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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Portland Police pay for piss-poor policy

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Portland officers use Tasers on 2 men who had surrendered, costing city almost $140,000 to settle lawsuits [LINK]

Just read the whole story.

The punchline is, "...and no discipline followed."

In the context of the entire story, the events combined with the punchline clearly indicate that the Portland Police, as an organization, are about as mature as a delinquent child. Seriously. I've seen tree stumps with more ethical common sense.

The $140,000 isn't the problem. Justice demands far more. The problem is with the organization that allows itself to get into this sort of trouble.

THAT'S the real problem.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Tasers are "used disproportionately against African Americans"

...Taser guns have not been proven to lower victim shootings, officer-related shootings, or lawsuits. In many cases, Taser guns become just another weapon used disproportionately against African Americans, having little to no impact on the incidence of abuse in our communities. ... [LINK]

That matches everything I've learned about tasers over the past several years.

Their concept and design inherently encourages abuse of citizens.


Evil is built-in.

Adding optional (poorly-conceived, poorly-designed) taser cameras is an after-thought that proves my point.

Egypt has used tasers against peaceful protesters

CAIRO - ...A security official and witnesses said that military police surrounded protesters shortly after midnight, beating them with batons and using tasers to disperse a crowd of several hundred that had gathered to push for reforms. ... "Peaceful protesters in Tahrir are being chased away by the military police with tasers, sticks and whips. ..." [all over the news e.g. BBC]
This is a great PR opportunity for Taser International to issue a press release claiming credit for their involvement in crushing citizens of "an unnamed overseas client".

So, how about it Taser International? You got anything to say on the subject? Oh Steve? Hello?

Taser - an instrument of torture that can cause death.

'waslongnowgone' offers his opinion

The thread seems to be prompted by the SFPD Chief acknowledging that tasers can (randomly) kill. Considering that Taser International has slowly and subtly shifted to that exact same position (tasers can affect the heart and can sometimes kill), it should cease to surprise people...

Yahoo Finance [LINK]

SFPD Chief admits tasers can kill     25-Feb-11 12:47 pm    

LONG to GONE

Some of you may continue to believe everything you have been told about the safety of tasers but I have now reached my limit. The last time I saw the liti-gators circling like this it was with asbestos.

That product was not well researched, the management ignored and buried warnings from their researchers and the management tried to "settle & seal" so their shareholders would not find out the truth. Once they did, it was an end game so long that you still see advertisements today for legal action that are asbestos related.

This was a very nice way for their management to bury the deceit, deception and non-disclosures of the true liabilities of the product.

For years we have been told that ECDs, "Don't affect the heart and cannot kill."

I believed it until now.

If you are a LONG and still believe that tasers cannot casue death, then I would suggest that you look at the statement made by the acting San Francisco Police Chief, Jeff Godown. He actually admitted that tasers can kill!


I would then suggest that you contact Training@TASER.com and ask them to send you their latest exposure/liability release form that all officers have to sign.

After EVERYTHING that we have been fed by this executive management team about "product safety" this is disgusting!

It actually states that, "The Electronic Control Device (ECD) can produce physiologic or metabolic effects which include, but are not limited to, changes in: . . . heart rate and rhythm . . .!"

What ?!?!?!

This management team has gone out of their way, for years, to convince us and the public that this was not true! They have spent millions of our money covering up and paying off settlements as a result of all of these false claims! Now, even law enforcement knows this was a lie!

These guys have already settled one shareholder suit ($21M in 2007). AND THAT WAS WITH OUR MONEY! Anyone care to wager on how long it will be before another one is filed?

How much longer does management really think that they can keep this from everyone? Law enforcement officers are now admitting the truth and lawyers obviously already know it. And the victims families are the ones that really have to live with these consequences. Now that law enforcement agencies and the management have acknowledged these facts, what is to stop them from all piling on to our investments?

I would really like to know why are we just now finding this out?

They disclose this information to law enforcement officers in fine print and to liti-gators and victims behind closed doors, but not their own shareholders?

If you REALLY want to get a great laugh, contact CEO Patrick Smith and ask him about a paper he presented at the NDIA III Conference in 1998. He said during that presentation that this technology “does not affect the heart." Right!

So, which is it? Did they not do the research on their technology? Did they simply make false statements? Or, maybe, heart fibers in humans have evolved over the last 13 years so that this technology now effects the heart rhythm. But WHEN did they know this that this technology captured cardiac rhythm?

