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, March 29, 2009

Previous post corrected (RCMP...rate)

A previous post - Actual RCMP taser-associated death rate - (posted 27 March 2009) contained an error.

See updated post here: [LINK]

The net result is that the raw taser-associated death rate for RCMP taser is actually about 0.33% (not 1.5%).

This rate explicitly excludes Touch Torture ('stun') -only mode deployments, because common sense indicates that a taser hit to the arm, leg, or even to the stomach is less likely to be fatal and such deployments should not be allowed to denominator-wash the actual risk when darts hit chest. There will be exceptions to this first-order correction.

This raw rate still needs to be adjusted upwards by some ratio to account for the fact that darts only hit chest in some fraction of the taser dart deployments. You can pick your own ratio. I pick one-third to keep the numbers round.

Please keep in mind that we're dealing with orders of magnitude here. Taser and their minions claim "millions" to one odds. We can use rough approximations to compare the real-world risks to those claims.

The adjusted rate is about 1% (risk of taser-associated death when darts hit chest, RCMP, 2007 & 2008).

1% isn't "millions to one"

I apologize for the error. As per my disclaimer, I'm entitled to make the occasional error and I will explicitly correct them once they're noted. And my 4:1 error is small in comparison to the safety claim discrepancy issue being discussed.

Thanks very much to occasional visitor 'Mark' for drawing my attention to the error.

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