carries risks including risk of death.

For more information, hit the websites Truth ... Not Tasers and Excited-Delirium.com (with the dash).


OfficialTASER at 3:44 PM May 5, 2011

What "experts" said police should be held responsible besides one plaintiff's attorney? I only saw that medical examiners cleared the TASER ECD for causality.

Check your accuracy regarding Amnesty. They do not state 300 deaths as a "result" of TASER ECDs. In fact their report clearly states, “Amnesty International does not suggest that TASERs necessarily caused or contributed to each of these deaths.”

I also enjoyed the statement that "excited delirium is not recognized by top medical authorities. I wonder if the reporter would like to present that statement to the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) who formally recognize excited delirium as a unique syndrome or the National Association of Medical Examiners. You might want to also check the status of what the ACEP Physicians Task Force that Excited Delirium Syndrome recently stated. Hint: “Syndrome is a real syndrome with uncertain, likely multiple, etiologies.” I guess those aren't top medical authorities? Not exactly.

Have we spent money on sponsoring testing? I would hope people would hope so. But here’s a nugget that often gets missed about TASER studies: TASER ECD are the most studied less-lethal option on an officer's belt today with more than 70% of these studies INDEPENDENT of TASER. People don't like seeing that statistic for some reason, yet it is a fact.

I agree with DaveDavid.


DaveDavid at 11:02 PM May 4, 2011

I have never read a story so full of outright fiction and incomplete facts. Easy to tell that the "personal injury trial lawyers" representing the drugies that died are the ones willing to fill this reporters head with crud. Nine died and yet the Medical Examiner has never blamed a Taser. It is clear that this reporter will not let facts get in the way of a good story, a real fairy tale.

Zuskin, you're an arse.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The latest 'Big Lie'

...unavailability [of tasers] is considered to be an unacceptable risk to the community and Queensland police officers... [via TNT]

Fact: Tasers are typically used about one-hundred times as often as police have historically and generally-acceptably used lethal force. This 100X ratio varies with jurisdiction and varies over time, but 100X is a good and proper description of the ratio of taser (over-) use to use of lethal force.

Fact: Based on everything I've seen, it seems perfectly obvious that for the vast majority of police taser uses, the taser deployment represent an increase in the level of violence in the situation. The taser is most often applied in non-violent situations, making the non-violent situation violent. Tasers are THE OPPOSITE of de-escalation. This makes the use of the taser an increase in the level of risk for all those involved.

Fact: The evidence strongly suggests that use of lethal force DOES NOT DECREASE when tasers are introduced. One large study showed that police shootings INCREASED in the first year after tasers were introduced.

Fact: Even after the 'Taser Use Policies' are eventually dragged out of the ethically-bankrupt, morally-reprehensible, human-rights-violating, electroshock-torture-promoting, Constitution-violating, lawsuit-inducing quagmire as so helpfully suggested by the slimeball stungun salesmen... Even after the policy is updated, it only marginally reduces these abuses. The reduction to achieve basic human morality has to be about -95%!! Even that generously allows 5X taser use over historical use of lethal force. EVEN AFTER policy adjustment, the tasers are STILL being used most often to replace de-escalation techniques.

The true unacceptable risk of tasers to civil society is that the deceptive marketing messages and unethical infiltration of the law enforcement community are permitted to continue.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Three officials in Rockford, IL facing serious charges related to taser & choking incident

Rockford, Illinois — The former mayor and police chief of the northern Illinois community of South Beloit face official misconduct charges for their roles in a woman's 2008 arrest. Charges were announced Friday against former Mayor Randy Kirichkow, former police Chief Tom Fearn and former police Sgt. Brad McCaslin. Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato says an arrest video shows Fearn choking the woman after McCaslin applied a Taser to the back of her neck. They also face aggravated battery and obstruction of justice charges, among others. [LINK]

De-Spinning the Spin

See the heading DE-SPINNING THE SPIN near the top of the righthand column?