We really deserve a response.

I can see that in the future tasers will only be used in limited scenarios, because, as SFPD Chief Godown so eloquently put it, tasers "can kill.”

I cannot help but think that this will affect profitability in the future. Increased awareness of the truth will, inevitably, lead to reduced use and fewer cartridge sales.

It will also lead to MORE liti-gators going after whatever value remains.

Good luck to you all! I am GONE!


Sentiment : Strong Sell

waslongnowg...
Male
Fairfax, Vi...


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Repost: Wake Forest's Dr. Bozeman on taser safety

Repost from Friday, October 2, 2009 [LINK].


Wake Forest's Dr. Bozeman on taser safety

Dr. William P. Bozeman, Wake Forest University, is reported to have said:

"The Taser is a weapon and it can clearly cause injuries and even deaths in some cases." [LINK]

"[Tasers] are serious weapons. They absolutely have the potential to injure or kill people." [LINK]

See also previous post here: [LINK]


It's a wonder Dr. Bozeman hasn't been sued by Taser International... The Braidwood Inquiry made exactly the same conclusion (tasers can "cause death") and Taser International launched an appeal.

Taser International heavily promotes the top level findings of Bozeman et al. But they've never drawn any attention whatsoever to these obviously important statements attributed to Dr. Bozeman. That sort of deception does not look good when brought to the attention of the courts. Judges hate those that fail to tell the truth, the WHOLE TRUTH, and nothing but the truth.


PS: I wonder who deleted Dr. Bozeman's info at Zoominfo that indirectly led me to these quotes? I was forced to used cached information. LOL.


UPDATE: Hmmm... [LINK]

RCMP moving forward with Taser recommendations: watchdog

This is probably the most-important taser-related news item in 2011 so far...

Vancouver, BC - The Commission for Public Complaints into the RCMP [the RCMP 'watchdog', but with no real teeth] has closed the file on the tragic 2007 death of Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport. In a final report, interim chairman Ian McPhail said the force was in the process of addressing all 16 recommendations made in 2009 after the commission's initial investigation of the Polish immigrant's death at the hands of the RCMP. Most of those recommendations concerned the use of Tasers. ... [LINK] [via TNT]

NOW THINK...

Are these sorts of changes, both formal directives and less-naive mindset, making a difference?

The X26 was introduced in 2003.

The truth about taser "safety" really started to gain notice in 2008.


[Data from the Truth ... Not Tasers blog]

Ryan Bain tasered at least four times and died of "excited delirium"

Billings, MT - Medical records list "excited delirium" as the primary cause of death of a Billings man who was shocked with a stun gun at least four times as officers tried to arrest him last October. Ryan Bain went into cardiac arrest at the jail and died two days later. ... [LINK]

Gee, I wonder if there might be any other possible explanation?

Maybe the manufacturer of the stun gun in question quietly released some information back around, oh... May 1, 2010 regarding the possibility that their products actually might cause cardiac effects and actually might sometimes even cause death.

Surprise-surprise, Taser International fails to make a profit

Sales fell 26 percent...
October-December net loss was $200,000...
Revenue fell 34 percent...
For the full year, a net loss of $4.4 million

Karma.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Perverse, cult-like, rite of passage questioned by insurer

Mississippi Municipal Insurer Takes Aim at Taser Weapons in Training

A company that administers an insurance program for county workers injured on the job is discouraging the use of Taser shock weapons in training police officers. The Mississippi Public Entity Workers’ Compensation Services Inc. says it has received several claims from injuries received from the devices during training. ... [LINK]

Several injury claims.

One state.

Do the math...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Special 'Wildlife' Taser flummoxed by fur

File under: Utter Failure
Cross-file under: Stupid, stupid, stupid

For the record, I'm totally unsurprised by the following report.

...Fish and Game biologists recently tried and failed to stun the moose with a special wildlife Taser so they could remove the rope... "We got a couple shots at her, but we couldn't get both probes to stick, probably because of her thick winter hair," said Fairbanks area biologist Don Young. ...The moose "showed no reaction as if it had got shocked." [LINK]

A specially-designed 'Wildlife' taser that cannot penetrate fur.

"Gee, it work so reliably on the lizards around Scottsdale, Arizona. We never thought about fur..." Duh...

