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.

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.