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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Attention pro-taser fan boys...

Your misinformative comments are not welcome here either. Feel free to start your own blog.

The reasons are very simple and easy to understand. Those of us blogging against tasers are not working full-time on the issue. We have other aspects to our lives.

We simply do not have time to respond to each and every comment. And yet, we cannot allow such misinformation to stand unchallenged on our blogs. Thus, we either hire full-time staff to clean-up after the seagulls, or we restrict comments. Sorry, but that's the way it is.

But hey. Good news: It's a free country. Feel free to start your own blog.

Maybe you could use the same URL without the dash. LOL.

RCMP's deadline - 2 weeks and counting

The Parliament of Canada pretty much demanded that the RCMP change their taser policies before the 15th of December. That deadline is now just about two weeks away. I'm sorry if I missed any news releases, but last thing I had heard was some grumbling from the RCMP (as opposed to a snap of the heels and a quick "Yes Sirs and Maams!"). Anything happened?

Given the recent comments by the Solicitor General of Alberta that tasers had saved "thousands" of lives in Alberta (an incredible claim; incredible in so many ways...), there is obviously room in the Laws of Canada to spell out more clearly that which is already the law.

1) Tasers are Prohibited Firearms.
2) Tasering (in many circumstances) clearly meets the definition of 'Torture'.

A quick note...

We've been a bit busy lately and haven't had much time during the week to comment about tasers. Sorry about that.

Be sure to visit the Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK] for the latest news.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Britain to embark on field safety test

Times - "Jacqui Smith, the [British] Home Secretary, is to arm police with 10,000 taser stun guns..." [LINK]

No mention of them being just to replace guns.

In fact, the target audience includes "...aggressive drunken yobs, knife-wielding criminals and those who go 'berserk' in public."

Not explicitly mentioned are little girls, old men in hospital beds, and those found comatose due to diabetic complications.

Will someone please track the number of "Excited Delirium" deaths in Britain before and after this mass deployment of tasers? Please...

I will make a bold prediction: The number of Brits not surviving their arrest will show a step function increase coincident with this mass deployment of tasers.

Police lawsuits against Taser

A Must-Read -> Las Vegas Sun [LINK]

Metro officers hurt during training sue company, say warnings didn’t suffice


Collectively, the officers’ lawsuits call into question safety claims made by the company.

Metro [Las Vegas Police], a champion of the device, has quietly changed its policy to reflect the risks of being Tasered. This is a perilous position for the department. Metro cannot have officers injured during Taser training, yet the department cannot come out swinging against Taser either — Metro must defend use of a weapon its patrol officers carry. Moreover, when Tasers are used in the field, and a citizen sues the department because of a resulting injury, Metro hires the Taser company to provide expert witness testimony on the device.

The changes Metro made in Taser training policies — which include ceasing the practice of shocking officers during training — may speak louder than any public defense the police, or Taser, have made for the device.

Even more revealing is that Metro has distanced itself from the company. In the past, police officials say, Metro was featured on the Taser Web site in an online endorsement of the product. Within the past year, however, the department asked to have Metro’s name removed from the site, police officials say.

In April, former Sheriff Bill Young supplied a court with a written document stating, “It is my professional opinion that Taser intentionally downplayed the risk of Taser M26 shocks to sell its product to police officers ...”

The above is just an extract. There is much more. Please follow the above link and read the whole thing top to bottom. The overall impression matches exactly my view of Taser and their safety claims.

Review the wide range of injury claims made by the injured officers and see if it fits with your understanding of the word "safe".

And this is just what is going on in one city: Las Vegas. Multiply this fiasco by the entire USA (and more) and you'll see that Taser has been playing with fire.

PS: Remember that Taser's latest claim (about the only claim left standing) is that tasers reduce injuries. LOL.

Friday, November 21, 2008

"Playing around" with tasers...

Ah, the quality of the taser training shines through (like a beacon of stupidity)...

EAST BANK, W.Va. — ...18-year-old (pregnant) Candice White told the Council she was sitting on her porch when Sgt. Steve Smith, a Kanawha County police officer who is a friend of her mother, showed up and began playing around with the taser. White says Smith used it on her leg several times. Smith told the Council White had asked him to use the taser on her and that the power setting was very low. An East Bank volunteer firefighter also told the Council that Smith used the taser on him because it was his birthday. [LINK]

Morons... ...and apparently ineffective training.