If you're new to the taser debate (or would like a refresh), then start going through the posts listed under that heading. Within each of those posts, follow the links to the related previous posts that amplify the details. Those listed posts will rapidly bring you up to speed on what's been going on over the past several years.

You'll probably be absolutely amazed at some of the ugly dirt that has been uncovered on these slime-ball stungun salesmen and their merry band of bought-and-paid-for minions.

For those writing a book on the subject, each of those listed posts could be the basis of an entire chapter.

Alaska: punitive taser hits are "...what some might view as torture...”

The Alaska Supreme Court overturned an obviously-incorrect lower court decision and sends the case back.

A lawyer describe the excessive, obviously punitive, repeated taser hits as "...what some might view as torture...” [LINK]

Tasers! Far more convenient than booster cables and damp sponges.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Calgary senior-citizen-tasering officer on trial for Assault with a weapon & Causing bodily harm

Strange story here: [LINK].

Guilty or Not Guilty - either way it turns out, it's refreshing and reassuring to see a police officer actually facing serious charges in such apparently 'taser-crazy' circumstances (as described in the news reports).

Public safety critically depends upon this sort of open-to-all legal process.

Florida Panhandle man dies "SHORTLY AFTER" being tasered

Subject is reported to be running around for some extended period of time. Police arrive, taser is used, and the subject dies "shortly after". [LINK]

The subject was reportedly acting a bit crazy; but certainly not as crazy as those that would deny the likelihood of taser-death causality in such cases.

Google the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry for more info.

Peter McFarland wins $1.9M taser settlement from Marin County

Yee haw! That'll learn 'em.

What I really love about this settlement is that the county self-insures for the first $1M, and the other $900k comes from their insurance company. That's just about perfect. Share the pain in a way that should capture the attention of all concerned.

A news report: [LINK]

The county claims to have already tightened-up Taser Use Policy and cut their use by "64%".

If they honestly believe that a mere 64% reduction is sufficient to avoid overuse and misuse of tasers, then they're "Moron County". They'll pay out again sooner or later; mark my words.

The correct reduction ratio is more like 95%.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

'The List' updated - new info sources raise number to 655

The 'TRUTH ... not TASERS' blog

Monday, 25 April 2011

MAJOR REVISION - 655 DEAD AFTER TASER USE


--

Some people that are massively ill-informed may react to this news by assuming that 'The List' is populated by "...a vast majority of subjects whose deaths had nothing to do with the taser..."

If you're one of those people, then   EXPLAIN THIS .

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Taser International makes $19,732 quarterly profit

That'd be a decent middle-class wage, if it was an individual. LOL.

P/E ratio (assuming this result extrapolated 4X to a full year) is worse than 3,000/1. What sort of idiot would invest in this company? Are there no more Apple shares available? Nothing better on the market?

These sorts of financial results perhaps explain why they're now trying to sell overpriced smartphone apps and vastly-overpriced ear-mounted camera data storage service.

Note - I don't care how they do financially. It's simply a measurement that even they would have to pay attention.

'The List' at the Truth Not Tasers blog

As has been suspected, there are always going to be taser-associated deaths that were not reported or where the news reports were missed. Those cases were thus not included on The List. As time passes, other reports or even lists are found that provide additional cases where a subject was tasered_and_died.

The List [LINK] now has 631 entries.


I also have been maintaining a list. This is the list of subjects where the taser was drawn and the subject died just before the officer was able to make contact with the taser. These people fell over stone-cold dead at the mere sound of the "Taser! Taser! Taser!" warning call, or perhaps they fell over dead during the taser-display, or perhaps they fell over dead as the taser darts whistled past their suddenly-collapsing corpse.

So these are the "taser proximal" deaths where the usual ordering (first actual taser contact, then death) is sort-of reversed. Any cases where the taser was just about to be used, and the subject began to die just as the taser was about to be used, can be included. Feel free to send in any reports that I may have missed.


List of those that died just BEFORE taser deployment
-empty set-



Hmmm. Logically, if the argument that taser-associated deaths are mere coincidence were true, then there should be many hundreds...

So, where are they?