--

I'm now standing-by for the first report of an animal dying of "excited delirium" while being tasered for ten minutes, and the mindless taser fanboys explaining how the animal deserved to die anyway...

Canada Feds to study taser safety

OTTAWA - Gaps in the research on how Taser stun guns affect people will be one focus of a federal program aimed at better understanding the powerful weapons used for years by Canadian police. Other studies will look at test procedures to ensure Tasers operate properly and ways to evaluate new weapons police might adopt, records obtained under the Access to Information Act show. The $1.8-million Taser research program is overseen by the federal Centre for Security Science, a joint initiative of the Public Safety Department and Defence Research and Development Canada. The effort is slated to run through 2012-13. ... [LINK]

Here, I'll save you $1.8M...

In dart-deployment mode, tasers are ineffective about 10% to 30% (reports vary) of the time. Such ineffective deployments often make a bad situation much worse.

In touch-torture (drive-stun, dry-stun) mode, tasers are too-frequently used to apply electroshock torture as part of civil and human rights violation. Officers are typically confused by the subtle distinction between lawful force-the-noun and force-the-verb (often torture).

Tasers are usually non-lethal, but every now and then someone is tasered and immediately begins to die. This is most often related to taser darts on chest, but other taser-death mechanisms exist. When darts hit chest, the risk becomes measurable (low end of single digits). Even Taser International has slowly shifted to the position (May 2010) that avoiding the chest reduces the risk of cardiac effects, something they had previously denied. Given that the X26 taser can kill, and given that it is essentially random, using the word "safe" is a lie.

Taser International will continue to deny these truths, while burying legal disclaimers deep within their published information. The bald-faced contradictions within their own positions make them a sitting duck for any lawyer that bothers to prepare.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Taser-associated deaths per month up to end-January 2011

The Ramp-Up: The X26 taser was introduced in mid-2003. The death toll per month immediately began to ramp up at that point. The average was steady at about 7 per month for several years.

Even on a per usage basis, the three highest years (death rate per stated 1000 uses) were 2004, 2005 and 2006. Immediately following the introduction of the X26.

The Trickle Down: Towards the end of 2007, with the taser-killing of Robert Dziekanski being caught on video, the media and public (including this blogger) finally began to take notice. At that point began a process to change policy and the death rate per month has shown a downward trend to a new, slightly-lower average of about five per month.

Cause and effect: If people go around claiming that tasers cannot kill, then the death rate climbs. When such lies are counter-acted with the facts, then the death rate drops.

Conclusion: False claims about taser safety can cause an increase in taser-associated deaths. Taser fan-boys should think about their role in these trends while they lie awake in the early hours...

Reference: 'The List...' at TNT [LINK].


Torontesticular police officer pleads guilty, rolls up sleeve for tap on wrist

A Toronto police officer has pleaded guilty to one count of threatening bodily harm after being caught on video intimidating two people in custody with a Taser. Video released Monday during Const. Christopher Hominuk's trial shows the officer using his Taser to try to exact information from the men. The video was captured on May 24 while police were investigating a theft call in Etobicoke. It shows an officer holding a Taser to a man's neck while the man lies in handcuffs across the back seat of a police cruiser. In the same video, the officer can be seen threatening a second man's genitals with the Taser, saying he will be shocked if he fails to co-operate. On Monday, a spokesperson for Chief Bill Blair (*) described the officer's behaviour as "disgraceful." [LINK]

(* Kettle / black...  refer to G20 news)

More coverage at the Truth ... Not Tasers blog: [TNT][TNT][TNT]

Maybe Taser International should 'RTFM'

... Michael Brian Langan, 17, died in July 2008 after an altercation with police in a William Avenue back lane. An autopsy report obtained by the Free Press last year said Langan died of heart arrhythmia after police shocked him twice with a Taser. ... In the autopsy report, a medical examiner's report said Langan's death was due to "cardiac arrhythmia (ventricular fibrillation) due to deployment of electronic control device." The report also said Langan had a heart abnormality that contributed to his death, as did running from police. ... [LINK] [via TNT]

Review the following:
"The risk of an ECD application having a negative effect on a person's heart rate and/or rhythm is not zero."   AND SO MUCH MORE HERE -> [LINK]
"When possible avoiding chest shots with ECDs reduces the risk of affecting the heart and avoids the controversy about whether ECDs do or do not affect the human heart." They are slowly micro-stepping their safety warnings hoping that nobody will notice the slow change... [LINK]

If Taser International won't Read The F__king Manual, then the manual should be read aloud in court. [LINK]

Tasers Can Kill.