"power setting"?

Now, note the phrase "...the power setting was very low..."

Do the tasers offer a power selection with a "very low" setting? I don't recall seeing any such setting mentioned in the product information that I've seen.

Please send your pointers to any such "power setting" to the blog e-mail. Thanks.

The 'facilitative effect' of tasers - actually happens...

Three taser shots don't stop suspect (gun works fine) [LINK]

Taser deployment #1 useless: Subject "...grabbed the taser wires and ripped them out..."

Taser deployment #2 useless: Subject "...was again able to rip off the taser probes..."

Taser deployment #3 useless: Subject "...was able to roll and break the wires between the Taser’s probes and gun..."

[Excuse me a second - LOL, ROTFLMAO, LOL. Bwahahahahaha... Sorry.]

Old fashioned gun worked fine: "...I drew my firearm and ordered the defendant to the ground. The defendant finally complied..."

Note -> Police firearm works perfectly first time (even though not fired!!!).

Nobody hurt.

Now, what exactly did the taser accomplish in this incident beside waste time and increase risk?

Please read this previous post again: The 'facilitative effect' of tasers [LINK]

1) Taser don't even replace guns.
2) Some subjects obviously don't take tasers seriously.
3) Guns don't have to be fired to be perfectly effective.

Exactly what "...lingers in the body..." ?

Here is another crystal-clear example of the sort of subtle word-smithing that is commonly used by Taser and its cohorts. This example is from Australia.

Taser Inc USA is the only supplier of Tasers in Australasia. The company's local director, George Hateley, said '...it is impossible for the electrical impulses generated by a taser to linger in the body.' [LINK]

This was in response to: The New South Wales ombudsman is calling on the State Government to halt a further rollout of tasers to NSW Police, saying there has not been enough evaluation of their effectiveness and risks. [LINK]

I agree about the electrical impulses, because it is a very stupid straw man argument (wiki).

Nobody (that knows anything) is claiming that the taser's electrical impulses themselves "linger" in the victim's body for hours or days. But it seems clear that perhaps the effects of the taser do sometimes "linger" beyond the moment of deployment.

This blog previously reported on the case of two ham radio operators that were electrocuted when their tower contacted a powerline. One died almost instantly; the other died much later. And this temporal divergence happened from the exact same electrocution incident at the exact same instant. [LINK]

See also arythmia [LINK]

Even the National Institute of Justice has acknowledged that there remain many unknowns with regard to the so-called 'science' (sic) of tasers. [Indirect links via HERE]

Hateley's statement in defence of tasers is therefore obviously completely idiotic no matter how you look at it.

PS: For those that haven't been paying attention, the word "linger" used in this context is practically a trademark of Taser. Other Taser spokespuppets have read from the same song sheet previously.

YMBFFTT: Taser Training Impairs Judgment

[Sarcasm on]

You may be forgiven for thinking that (YMBFFTT) taser training leads directly to impaired judgment.

Incident 1: WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — Five sheriff's deputies will be disciplined after they used a taser while serving an arrest warrant on a man at his father's funeral. Gladwyn Taft Russ III was serving as a pallbearer at the Saturday service and was loading his father's casket into a hearse when the undercover deputies ... grabbed Russ and kneed him in his back before using a taser on him. Another pallbearer said, "We almost dropped the casket." New Hanover County Sheriff Sid Causey said ... that five of the officers involved would be disciplined. ... "I apologize to anyone that was there," Causey said. "Family, friends, relatives. ... That was a bad decision." [LINK]

Incident 2: July 2007....Corinth police allegedly shocked the boy with a taser multiple times as he emerged from a grand mal epileptic seizure. [LINK]

My theory is that X26 taser shocks applied to the back (very common during taser training) cause functional damage to the judgment centers of the brain.

Perhaps the high voltage shocks applied to the back (during taser training) near the spine somehow shorts-out the connection between the taser trainee's butt at the bottom end of the spinal column and the taser trainee's Type-A brain at the top end of the spinal column. This butt-to-brain spinal short-circuit leads to a psychiatric condition called: butt-headed judgment.

Well - it sure seems that way...

[Sarcasm off]

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Welcome to new Aussie readers...

