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.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

X26-bias in taser-associated deaths?

The CBC Taser Deployment database [LINK] doesn't seem to provide enough details to be able to link the known taser-associated deaths (about 26 in Canada) to the model of taser used.

What we have so far is that the older (safer?) M26 taser was actually used about three times more often than the newer (more dangerous?) X26 taser during the years 2002-2007 (in Canada). [LINK]

For the years where we have taser model data (M26 vice X26) that are linked to taser-associated deaths in Canada the reported results are as follows:

2002: zero known taser-associated deaths in Canada
2003: 3 taser-associated deaths (M26 = 0%, X26 = 100%)
2004: 6 taser-associated deaths (M26 = 0%, X26 = 100%)

For some strange reason, the data pretty-much runs dry starting in 2005. The few scattered data points (three or four of them, we're still gathering data) are (M26 = 0%, X26 = 100%).

[Update: Available information indicates that Terry Hanna's death on 19 April 2003 as being associated with an X26, but it occurred more than one month before the X26 was officially unveiled on 30 May 2003. We are seeking clarification, sources and more data.]

Perhaps there's a reason why complete data set isn't readily available... (ahem)

Remember, the CPC report states that the M26 taser was actually used THREE TIMES MORE OFTEN than the X26 taser during the period 2002-2007. [LINK] These are actual deployments (not just inventory quantity), negating many possible logical escape routes.

Perhaps it is only the X26 taser that carries the monophasic 'virus' that causes Excited Delirium deaths.

See Smoking Gun Number Three [LINK]
See Call for data (M26 vs. X26) [LINK]

Now obviously, if the 'missing' data for 2005-2007 is more rationally-distributed in accordance with the ratio of taser model usage during this period, then I'm sure that the pro-taser police leadership will rush to obtain and publish that data. They'd want to do so to support the purported lack of causal connection from the weapon to the deaths.

On the other hand, if this partial but intriguing observation is met with official silence, then you're left to draw your own conclusions about the apparent X26-bias as relates to taser-associated deaths.

Such an X26-bias (if supported with more data points) would be very bad news for Taser International and a massive embarrassment for all the pro-taser forces.

Already, it appears to be statistically significant (based on the sniff test). It's almost enough to call for an immediate moratorium on ALL X26 tasers, unless they can find a logical explanation for this peculiar data.

Well? More data available? We're waiting...

[Update: There's an assumption here that the RCMP's use of the two taser models (75%/25%) reflects the entire country's use of tasers, which is the list of all Canadian taser-associated deaths (not just RCMP). We've got two data sets that only partially overlap.]

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