See [LINK] for more details about The Logical Argument That Slowly-But-Surely Killed Taser International's Dreams.

New PERF Taser-Use Guidelines - April 2011

It's hilarious. Seriously funny.

Capt. Greg Meyer (ret.) [LINK], Taser International-sponsored columnist, participates in the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) committee that just adopted some brand-new Taser Use Guidelines [via TNT].

These new guidelines, while still not absolutely perfect, move even further AWAY from the previous generations of dangerously-bad, morally-bankrupt advice from the manufacturer, and directly TOWARDS the position that concerned citizens (such as this blogger) have been recommending for years.

The funny part is how he maintains his composure while moving from his previously-held position to a position much closer to our own. He's able to stand in a bucket of poop on stage for an hour, and not mention the bucket of poop. Good acting skills Greg, bravo!

It would be reasonable to suspect that behind the scenes he may have been vigorously fighting against some of these recommendations. Obviously there's no available evidence of this, just gut instinct.


Extracts (Fair Use righteously claimed):

PERF Taser Use Guidelines - April 2011

10. Agencies should not rely solely on training curriculum provided by an ECW manufacturer. When they do use the curriculum, agencies should ensure the manufacturer’s training does not contradict agency use-of-force policies and [basic human] values. ...
[What have we been saying for years? And note the BS-choice of words "an ECW manufacturer"; they are referring specifically to Taser International.]
11. Agencies should be aware that exposure to ECW application during training could result in injury to personnel and is not recommended. ...
[Duh!]
13. Personnel should be trained to use an ECW for one standard cycle (five seconds) and then [STOP! and] evaluate the situation... Training protocols should emphasize that multiple applications or continuous cycling of an ECW resulting in an exposure longer than 15 seconds (whether continuous or cumulative) may increase the risk of serious injury or death and should be avoided.
[Increase the risk? So the risk exists even with ONE cycle, but is increased with longer durations. Years ago, many had observed that taser deaths seemed to be more-highly associated with longer duration taser hits. Clear cut evidence of the risks, but ignored by many fan-boys...]
16. Agencies’ policy and training should discourage the use of the drive stun mode as a pain compliance technique. ...
[Because it's Torture. This is huge news. They've finally come out and strongly hinted that using a taser in pain-compliance mode isn't a good idea. Ask yourself why they would make this recommendation. There's only one answer, and that is that such use is equivalent to using the glowing end of a lit cigarette to force (verb) compliance; i.e. Torture. Hey! Welcome back to humanity.]
17. Personnel should be trained to attempt hands-on control tactics during ECW application, including handcuffing the subject during ECW application (i.e., handcuffing under power). ...
[This commonsense advice has been widely ignored since Day 1.]
21. Personnel should use an ECW for one standard cycle (five seconds) and then evaluate the situation to determine if subsequent cycles are necessary. Personnel should consider that exposure to the ECW for longer than 15 seconds (whether due to multiple applications or continuous cycling) may increase the risk of death or serious injury. ...
[Note the "increase" the risk of DEATH...  You watch the scumballs at Taser International give us the silent treatment...]
25. ECWs should be used only against subjects who are exhibiting active aggression or who are actively resisting in a manner that, in the officer’s judgment, is likely to result in injuries to themselves or others. ECWs should not be used against a passive subject.
[This is huge. It's the same as one of Braidwood's best recommendation. This should result in a ~90% reduction in use. That's what happened in some western Canada jurisdictions post-Braidwood.]
26. Fleeing should not be the sole justification for using an ECW against a subject. Personnel should consider the severity of the offense, the subject’s threat level to others, and the risk of serious injury to the subject before deciding to use an ECW on a fleeing subject.
[Are the meat-head police-wannabes at BART4brains paying attention?]
27. ECWs should not generally be used against pregnant women, elderly persons, young children, and visibly frail persons. ...
[Because it could kill them...]
28. Personnel should not intentionally target sensitive areas (e.g., head, neck, genitalia). ...
[Nor the chest. Manufacturer advises against aiming at the chest. And don't taser if they're fleeing (see above #26) - makes the back a difficult-to-explains target. So you're left with what? ...targeting the ankles?  They have to specifically mention the genitalia because some hopefully-small minority of locker-room mentality officers find those areas strangely attractive.]
36. All subjects who have been exposed to ECW application should receive a medical evaluation by emergency medical responders in the field or at a medical facility. Subjects who have been exposed to prolonged application (i.e., more than 15 seconds) should be transported to an emergency department for evaluation. Personnel conducting the medical evaluation should be made aware that the suspect has experienced ECW activation, so they can better evaluate the need for further medical treatment.
[Why do they need medical attention? We thought you said that these things were "safe"! Were you lying or just plain wrong?]
37. All subjects who have received an ECW application should be monitored regularly while in police custody even if they received medical care. Documentation of the ECW exposure should accompany the subject when transferred to jail personnel or until the subject is released from police custody.
[This certainly explains why Taser International and their merry band of bought and paid-for scuzball minions have been strangely silent for about the past year or so.]
46. ECW activations should be tracked...
47. Agencies should periodically conduct random audits of ECW data downloads and reconcile use-of-force reports with recorded activations. Agencies should take necessary action as appropriate when inconsistencies are detected.
[We made this common sense observation a long time ago.]


