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, June 28, 2009

Before and After - the built-in experimental control

How often have people died just BEFORE they were about to be tasered?

Has there EVER been any reports of people falling over dead after the taser had been drawn and displayed, but BEFORE it had actually been fired? Many jurisdictions actually do require written reports when the taser is even pulled from the holster. So logically, there should be plenty (hundreds) of reports where the taser was drawn and displayed, and the subject fell over dead BEFORE the taser was fired.

Did the four RCMP officiers arrive on the scene and find that Mr. Dziekanski had already died, just moments BEFORE they arrived? Did Mr. Dziekanski look like he was about to die, in that half-minute BEFORE he was tasered?

When did Brian Cardell die? Did the police arrive and find him already dead? Did he fall over in the (reported) minute or so after the police arrived, and just BEFORE he was tasered?

If the taser hits have no causal relationship to the subsequent death, then basic logic would dictate that you would expect to see roughly as many people falling over dead just BEFORE being tasered, as just AFTER being tasered.

Feel free to normalize each incident on a 'per unit time' basis (it won't make any difference). But you should include the total duration of the incident timeline.

Virtually every taser incident that results in a death has its very own, built-in experimental control. The experimental control is the time BEFORE the taser hit.

An asymmetrical distribution would seem to provide clear-cut evidence of causality.

If the asymmetry is extreme, then the argument is over.

(The following graphic is for illustrative purposes only and is not based on anything more than my recollection of the many news reports of taser-associated deaths, and the fact that Taser International isn't proudly showing off a thick stack of reports of the hundreds of people that died just BEFORE being tasered. Actual data may vary. The ball is in Taser International's court to explain-away this very simple observation.)


Critical Mass said...

Why didn't this drug user die before the tasering? Notice this is reported as a "lengthy struggle", so if the detainee was on a one way trip to the morgue, he could have chosen any moment in the "lengthy struggle" to expire. He didn't. His body waited until he was tasered/restrained to give up the ghost:


Man dies after being shot with Taser

A 37-year-old Fontana man died Monday morning after being Tasered when he became violent while being treated for an apparent methamphetamine overdose, Fontana police said.

Police and fire were summoned to the 7500 block of Cherimoya Avenue by Shawn Iinuma's family at 1:15 a.m. because he had been using meth and was acting strangely, investigators wrote in a statement.

A lengthy struggle ensued after he became violent and police Tasered him, the statement said. Iinuma stopped breathing after being restrained. He died at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.

--Richard Brooks



Short on details, it would be interesting to find out more about this struggle, its length and at what point he gave up breathing.

Excited-Delirium.com said...

For those cases where the victim has a reliably-proven lethal (fatal) dose of drugs in their system, then it raise interesting questions.

This is significantly different than someone that is simply acutely agitated (most often not fatal).

Taser fanboys love to muddle the waters when it comes to drugs and tasers.