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.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What is Taser International's position on safety?

Their position on taser safety seems to be a bit muddled over recent months. And I suspect that this muddle is completely intentional.

They continue to 'defend the safety' of the taser.

But if you watch their feet intently, they're doing that tiny and subtle feet-twist sideways movement as they slowly and almost imperceptibly slide from the position that Tasers-R-Safe, to slyly warning that tasers are now "not without risks".

These risks are rather ill-defined. Some people think that they remain just the falling down and banging heads sort of external risks. But the wording has been subtly changed so as to not exclude internal risk factors such as cardiac effects of any sort.

Did they think that nobody would notice the change that the more-limited 'individual susceptibilities' is now an all-inclusive 'not without risks' (everyone is welcome to join the life-or-death risk party)?

See also this recent news [LINK] from Australia that Taser International (reportedly) now admits that multiple taser hits can be dangerous and that officers are now being trained to avoid multiple taser hits. Holy Sh_t! Does this warning apply outside Australia too? Anyone seen such a thing in North America? Is this news correct?

Does this new Australian-based warning now mean that all those taser-associated deaths (in North America), where the victim was tasered several (or many) times and died, that Taser International will now be happy to open their checkbook and compensate the families for these deaths which are now, perhaps more clearly, seen as being possibly the direct result of this previously-unforeseen risk from multiple taserings? Or will they continue to be dirty slime-bags and deny all responsibility and leave the victims' families bankrupt? Hey, I'm just asking...

Remember Kroll's article in IEEE Spectrum in December 2007? [LINK] Wouldn't we like to have him appear on the witness stand and try to defend that article given the ugly reality of the real-world results?

Maybe certain EE's shouldn't be (essentially) practicing medicine. Maybe some of them shouldn't be allowed to practice engineering either. Hubris is very dangerous.

Decision makers of the Law Enforcement world should carefully compare their original taser training materials to the latest version(s) - including the Australian version. If the overall taser safety message has slowly evolved through annual subtle adjustments, then perhaps the net change is more significant than they've been led to believe.

Someone, somewhere should be auditing this warnings / training issue. Regulators of the world - where are you?

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