Welcome Australian readers to:

www.Excited-Delirium.com (do not forget the dash)

With all the controversial taser news coming out of Australia recently, I can only assume that Google will lead many new taser interested readers from Australia to this blog.

This blog has been going since November 25th, 2007. We are coming up on our first birthday very soon.

This post will be number 666 (Sign of The Beast - argh!!!!) - plus or minus any pending posts.

My personal anti-taser outrage was prompted by a quick succession of tragic taser-associated deaths in Canada in late-2007 and the obviously-wrong misinformation being propagated by Taser, the various police forces, and others.

I have no personal interest (no personal family members directly affected) in the topic beyond addressing the pro-taser and pro-Taser propaganda, and pointing out the worst cases of taser misuse, overuse and abuse.

In short - I'm annoyed by obvious misinformation. I love to destroy logically-flawed arguments and leave the shredded carcass hanging on public display. My efforts can only help to force the discussion towards the real facts and away from the utter BS emanating from some corners.

Some of the earlier posts include some significant findings that might be of extreme interest to anyone launching legal battles against tasers and/or Taser. But such information is intended to be used as a suggestion for your own further research and must be backed-up by recognized experts.

You can search the blog using the search box at the top left.

If you have a serious interest in the issue, then you should set aside some major time to catch up on all the pro-taser arguments and how they have been shredded by this blog.

Also, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the right-hand column.

Aussie CMC watchdog ravages taser-happy police

The Aussie CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission, a corruption watchdog) has rejected a secret report by the Queensland Police on a year-long trial of tasers. The report has been characterized as a whitewash designed to ensure minimum controls on the approved full-scale arming of more than 5000 front-line police officers early next year. [LINK]

And that shocking incident involving the little 16-year-old girl (held down and tasered for not moving along while attending to her sick friend) was apparently unreported until recently:

The incident occurred on April 11, the first night of an extension of the police taser trial to general duty officers. Closed circuit television footage of the incident, seen by The Australian, shows an apparent breach of the guidelines in tasering the slightly-built juvenile - who was sitting down in a garden bed the time - where there was no risk of injury to police. The incident involving the girl was one of the only "taser deployments" not publicly revealed during the trial by police. [ibid]

What? Misinformation, whitewashing and under-reporting (a.k.a. lies and deception) on the issue of tasers by the very same police that covet them?

No! Gasp! Say it isn't so!!

Proving negatives and other logical errors

The headline reads:

Autopsy: Tasers' shocks didn't kill man [LINK]

Well, maybe. But the logic used to reach this conclusion is not in accordance with the basics of Philosophy 101, and it bears the fingerprints of Taser's not-so-secret campaign to promote Excited Delirium as an alternate conclusion to explain away taser-associated deaths.

First of all, the basics: You cannot prove a negative.

The coroner might prove that something else is the more likely explanation. Such alternate explanations in many cases of taser-associated deaths tend to be, ah, a bit weak. It's not often that there is a alternate explanation (like a detached head) that is perfectly clear-cut and inarguable. I'm happy to accept those ultra-clear explanation in those rare cases when they occur in coincidental association with a taser deployment.

The autopsy report, obtained Friday, cites complications from excited delirium as the cause of death. Dr. Deborah Radisch of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Raleigh said excited delirium "causes the sudden cardiorespiratory collapse and arrest following an agitated state necessitating the use of restraints, and is generally seen in the context of the use of a stimulant such as cocaine." [ibid]

Excited Delirium is also generally seen in the context of the use of a taser. At the top of my blog is a news headline scroll display tracking various topics including Excited Delirium.

Over the past year or so, I would have to estimate that 90% (roughly) of the news stories involving Excited Delirium have also been involving the deployment of a taser and with a fatal outcome.

Just like this case...

The next point is that, in a hypothetical taser-caused death, the taser would leave no clear-cut internal postmortem evidence. This is the 'proof issue' that has plagued the taser issue since the outset (it has been discussed on this blog several times before under the heading What would you be looking for? [LINK]).

But a primary characteristic of Excited Delirium (and the reason that Taser chose it) is that it is a mysterious, ill-defined cause of death that also leaves no clear-cut internal postmortem evidence. No evidence - just like a hypothetical taser-caused death.

What an interesting coincidence...