Please note that many of the above recommendations clearly indicate that the old lie that tasers-R-safe has now been officially abandoned. Will someone please send out a general memo to all the idiot taser fanboys that still claim that tasers-R-safe? Puhleze...


And here's the punchline...
Proximity death: The death of a subject following exposure to an ECW.

What? "following"? The word "proximity" means before OR after... Preceding OR following.

So why in the f**king h*ll have you assumed it only means "following"?

Could it be that all these supposedly "coincidental" taser-proximal deaths only ever occur AFTER the taser hit? Even though taser warnings and displays vastly outnumber taser hits. Even though the duration of the taser warning and display can be longer than the time between the ultimate taser hit and the subject's immediate fatal reaction.

Google the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry" [LINK] for complete details of this curious observation that implies that many taser-proximal deaths are actually in a cause-and-effect relationship.

There is no other explanation except that tasers can sometimes kill.

Monday, April 11, 2011

RCMP taser 11-year old child

That's it. That's the punchline.

RCMP taser an 11-year-old child (*).

(* potentially armed and dangerous.)

Bahrain trying on Taser International's latest excuse: sickle cell disease

BBC News - Two Bahraini Shia activists who were detained after weeks of anti-government protests have died in police custody. ... Another detainee, Zakaraya Rashed Hassan, 40, had died of sickle cell disease, the ministry added. It was the second such death in a week. Several Shia activists have complained of being tortured while in custody. ... Human Rights Watch said both the families of the men who died of sickle-cell disease, according to official records, had dismissed the findings. [LINK]

Sickle cell disease [LINK] - the latest version of...

"Ah, oh yeah. Like, he fell down the stairs."
"Yeah, like my partner said: he fell fell down the stairs."
"Yeah, six times! Ha ha ha..."
"Ha ha ha..."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Beware of so-called "Expert Witnesses"

Some of them may be sleaze-ball lying sociopaths.

Others may simply be incorrect in their confident assertions.

This example is closer to the former than the latter:

CBC News - The egregious actions and abysmal failures of Dr. Charles Smith have disgraced the entire medical profession, Ontario's doctors' college said Friday in a severe reprimand to the discredited pathologist. Smith, who was not at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario to be chastized in person, was stripped of his medical licence last month.

Years after it became clear his mistakes led to several people being wrongly convicted of killing children, the college came down hard on Smith in its chance to express its "abhorrence" of the doctor's conduct.

"Your transgressions were egregious in nature, repulsive in result, and caused irreparable harm to many innocent victims," panel chairman Marc Gabel said to the empty chair reserved for Smith. "You had a duty to the public, to the administration of justice and to your profession. Your failure in all of these respects is abominable to this panel, to your fellow physicians and, as importantly, to the public." ... [LINK]

This warning about "expert witnesses" absolutely applies to the subject of tasers.

