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.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Actual RCMP taser-associated death rate (UPDATED)

[Major rewrite (and previously corrected)]

So how safe are tasers in the real world? We now have all the data we need to make the calculations for the RCMP for two separate years:

RCMP: Actual taser hits (not including Touch Torture mode*):
2007 = 587
2008 = 305

Data from CPC [LINK]

* I'm not counting the pure Touch Torture ('stun') mode deployments because they're often applied to parts of the body where risk of death is reduced as compared to the chest. We have to draw the line somewhere, and that's where I draw it. There will be exceptions.

RCMP: Actual taser-associated deaths:

Ref: [Taser-associated] Deaths in Canada at Truth...Not Tasers blog [LINK]
#17. Robert Dziekanski, 40 - Vancouver, BC - October 14, 2007 - RCMP
#20. Robert Knipstrom, 36 - Chilliwack, BC - November 24, 2007 - RCMP
#24. Frank Frachette, 49 - Langley, BC - September 30, 2008 - RCMP

Some will point out that the taser has not be linked as a causal factor in many cases. Well, first of all, we've already discussed The Taser Proof Issue (it leaves no clues known to medical science, at least until postmortem diagnosis of VF becomes more common), and we've discussed the corruption of The System (Taser International and their minions are behind the big push for Excited Delirium). Let's just agree that the link might quite reasonably be considered to be an open question...

Calculate the RCMP's taser-associated death rate for two years:
2007: 2 deaths in 587 actual taser uses = 0.34% raw taser-associated death rate
2008: 1 death in 305 actual taser uses = 0.33% raw taser-associated death rate

Is that fairly consistent rate (around 0.33%) just another coincidence?

Do any of the other methods of non-lethal force have an associated death rates anywhere near this rate? If they did, and they're being used much more often than once every couple of days or once a week (by the RCMP, anywhere in Canada), then wouldn't we be hearing about the associated deaths on the nightly news???!!!!??? We aren't because (so far as I can tell) the other deaths are simply not happening anywhere near as often per usage as with tasers.

The above calculation of the raw rate includes all RCMP taser uses where the darts were deployed.

Let's assume that roughly half, or a third, or a quarter (you can pick your own number) where actual taser darts landed on the chest (as opposed to someone's arm or leg, or a miss), then you get a taser-associated death rate (for darts on chest) in the range of about 1 %.

This is about the same range (low end of single digits) that all the previous calculations I've made have shown for the approximate, real-world and inherent risk when taser darts land on chests.

Compare these real-world results to the insane claims of near-perfect inherent safety from Taser International and their minions. Millions to one or whatever they require to help explain away the taser-associated deaths that might bankrupt their company.

One more coincidence: Remember when Taser chairman Smith accidentally admitted that tasers take one life for every 70 saved ? (I think that he actually said it the other way around.) Let's assume that he counts every actual taser use as a life saved (that appears to be their M.O.). Inverse (1/n) of 70 is 1.43% - and this roughly matches the normalized rate shown above.

Face facts - their claims are (still) inaccurate by many orders of magnitude.


Critical Mass said...

Have you researched the original Doctor who coined the phrase "Excited Delirium"?


Dr. Deborah Marsh of the U. of Miami "Brain Endowment Bank", and a regular Taser Mouthpiece, credits Dr. Luther V. Bell, who has been dead for 150 years with doing the "pioneering research" on "ED".

Read the blog at "Creative Revolution" about Dr. Bell.

I thought you could use a good laugh and perhaps some original material.....

Good luck.

Critical Mass

Excited-Delirium.com said...

"Excited Delirium" seems to descend from the Brunonian system of "medicine" - based on "excessive excitation".

It's been discredited a long long time ago.