The last and most revealing issue is the strange story of exactly who is promoting Excited Delirium as an alternate explanation for mysterious in-custody deaths (often taser-associated).


You're either in on it, or you're being played like a trumpet.

You can't make up stories as good as this reality.

If you've been a brainwashed pro-taser fan-boy up to now, then you might feel a bit like vomiting and taking a shower right about now. Go ahead - we understand.

Aussie police want tasers - "Now !!!"

Yeah quick !! - before the news gets out that tasers are already being misused, abused and overused all over Australia. Little 16-year-old girls being held down and tasered. Police Ministers threatening to taser people at meetings.

They claim that, "They're effective." Yeah, so are flame-throwers. Do you want flame-throwers too? Electric fences around government buildings? You don't want unruly crowds bothering government officials.

Mr Carroll said the [police] association wanted 24-hour access to tasers for front-line police so they were equipped with a non-lethal alternative to handguns, particularly when more offenders are presenting with drug and mental health issues. [LINK]

Oh, so you've been shooting dead (with your lethal handguns) a large number of offenders with drug and heath issues, have we? What a load of crap.

This damp-trousers desire for tasers is really all about being able to exercise total control over not just 'offenders', but also over generally law-abiding citizens too. Back-talk an officer and you'll risk being tortured as an on-the-spot punishment. Just like the good old days of being a British penal colony.

There's a line that defines the boundary between a Police State and The Rule of Law. The clearest possible example of this boundary is the question: Who meets out the punishment - police or courts? Tasers are most often used to meet out on-the-spot pain which is far beyond what might be required to induce compliance. Tasers = an instrument of the Police State.

At this point the ill-informed pro-taser fan boys start wheezing about "Oh, Just obey the police and you won't get tasered", thereby revealing that they've not been paying the slightest attention and have missed the several incidents where persons in diabetic comas, or stone-cold drunk, or zonked-out asleep, etc., have been tasered.

In theory, tasers might do some good (if they were as safe as claimed) once in a while.

In practice, tasers are used about one-hundred times as often (roughly) as police ever used their lethal handguns. This reveals the police association statement about being a replacement for handguns to be an example of a misinformation campaign. And they know it - which makes it a lie.

In practice, tasers are misused, overused and abused so much that they are a negative force in society. When the overuse is combined with the risks, it isn't even clear that they save lives. When people die after being tasered, would they have died anyway? In many cases - not likely. Even the mainstream media has noticed that.

The Solicitor General in the Canadian province of Alberta recently claimed that tasers had saved "thousands" of lives - which is a clearly preposterous claim.

Australia seems to be about one year behind Canada in the progress of the taser issue.

Attention Aussies - Welcome to late-2007. Keep your mobile phone cameras at the ready. Especially if you see any sort of minor disturbance at an airport...

Deployment Type vs. Outcome (where is it?)

Why bother with all these so-called scientific studies (often twisted to suit a goal, such as using bizarrely-small sample sizes to avoid the risk of finding moderate [~3% [?]] risks) when we already have a huge street-level experiment going on?

The authorities have, or should have, access to all the data needed to answer the following questions:
  • How many subjects have mysteriously fallen over dead when the police officer held up a taser and threatened to (but didn't actually) use it? According to Taser, there should be no difference in the death rate.
  • How many subjects have died after being tasered in Touch Torture ('Drive Stun' [sic]) mode to an extremity such as an arm or leg? According to Taser, there should be no difference in the death rate "...since the deaths have nothing to do with the taser."
  • How many volunteers or trainees have died after being carefully tasered in the back, or down one leg? Different population preclude simple comparisons, but such carefully stage-managed (FAKE) examples shouldn't be allowed to dilute the real-world statistics.
  • Of all the several hundreds of cases where someone has mysteriously died due to some sort of internal factor (as opposed to falling off a bridge), is there any evidence of a statistical surplus of full-on taser deployments to the chest or thorax?
Such an honest evaluation of the detailed reports, with all the Taser denominator washing [LINK] accounted for, would provide much better evidence of the real-world safety (or not) of the taser.

Based on the many news reports that I've seen, I believe that the answer would be clear-cut and obvious (and frightening, for both sides...).

And perhaps that's why we haven't seen a report covering this sort of very straightforward analysis of Deployment Type versus Outcome.