Even Taser International has been forced to admit that cold hard fact in their legal warnings.

And then they have the nerve to deny it ever happens.

Scum.

RCMP accepting most recommendations arising from taser-killing of Robert Dziekanski

Ottawa (10 Feb 2011) - The RCMP watchdog (Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP) says the police force is addressing all 16 recommendations on taser use flowing from the Robert Dziekanski case. ... [LINK]

Lawyer Walter Kosteckyj wonders why it took them so long... [LINK]

Egypt - was it one of Taser International's 'undisclosed overseas' customers?

Tasers are ideal for electro-torturing prisoners. They're not as messy as damp spongers dribbling water all over the floor; and tasers are probably safer for the officials performing the acts of torture, what with the obvious dangers of clipping booster cables into the electrical grid while dodging puddles on the floor.

So I'm wondering if the revolution in Egypt [LINK] is going to cut into Taser International's overseas business?

Hey, I'm just asking...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Taser torture and death in American prisons

Lawsuit:
Charles Toll, was killed by a "cell extraction team" who dragged him out of his cell at the Riverbend Maximum Security prison [Nashville, Tennessee] ... "The Cell Extraction Team Defendants sadistically and maliciously pressed a Taser shield on Charles Toll's back for more than ten minutes while several members sat on the Taser shield, electrocuting and suffocating him." ... [LINK]
Charming...


And in other news...
A central Ohio county agreed Friday to dramatically reduce its use of stun guns following a lawsuit that alleged jailers regularly use them on inmates who pose no threat, including some who are disabled, pregnant or under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The proposed settlement with the Justice Department also requires Franklin County to stop using stun guns in almost all cases on inmates who are handcuffed or otherwise restrained. A lawsuit and Justice Department complaint had also alleged jailers use the guns to shock naked and restrained prisoners and to punish inmates for routine rule violations. ... [LINK]
Ah, that's nice. A 'settlement'.

We promise not to electro-torture prisoners quite as often.

Torontesticular Police Department

[Former? Yet?] Toronto Police officer Const. Christopher Hominuk, 37, has admitted he threatened to Taser two prisoners in the testicles to force the duo to help him catch a suspect. ... Both victims were handcuffed and sitting alone in different police cruisers. Hominuk’s actions were captured on the in-cruiser video cameras, which revealed him slapping Robert James Bolgan, 47, in the face and forcing him to lay down on the back seat. ... [LINK]
What the heck is the attraction of some police officers to citizens' private parts? First it was a Boise Mounted Police officer and his strange preoccupation with a man's anus [LINK]. And now it's a Torontesticular Police Department officer that has twice indicated his peculiar enthusiasm for the male scotal regions.

Hey! Between consenting adults, I'm as tolerant as tolerant can be. But I'd respectfully suggest that there may be some systematic problems that some police officers are continually attracted to these private areas when weilding a taser. It certainly indicates something weird is going on between the ears.

--

Now, what else can we observe from this incident?


Officer Hominuk knew that he was on camera. He knew it. And yet he still proceeded! What does THAT indicate? It indicates that the officer carries 'programming' in his head that is clearly defective on several levels. Where did this defective mental architecture come from? My guess: the 'Locker Room mentality' that pervades the law enforcement community. The culture causes mental illness in susceptible individuals.


Also, he had a mindset that he could "force" prisoners to some action. "Force", the verb. As opposed to lawful "force" the noun. Force the verb typically leads directly to torture.

Here [LINK] is the legal definition of "torture".
"torture" means any act or omission by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person
(a) for a purpose including
(i) obtaining from the person or from a third person information or a statement, ...
These incidents arguably fit the definition of torture. I depends if the effects on the prisoners rose to the level of severe suffering or not. Reportedly the effects didn't rise to that level.
...neither victim was intimidated or physically injured. Neither complained about the threats or treatment. Hominuk’s Taser was never activated or used in the incident.

If Hominuk had pulled the trigger, I believe that he'd absolutely, positively be entitled to up to 14 years of free room and board at the taxpayers' expense.

As it is, he'll probably get a very light tap on the wrist. He's been...
...suspended with pay since being charged in June last year.