Winnipeg Police taser 60+ a year and make BS claim that it "saves lives"...

Local police used their Tasers some 61 times last year, according to a record obtained by the Free Press. ... Police say stun guns help officers save lives... [LINK]

See a number? Do the math.

Winnipeg, with a population of under 700,000, comprises about 2% of the population of Canada.

One would expect that police there would use lethal force perhaps only once per several years. If they're killing citizens more than once per year, then it would be cause for alarm. I can only assume that somebody in Ottawa tracks the police killings across Canada and watches for evidence of trigger-happy departments.

As usual, the Winnipeg police are using their tasers approximately one hundred times as often as we would expect them to be using lethal force. This ~100X ratio is very common and reveals the truth about taser use.

The claim that tasers "save lives" is approximately 99% bullsh_t. It is basically a bald face lie and would only be believed by those that do not mentally filter out BS propaganda.

When police overuse tasers at this rate, then the risk of death CAUSED BY THE TASERS builds up to dangerous levels.

E.g.
#23 (Canada list) - Michael Langan, 17, Winnipeg, MB - July 22, 2008 - tasered 1 time - the autopsy report says Langan's death was caused by a heart arrhythmia brought on by the Taser shocks. [LINK]

Perhaps in some imaginary land, tasers there are a "less (often) lethal" alternative to gun fire. Back here on Planet Earth, tasers almost always replace LOWER forms of persuasion and thus INCREASE the risk of death on those that would not otherwise deserve it.

Not to mention that use of electric shock to "force" (verb, as opposed to lawful) someone to obey meets the legal definition of torture. It's exactly the same as using the glowing end of a lit cigarette, but with higher risk of death than that form of torture.

Lawrence, KS - taser use quadrupled, half of that increase ill-advised

It's a good news / bad news taser report from Lawrence, Kansas.

...In 2010, Lawrence police officers used their Tasers on suspects eight times. That’s up from two times in 2009. The department found all eight incidents to be justified and within the department’s policy, but Chief Tarik Khatib said three of the instances perhaps could have been avoided by using a different philosophy. Khatib ordered additional Taser training (*) for all police officers to review the department’s philosophy that Tasers are best used to prevent a physical attack on an officer or other person rather than simply as a tool to apprehend someone who is resisting arrest. “We found all of them to be legal and within our policy, but we thought perhaps other methods could have been used in three of these cases,” Khatib said. ... [LINK]

(*) Duh!!  It's called Use of Force (lawful force) training. They don't need more "Taser training"; they probably need less of any so-called training that can be in any way traced back to the scuz-ball company that would love to sell you more and more taser cartridges each year (and to hell with the resultant civil rights violations).

The police in Lawrence are obviously not using tasers as replacements for guns. Keep that in mind in case anyone drags out that old lie to justify tasers. They wouldn't be shooting their guns, let along killing citizens, eight times per year in a town of 88,000. Not even 1% of that rate. Which proves the old point that tasers are unfortunately used about one-hundred times as often as police would ever have used their guns. Which in turn proves that they haven't understood the information from Taser International dated 1 May 2010 about how potentially deadly tasers can randomly be.

Taser (over)use in Lawrence has quadrupled in a year (two to eight). And half of the increase (6) was unnecessary. By their standards. Under their belief system. The good news is that Chief Khatib sees the problem (even if he simultaneously denies that there's an actual problem), and is implementing corrective action.

They had better tighten it up or else they'll be heading down the same road as so many other jurisdictions where loose policy results in a clear excess of evil.

"Taser was ineffective", man shot dead

Taser International claims that tasers are "...safe and effective..."

Deputy Michael Medina, an eight-year HCSO veteran, deployed his Taser at the suspect [Charles Roy, 37] to try and subdue him, but the Taser was ineffective. At some point during the struggle, the suspect managed to take the Taser from the deputy. Deputy Medina, fearing for his safety, discharged his weapon striking the suspect once. ["shot and killed"]... [LINK]

So much for reliable effectiveness. Tasers are CLEARLY not always effective. This has been proven time and time again.

