Mission Statement - De-Spinning the Pro-Taser Propaganda

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


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

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

What exactly would you be looking for?

Let's think about it. If the X26 taser was capable of causing a death, then what exactly would the evidence look like?

Would it result in a molten arc of burnt flesh inside the dead body? No, the X26 doesn't have that much power. Would it leave carbon tracks inside the body like from lightning or power lines? Nope.

What if the X26 taser was just on the risky edge of being dangerous? So what would a taser death look like? Would there be anything to see? Anything to detect? Any smell of burnt flesh? Anything to document? Any evidence at all? Nope.

Perhaps the ONLY evidence would be the combination of the following characteristics:

1) Victim was tasered (across the chest or similar).
2) Victim is dead (within a reasonable period of time, allowing for induced irregular heartbeats).
3) There is nothing else to explain the death, no physical signs except being stone-cold dead.

A reasonable person might conclude that the absence of clear physical evidence as to the cause of death is actually very strong evidence in itself.

I'd like to see this approach (as described above) replace the brochure about "Excited Delirium" that Taser sent to every coroner and medical examiner that they could find.

PS: And if there is a pre-existing medical condition, then please review the Thin Skull Doctrine as discussed below. In those cases you could use the phrase 'contributing factor' for the pre-existing medical condition. We must be fair.


LHL said...

Thanks for posting at the Hattiesburg American forum about the Taser incident near Jackson, MS. Here's something else I posted today about the incident:

Looking into this Brandon Taser story some more. Here's why this whole thing strikes me as...um...unusual, let's say.

We've been told that Joseph Davis, the suspect, was resisting arrest and couldn't be restrained by 2 sheriff's deputies, even though the 50-year-old Davis was disabled and walked with a cane.

Here's the part that doesn't make sense--we're also told that the 30-something woman accusing him of entering her house and exposing himself was able to break free of Davis' grip and escape to a neighbor's house with her child.

Does that strike anyone else as incongruous? That a woman in her 30s can get away from this man but two trained police officers have such a hard time with restraining him that they have to call for backup and use Tasers?

Here's how the sheriff explained what happened with the woman:

"He [Davis] knocked the phone out of her hand, grabbed her by the arm and tried to force her into a bedroom," Pennington said.

So it sounds like Davis was struggling with the woman just like the police reportedly were, but she was able to free herself--without the aid of a "stun gun" or any weapons at all. However, we're being asked to believe that not one but two trained sheriff's deputies could not do what a 30-something civilian woman did all by herself.

This account of the incident doesn't paint a very good picture of the capabilities of the sheriff's deputies.

Anonymous said...

To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a police officer with a taser, everyone looks like 'an example of excited delirium with superhuman strength blah blah blah...'

The post 'Proper procedures' about the 17-year old girl is another example. This time THREE police and a girl.

They (our elected governments) may actually have to take away their tasers if misuse continues at the current rate. Seriously.