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, April 24, 2009

'Shooting blanks' could be deadly

I've made this point before [LINK][LINK], but it is worth repeating. The issue is that when tasers fail on the low side and are therefore 'ineffective', it doesn't necessarily follow that they have 'failed safe'.

Here is why:

People have been killed by police gun-fire when the taser application was "ineffective". One is left to wonder if the subject might have survived if the police had used de-escalation techniques instead of relying on the taser. [LINK]

An argument can be made, quite reasonably, that ineffective tasers are extremely dangerous because of the potential for escalation and subsequent death by police gun fire.

The context of this is with respect to the near-constant 10% (+/-) failure rate of tasers when tested by CBC, British Columbia, Quebec, and now Alberta.

But it is critical to keep your eye on the main points:

Even when tasers are within specification, there is not universal agreement that they are essentially perfectly safe (cardiac effects). There are some studies that indicate that the risk is nowhere as low as Taser claims. The linear relationship found by Prof Savard between number of taser cycles and RISK OF DEATH is actually pretty strong evidence of a cause-and-effect link (unless people that plan to die somehow self-select themselves for additional taser cycles, and in a linear fashion - such an excuse is stretching the bounds of "logic" well beyond the breaking point).

And the issue of torture-by-taser. Overuse, abuse and misuse.

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