So what about safety? And by this I mean not only direct cardiac safety, but also the indirect safety of those that naively depend upon their weapons for protection.

This failure of a taser to be effective put the officer's life in danger and directly led to the sequence of events that ended with death of the suspect.

FAIL.

DeKalb County facing lawsuit of taser-associated death of Audrecas Davis, 29

Davis was suffering from a seizure and was at worst resisting medical treatment, the suit says. Police were called when paramedics had difficulty with Davis when he was suffering from a medical emergency. "The officers used the (Taser) to intimidate and coerce Mr. Davis into submission and compliance with their requests so they could restrain him with the use of of handcuffs," the Davis lawsuit said. "He was helpless. It was not a serious incident relative to public safety or to the safety of others. Mr. Davis had committed no crime." The autopsy determined he died from cardiorespiratory arrest, and he also had caffeine and nicotine in his system. He also suffered from hypertension and sickle-cell disease, according to the medical examiner. ... [LINK]

When this case goes to court, I hope that the plaintiffs' lawyer has read this [LINK]. Knowing what Taser International has already admitted about taser "safety" can save a great deal of time...

The unfailing weirdness of taser-weilding homo-erotic police idiots

A Nogales Police officer who claims his former sergeant used a taser on his genitals last February has filed a federal lawsuit against the police department and former sergeant. Sgt. Sergio Bon “aggressively” pushed a clipboard holding citations at Officer Pedro Molera when Molera placed the clipboard on Bon’s desk on Feb. 8, 2010, according to the lawsuit. Bon then unholstered his taser, removed the front cartridge and pointed it at Molera, the lawsuit states. When Molera responded “Are you going to use it? Go ahead,” Bon placed it on Molera’s penis over his clothes and squeezed the trigger for a “couple of seconds,” the lawsuit states. ... [LINK]

Honestly, I'm as open-minded as open-minded can be. But it should be between consenting adults and preferably being closed doors.

Perhaps tasers should be hot pink, instead of black or yellow.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

New (old?) avenue of apparent legal liability for Taser International

Within a month or so of starting this blog, way back in late-2007, I had already asked the duh!-obvious question, "Why not include a simple timer chip?" [LINK]


See also: Death by Electrocutioner (May 3, 2005) [LINK]

In a worst-case scenario for stun guns, a Phoenix cop kills a suspect with an 84-second tasing
...For reasons that go to the heart of this story, Phoenix police officer Charles Anderson III fired his Taser stun gun into Keith Graff's bare chest from close range and held the trigger for 84 uninterrupted seconds as it discharged 50,000 volts of electricity into the man. That's about 79 seconds longer than it normally takes police to subdue someone shocked by the device. For all intents and purposes, Graff [age 24] was dead when Anderson finally released the trigger. ...

This obvious design defect (not limiting the duration of taser hits) should bring huge liability upon Taser International.

Even if it wasn't obvious in 2003, it absolutely was perfectly duh!-obvious by 2005.

Antonio Galeano most-likely tasered 28 times

Trigger memory can be faulty

A type of amnesia can cause police to forget how many times they fire their weapons, a death in custody inquest has been told by a US Taser expert. Richard Wyant on Wednesday gave evidence at an inquest into the death of Antonio Galeano after he was tasered multiple times by police.

Senior Constable Craig Myles has admitted tasering Galeano eight times. But the Taser gun he used recorded that Galeano had been tasered 28 times with a 50,000 volt shock.

Mr Wyant, giving video testimony from Baltimore, Maryland, said it was not uncommon for a police officer to forget the number of times he pulled the trigger of a Taser or a gun. He said the phenomenon was described as critical stress amnesia. ... [LINK]

Professor David Williams contradicts offical taser warnings

At the inquest regarding the taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-taser-associated death of Antonio Galeano, 39.

"I felt there was no connection between the tasering and the death, because tasering is an external event and shouldn't affect the heart," he said. "Tasers are not a threat to life, that's my bottom line," Prof Williams said. ...[LINK]

Here's the problem Prof. Williams...

