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.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Compare and contrast - then think...

It might not be perfectly obvious - but there is a huge logic gap revealed by the Dziekanski findings and how they fit into the larger taser issue. Allow me to explain.

Taser claims that their taser products are simply not capable of affecting the heart, nor do they allow for any internal risk factors whatsoever. If they allow that the tasers can affect the heart or anything similar, then it would be reasonable to assume that the effect might possibly be fatal for some people. So they can never admit it - they simply can't. We shouldn't expect them to; it's a waste of time waiting for it.

Now, the Dziekanski findings clearly stated that the 'taser jolts contributed to' the death.

How is this possible?

So on one side, Taser essentially claims that the taser cannot possibly affect the heart, and that there are no internal risk factors whatsoever. They claim that there is a large safety factor. And on the other side, the Dziekanski findings state that there is an effect, and that the taser jolts were a contributing factor. This is a huge discrepancy.

One side or the other is wrong - dead wrong.

Either the taser is capable of affecting the heart (in some people), or it isn't (ever).

Which is it?

The phrase 'contributing factor' is another way of saying 'partially caused'. This is not the opposite of 'caused'. It's right next door.

Also, we've recently heard in the news that some older tasers (or perhaps those using older high voltage modules under new serial numbers ? [LINK]) emitted roughly 50% more current than specified. And that this lack of consistency can increase the risk. In other words, tasers vary and this can be a huge issue.

Well what about the variability in the humans? 'Heart disease' was mentioned in the Dziekanski findings. I'll bet that I have some heart disease. I'll bet that you have some heart disease. I'll bet that (other than the kids) other members of my family have some degree of heart disease. Same for your family.

So, do you think that humans might have another +/- 50% variability? Are we going to recall and test all citizens and visitors to make sure that their hearts are compatible with the taser?

If you accept that the variability of taser is a safety issue, then perhaps the variability of humans might be an issue too. I guess the safety concept all depends on (non-?) overlapping bell curves. Which is never ZERO risk. Never. No such thing. And it's not millions-to-one either.

To sum it all up:
  • Taser does not admit to any internal risk factors, such as cardiac effects
  • (But we would expect them to say that)
  • The Dziekanski findings state that the taser jolts were a contributing factor
  • These two positions do not jive
  • Therefore, Taser is almost certainly wrong in their safety claims
If a taser can contribute to a death from internal effects, and Taser does not provide warnings (and - in fact - denies the possibility), then they are EXTREMELY LIABLE.

Sue the bastards.

And if the safety level isn't as claimed, then the entire training package is completely wrong. And all the so-called experts and certified trainers are basically certifiably-brainwashed-by-Taser, and their expert opinions are less-than-useless. And all the certified-trained officers are trained wrong. In fact - anyone that thinks that the taser cannot contribute to a death is WRONG (certain police chiefs, etc.).

Time for a moratorium to allow time to clean up this mess.

All of this flows logically from the Dziekanski findings that the taser jolts were a contributing factor.

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