Stench of 'Police State' associated with tasers

Do tasers replace guns, or do tasers replace fundamental freedoms?

During a meeting over insurance levies, Aussie state New South Wales Police Minister Tony Kelly allegedly told an insurance lobbyist:

"I wish I had a f_cking taser here right now. I would taser you." [LINK]

Presumably because the minister disagreed with the lobbyist.

Note - this is the NSW Police Minister !!!

Police Minister Kelly has clearly revealed his instinctive assumption that the true purpose of tasers is to control people (even in the exercise of their fundamental rights and freedoms) by means of threats of torture. Just in case you had any doubt...

If this report is true, then this foul-mouth freedom-threatening slime-bag has no place in the Aussie halls of power. Six months in the slammer for uttering threats might send a very useful message.

Let's play Spot The Trend in Australia Taser News:

More on Police taser 16-year-old girl [LINK]

Usage creep? Or creepy usage?

"...by the hands of another..."

The Randolph County coroner Gerald Luntsford has ruled that the August death of Stanley Harlan, 23, whom Moberly police shocked twice with a Taser during a traffic stop was a homicide.

"A homicide only means that a person came to their death by the hands of another," Luntsford said today.

[And what device was in those hands? A taser !!!]

Luntsford said he could not disclose whether the use of the Taser killed Harlan. "There’s no doubt it contributed to it," the coroner said. "In a few days, we will have exactly what killed him."

This finding, that there is no doubt that the taser (at the very least) contributed to the death of a 23 year old man during a traffic stop makes a mockery of Taser's claims of safety.

If the taser is oh-so essentially perfectly safe, then how could it possibly have contributed to a death?

Contributing to a death doesn't sound very "safe" to me.

Taser's worldview just doesn't fit with the facts.

Even the most thick-headed Taser fan-boy must be starting to wonder what's going on?

One Month to RCMP's SECU deadline

The House of Commons Public Safety and National Security Committee (SECU) has threatened to call for a moratorium on the use of stun guns if the RCMP doesn't begin restricting use of the weapons before the end of the year [15 December 2008 to be specific].

See previous posts:
Tasers will be banned [LINK]
Editorials (20 June 2008) [LINK]

One month to go.

Tick tick tick tick tick tick....

Friday, November 14, 2008

Alternative to the taser - a cigarette lighter?

For the taser Touch Torture mode (also called Drive Stun mode by those that are Taser Certifiably Brainwashed) why not just use a hot cigarette lighter to force (verb) the subject to comply as ordered?

"Let go the hand-rail."
Taser zap-zap-zap-zap!
Excruciating pain, pain compliance, possible burn marks.

"Let go the hand-rail."
Cigarette lighter on, smolder smolder smolder, smell of singed hair & burnt flesh.
Excruciating pain, pain compliance, possible burn marks.

Why would one be considered (by some) to be legal, and the other considered to be obviously torture.

What, exactly, is the distinction?

PS: Bic lighters are cheaper...

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Science and skepticism vs. faith and certainty

Taser and their fan-boys like to wrap themselves in the cloak of science. But their utter and apparently unshakable certainty in the safety of tasers, in the face of growing circumstantial evidence to the contrary, reveals that they are operating on faith, not science.

Their position is probably growing from a legal necessity. They're not curious about each taser-associated death. Just eager to make each one legally go away.

Oh look, drugs. Perfect - issue a press release...

The National Institute of Justice acknowledged, "Many gaps remain in the body of knowledge of CEDs [tasers]... A significant number of individuals have died after exposure to a CED." [LINK] Hardly a firm endorsement of the state of the knowledge regarding portable electrocution devices.

There are some persons holding scientific credentials (and often also holding TASR stocks and or options) that believe that tasers are essentially perfectly safe. But there are other persons holding equally valid scientific credentials that believe that tasers are not as safe as claimed.

Both sides have studies to support their positions. It has become a battle of so-called studies. But many of the studies are rubbish and obviously designed to prove the premise. Meanwhile the evidence from the street continues to pile up and is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. Some incidents are so clear-cut that they defy whitewashing.

My rule-of-thumb is as follows: The real scientists reveal themselves by their perpetual skepticism. They're never quite certain of anything. They're most often correct.

Science? No place for faith and certainty.

Yours truly,

A confirmed skeptic.