Taser International's official legal warnings [LINK] clearly state that tasers may affect the heart and may cause death.
"The risk of an ECD application having a negative effect on a person's heart rate and/or rhythm is not zero."

"Experts have indentified heart-to-dart distance as being a key determining factor in whether an ECD can affect the heart."

"When possible avoiding chest shots with ECDs reduces the risk of affecting the heart..."

"The ECD can produce physiologic or metabolic effects." and  "Any physiologic or metabolic change may cause or contribute to death or serious injury."

"Reasonable effort should be made to minimize the number of ECD exposure and resulting physiologic and metabolic effects.

"The ECD can produce physiologic or metabolic effects, which include changes in: acidosis, adrenergic states, blood pressure... heart rate and rhythm..."

"Disregarding this information could result in death or serious injury..."

 If not in the case of multiple taser hits (probably TWENTY-EIGHT), then when?

Your so-called expert opinion is rubbish and demonstrably so (see above).


Google also the taser's Curious Temporal Asymmetry.

"...an unnamed international customer..."

24 March 2011 - "...Taser International today announced an order....from an unnamed international customer... It is anticipated that this order will ship in the First Quarter of 2011."


"...an unnamed international customer..."

Hmmm...  Somewhere in northern Africa perhaps?

Hey! I'm just asking...



"...First Quarter of 2011..."

Isn't that deception-speak for "next week" (period ending 31 March 2011)?

So, what's the big rush?

Are the citizens getting restless? Rebels in the street? Political prisoners that require urgent taser-torturing three-at-a-time?

Hey! I'm just asking...


[E-mail clarification more than welcome and will be published. Silence breeds assumptions.]

Kelowna, BC RCMP face-kicker Const. Geoff Mantler finally facing charges

Thought experiment:

If you kicked a police officer in the head, and the assault was captured on video, then roughly how much time would elapse from the event until you were formally charged? An hour? Maybe a few hours?

24 March 2011 - A Kelowna, B.C., RCMP officer has [finally!!] been charged with assault in connection with an incident in January in which a man [Buddy Tavares] was kicked in the head after he was apprehended. Const. Geoff Mantler ...also has been charged with assault in a separate incident in August 2010 in which a man said he was punched after he'd been placed under arrest. There's also a third incident allegedly involving Mantler that is under review, a spokesman for the B.C. Crown prosecutor said Thursday ... [LINK]

We are all equal before the law, but some are more equal than others.


Here's the punchline:

Without the video, guess who would be facing assault charges?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Western Australian police (slightly) reduce taser overuse, misuse and abuse

File under: Being Slightly Less Stupid
Cross-file under: Being A Bit Less Evil
Cross-file under: Why did it take you so long to figure it out?
Cross-file under: You still have a BIG problem, Sunshine

ABC News (Australia)
New figures reveal taser usage by Western Australian police has plummeted since changes to the force's policy on their use. In December last year the Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan changed the taser use policy to stipulate that officers only use the weapons to prevent serious injury. The change was introduced as an interim measure and will mean officers have to believe they are at risk of serious injury before using a taser. ... [LINK]

In the two months to December, tasers were drawn a total of 148 times by police. But in the two months since the new policy was implemented, the weapons have been drawn just 82 times. There has also been a drop in how often police have actually discharged the tasers, from 62 in the lead up to December, to just 21 in the two months to the 31st of January.
BS propaganda is marked in BS-Brown

See also [LINK]

--

Now, before you break-out the bubbly, engage brain and run the numbers...

"...actually discharged the tasers....to just 21 in the two months..."

Western Australia. That's just ONE Australian state with only about 10% of the population of Australia.

21 actual taser discharges in two months. That's a taser deployment rate, the newly-reduced rate, of about 126 times per year. These are actual discharges.

One state. About 126 taser discharges per year. This is the newly-reduced rate.

THINK. LOOK AT THE NUMBER. UNDERSTAND THE NUMBER.

Does anyone still think that "tasers are an alternative to firearms"?

