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.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Aftershocks in the case of Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr.

FORT WORTH, Texas — Fort Worth police officer Stephanie A. Phillips, who used a taser on a mentally ill man who died as a result of the two high-voltage shocks will not be disciplined and remains on patrol. Police Chief Jeff Halstead said the administrative investigation into the April 18 death of Michael Patrick Jacobs Jr. is closed but declined to comment on it. He said he turned it over to the district attorney and expects a grand jury to review the case next month. ... [LINK]

There's an argument that could be made that such incidents should be filed under, "Hey Smith-4-brains! I thought you told me that this piece of sh_t was safe."

[Update: Except in this case the first shock was an extraordinary 49 seconds. This extended duration leads directly in a muddle, because Taser International slyly advises against long duration shocks. But their 'Cardiac Safety' webpage (written by Taser minion Kroll) - adopted as official corporate policy by its prominent position on their website - advises that taser hits are like being hit with ping pong balls. Taser the subject all day and all night and they claim it'll do no harm at all. This sort of false claim of safety is why Taser International must be bankrupted. And the plaintiffs should go after the management and minions too.]

[Update 2: See comment from 'Critical Mass' about how the officer's report fails the smell test.]

In other words, the officer was told and trained that the weapon was "safe". This logic might arguably apply in the case of an individual officer, but at the higher levels of police leadership there has been an obvious lack of due diligence. Police officials have been played by the stungun salesmen; they shouldn't have displayed such naievity. At that level there's plenty of blame for all.

In August the medical examiner ruled that Jacobs' death was a homicide. Phillips stunned the 24-year-old with a Taser twice — the first time for 49 seconds and the second time for 5 seconds, with a 1-second interval between the shocks, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office report. ...

An autopsy concluded that the primary cause of death was "sudden death during neuromuscular incapacitation due to application of a conducted energy device," and said no traces of alcohol or drugs, electrolyte imbalances, or signs of heart or lung disease were found...

1 comment:

Critical Mass said...

There is a second problem with this story, and it has to do with the police officer's story, which does not wash. She says there was a "one second" interval between the first 49 second taser application and the second taser shock, during which time "..Phillips warned him again that if he did not "cease fighting and comply with officers’ requests, she would shock him again, according to the report. When [Jacobs] failed to cooperate, Phillips shocked him a second time."


I find it hard to believe she uttered those warnings in a single second. As in the Vancouver airport taser homicide, it seems police officers make up their stories on the fly.