The 'facilitative effect' of tasers

It's amazing how the slow passage of time eventually reveals the truth. More and more editorials and op-ed pieces are asking insightful questions about tasers and their so-called benefits to society.

Lorne Gunter, found on Calgary Herald - "... Perhaps the taser creates a similar facilitative effect: The alleged perpetrator is less likely to co-operate with taser-wielding police, just as officers, assured in their minds that tasers are less lethal, are more willing to fire them. ... Perhaps it's time to consider whether their use is sometimes more dangerous than officers' use of guns." [LINK] (see page 2)

Mr. Gunter is onto something here as evidenced by the roughly 100-to-1 ratio of taser usage to police gun usage.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Sault Star editorial

Doug Millroy, editor emeritus of The Sault Star, has nailed it. In his editorial [LINK] he includes some excellent points. Here are some small extracts:

"...although it is certainly possible that some of the 'victims' may have died without the Taser, we are left with the preposterous thought, if we extrapolate the company line, that within a very short time all these people would have dropped dead on their own. ..."

"...as it stands in the rest of the country, too many deaths are occurring.."

Correction: Taser (-associated) Death story

MEXIA, Texas (AP) - In the headline for a Nov. 3 story about the death of Adren Maurice Turner, 44, of Teague, Texas, The Associated Press erroneously reported he died from a Taser after a traffic stop. As explained in the story, police used a Taser to stun Turner when he struggled with them. He was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead. The cause of death has not been determined and an autopsy is pending. [LINK]

Autopsy - what would they be looking for? Tasers do not leave clues.

Traffic stop, taser deployed, dead. Perhaps Mr. Turner was stuck in the head and killed by a micrometeorite at the same time as the taser deployment. Or perhaps some health issue that he had had for years suddenly flared-up at exactly the same time as the taser deployment. Perhaps the taser has nothing to do with his death - just like all the others.

Taser excessive force $111,000 award upheld

Maine Today - The federal court of appeals in Boston has upheld a lower court ruling that South Portland, Maine police officer Kevin Gerrish used excessive force when he shot Stephen Parker with a Taser stun gun in 2005. ... In October of 2007, a jury found that Gerrish had used excessive force, and it awarded $111,000 to Parker for his injuries. [LINK]

Hmmm. Do you think that Officer Gerrish's (Taser-certified?) taser training was possibly substandard? Perhaps the mindless, mock-macho ride the lightning approach to training (always to the back by the way) is moronic and leads to such negative outcomes.

$111,000 award. Tasers save money do they?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Predicting the obvious...

So long as police believe (with a religious-like faith) that tasers are perfectly safe, they will continue to use them when lethal gunfire would never be justified. And thus, the purported benefit of tasers replacing guns has nothing to do with the actual day-to-day abuse, overuse and misuse of tasers.

On those rare occasions when tasers actually do replace a police shooting, then the risk inherent with being electrocuted might be a fair trade-off against a bullet. I wouldn't complain if that was how tasers were being used. In fact, tasers are 'used' (overused, misused, and abused) about one-hundred times as often as guns ever were.

On drug use and addicts - Keep in mind that addicts have typically been addicts for many week, months or years. If they happen to die on the very same day that they were tasered, it seems like a stretch to conclude that the drugs somehow excuse the taser's possible influence on the sometimes fatal outcome. The drug use can certainly be considered to be a contributing factor, as should the taser.

After the recent spate of mysterious taser-associated deaths in Alberta, it is clear that more Canadians will die after, and associated with, being tasered.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Edmonton officer stands accused

From an incident in 2004 ??? Gee whiz...

Const. Andrew Hoglund ...is accused of deploying his taser against Robert Boik without reason. [LINK]

Anyway (without knowing any of the background), it is nice to see that there may actually be limits to taser use in Canada... It is reassuring no matter what the details and no matter what the outcome of this particular case.

Compare (really) bad science to common sense

An interesting article, although some of the statements quoted are mindless Taser propaganda.

Tased and Confused [LINK]

Note carefully Taser's shrinking claims

Taser likes to play word games. They use wording that has been chosen with excrutiating care to slip in subtle misdirection that many people would not notice.