Would the Western Australian police (one state) normally be shooting-to-kill about 126 citizens per year with their firearms?

If that same rate was applied across Australia, the police would be shooting-to-kill 1260 citizens per year.

They'd be the biggest band of murderers in Australian history, killings many hundreds per year.

THINK.

TASERS ARE NOT AN ALTERNATIVE TO FIREARMS.

They're used about ONE HUNDRED TIMES as often.

Considering that tasers can randomly KILL, this topic is still an ethical quagmire.

Taser ineffective, struggle ensues, man shot dead

[Police say that] Deputy Michael Medina shocked Charles Roy, Jr., 37, with his Taser, but the stun gun appeared to be ineffective. Roy grabbed the Taser from Medina. Then Medina, fearing for his safety, fired his gun, hitting Roy once [killing him]. [LINK]

Why was the taser ineffective?

Why are tasers so unpredictable?

Why do police put their naive faith in unreliable tasers?

If Medina had simply drawn his gun and aimed it at Roy (at the appropriate point in the escalation of violence), how would Roy have reacted at that point? Would he have taken the situation more seriously and immediately surrendered?

Is it possible that the reliance on the taser actually cost a life?

Would the simple and reliable gun have been a more predictable choice?


Note - the issue here is NOT with Deputy Medina. Bless him. I'm glad he is okay. He is perfectly entitled to defend himself.

The issue is with the stupid, unreliable, dangerous-to-all taser. The issue is with the over-selling of this defectively-conceived product. The issue is with the infiltration of scummy, bought-and-paid-for, taser salesmen into the law enforcement community.

Go to your local "Taser Expert", back him into a wall, and poke him in the chest a few times. Ask him why he's taking money and putting officers' lives at risk with his incomplete and misleading misinformation.

Investigator Who Cleared Deputies Has Ties To Taser

File Under: Self-Evident Conflict of Interest
Cross-file under: Stinks

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters asked Los Angeles attorney Mildred O'Linn to independently review the arrest and use of force... "When you find out that she is the attorney for Taser International and one of the issues here is misuse of a Taser, you wonder how biased she is and that is disturbing," said attorney Tim Burke. ...O'Linn defended her investigation and said her previous work for Taser International played no role in this case. ...O'Linn admitted to News 5's Amy Wagner that she had never found evidence of criminal conduct in a case involving police officer use of a Taser. ... [LINK]

Never?

Geesh, this blog has documented many examples of obvious criminal misuse of tasers.

Five times. Okay, maybe eight. Well 28 times is possible.

Previously [LINK] police claimed that they tasered Antonio Galeano not more than five times.

Now that number has climbed to eight. Or maybe 28.
A policeman has admitted it was "possible" he tasered a man 28 times before he died, but insisted he pulled the trigger only eight times. Senior Constable Craig Myles yesterday told an inquest that even after using the electronic stun device repeatedly on Antonio Galeano, the 39-year-old was still difficult to control. ... The inquest has previously heard that data downloaded from the Taser showed the trigger had been pulled 28 times. Yesterday, Stephen Keim, counsel assisting the coroner, asked Constable Myles whether it was possible that in the excitement of the night, he had pulled the trigger 28 times without realizing it. "It was possible but I don't believe it," he said. "I did it eight times." [LINK]

Taser QotD: "It didn't seem to work as good as they say it does in training."

The Australian [LINK]

Senior Constable Craig Myles yesterday told an inquest that even after using the electronic stun device repeatedly on Antonio Galeano, the 39-year-old was still difficult to control. The officer said he later questioned the effectiveness of the Taser. "(I told other officers) the Taser is not the be-all and end-all," Constable Myles told the Townsville court. "It didn't seem to work as good as they say it does in training."

Taser International has repeatedly claimed that the taser is "...safe and effective." Of course, they say a lot of things that turn out to be false and misleading.

The taser failed to effectively control Mr. Galeano.

The taser was used repeatedly and Mr. Galeano, who had lived 39 years up to that point, was dead within minutes.

Safe and effective MY ASS.