Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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

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

Tuesday, 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.