November 05, 2008 - Radio 660 News Staff Calgary The company that produces taser devices is commenting on the fear mongering that they say is dominating the debate on the policing devices. The Calgary Sun is reporting that a spokesperson for Taser International says the hysteria gripping the country about the device is bordering on insanity. In addition, he says that not one coroner in Canada has ever blamed a death on a taser, and that only one has ever contributed to a person's death. [LINK]

Once upon a time, they could make the same claim covering the entire world. No longer. Now they must restrict their claims of "not one coroner" to Canada only. Because this sort of claim is no longer true in the USA.

Note my words: ...no longer... Anyone care to predict a trend? Will a coroner in Canada eventually be forced to conclude the obvious - in the face of the device leaving no physical evidence?

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Taser's fundamental error

IMPORTANT UPDATE to this post: The views and statements in this particular post are a result of, and based on, the other 600+ posts to be found on this blog previous to this particular post. In other words, this post is not self-contained. That was never the intention. I'm sorry that I failed to make this point sufficiently clear, but it is extremely difficult to foresee every possible misinterpretation.

It is highly recommend that those interested in the subject of tasers avail themselves of all the information contained in this blog. Almost everything is backed-up with pointers to sources and applicable references. If you're completely new to the subject, you may have to read the entire blog to catch-up with all the taser news that has happened over the last year or so. For those entering the subject with favorable assumptions about tasers, you'd better sit down.

Taser, and their in-house brain trust, believe that there is a particular value of applied current that will accomplish the following two goals: 1) reliably lock-up the subject's muscles, and at the same time, 2) have essentially zero risk of any significant impact on the subject's organs.

It is my view that there is no such value of applied current that can achieve both goals (when applied over a wide population). I believe that once you have achieved reliable muscle lock-up, then you've chosen a value that brings with it moderate risk of serious impacts to internal organs and systems (for some subjects). In my view, the oft-quoted safety factor of 15-to-1 is an illusion and fails to account for overlap in the bell curves and other variables. In my view, Taser has vastly underestimated the risk, by several orders of magnitude.

The result is that Taser must resort to an increasingly-bizarre series of explanations to explain away the taser-associated deaths. According to them, not one of the many hundreds of taser-associated deaths was caused by the taser. Not one.

On the other hand, in my view, many of those tragic deaths would be a perfectly natural and expected outcome of implementing the rather stupid concept of using electricity to "safely" stop a person. It really is just that simple.

Look up 'Occam's Razor'. [LINK]

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Taser's French distributor loses libel case

SMP Technologies, which supplies tasers to the French police and military, has responded to criticism with a series of legal challenges. They've lost the first case. [LINK]

The head of this silly firm, Antoine Di Zazzo, was recently arrested (along with several fan-boy police officials). Taser disavows any relationship to this loon (well, except that they are still a distributor for Taser - no sign of ending this relationship?).

Some other notable quotes from this story:

The Paris high court, however, threw out SMP's claim, ruling that RAID-H's leaflets had contributed to an international debate on health and safety that was in the public interest and had not abused its right to free speech.

United Nations Committee Against Torture warned that “the use of these weapons causes severe pain constituting a form of torture, and that in some cases it may even cause death."

Alberta SG spouts irrational nonsense

Alberta Solicitor General Fred Lindsay said he has complete confidence in how police officers use Tasers in Alberta. ... "I want to go on record as saying that, of all the thousands of times that a Taser has been used in this province, it has saved thousands of lives. The alternative in a lot of cases is lethal force." [LINK]

What he seems to be saying is that if the police in Alberta didn't have tasers, then "thousands" of people in Alberta (!!!) would have died, because in a lot of cases "the alternative is lethal force".

In other words, he is claiming that without tasers the police in Alberta would have been forced to go on a rampage of daily death and "thousands" would have died.

What a crock of sh-t. Utter nonsense. Complete crap.

I can only hope that people reading that sort of nonsense will see it for what it is.

So the alternate conclusion is...?

Regarding the latest taser-associated death in Canada, the Alberta Solicitor General and the Taser spokespuppet (two peas in a pod) are making a bold defence of the taser. They're working on the assumption (utter mindless faith) that the various tasers are perfectly safe.

Even if this assumption was true, and many people including this blogger don't believe it, then what is the alternate conclusion?

That people, during their last minutes on earth, are being subjected to painful electric shocks? Tasered painfully while taking their last breath?

Where's the humanity?