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, October 14, 2009

Taser lawyer David Neave hurls insults

VANCOUVER — A lawyer representing Taser International attacked the medical opinions that Robert Dziekanski died as a result of being Tasered at Vancouver International Airport almost two years ago as “junk science.” Taser Lawyer David Neave told the Braidwood Commission inquiring into Dziekanski’s death that there was no evidence that “the Taser device caused or contributed to his death.” [LINK]

Really? No evidence whatsoever? None?

I guess if you choose to completely and utterly ignore the timeline. Disregard the universal axis of time, one of the four mutually-orthoganol directions in the space-time continuum. Why would anyone in their right mind choose to totally ignore the blatently obvious time sequence? Oh, I guess that's a rhetorical question, isn't it?

Mr. Dziekanski was tasered five times for a total of 31 seconds and was dead within minutes.

The most significant thing that occurred to Mr. Dziekanski during the last couple of minutes of his life was that he was tasered, and tasered, and tasered, and tasered, and tasered again. This would be 'the most significant' by a factor of, oh..., about one hundred.

His last words (in Polish) were: "Have you lost your mind?" Not exactly strong evidence that he was completely out-of-touch with reality. When I see the video, I want to ask the taser-happy RCMP officers the exact same question.

Here is the timeline [LINK] drawn to a fairly accurate scale.

Basing the claim of inherent safety on a lack of explicit postmortem evidence, when that is exactly what would be expected for a device that is sufficiantly low power as to not be capable of leaving any explicit postmortem clues, but is obviously strong enough to cause death in some percentage of cases where the taser darts happen to land in a critical location on the victim's body.

For example, ...ahem... the chest.

And as far as "speculation" is concerned, the real world evidence, for example the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry", or the finding by Prof. Savard that the risk of death is linearly proportional to taser exposure time, etc. ...these real world observations indicating direct cause-and-effect obviously take precedence over so-called "studies" where even I (a layman) can spot and describe the logical and systematic flaws.

For example, the inherent circular logic of excluding two taser-associated deaths, leaving zero, because there was no postmortem evidence. And this Wake Forest study was led by Dr. Bozeman who is quoted as saying (basically) that '...of course tasers are capable of killing...".

For example, all the so-called studies where they follow the training protocol and apply short taser hits (1, 2, or 5 seconds) to "various locations" using non-penetrating alligator clips. And we've recently noted that the darts used on training (always fired into the back) are about 40% shorter penetration depth than the real darts used on the street. And nobody but nobody ever mentions such details as the exact location of the "various" locations used.

For example, the pathetic computer model (Unileg Weeble man) that not only proved that taser were safe, but simultaneously proved they would have no effect whatsoever except to make one chest muscle twitch. [LINK]

For example, the many so-called studies that perhaps (at best) indicated that there was not a high risk of death. Duh. Strawman argument. We are arguing about low to moderate risk of death even under the worst taser darts on chest. Studying a small number of healthy volunteers not only does not answer The Main Question, it simply muddles the issue (I strongly suspect it is intentional).

For example, Taser International holding up studies of lower INJURY rates (where taser dart puncture wounds are defined as a non-injury while baton-induced injuries are counted - more circular logic), while failing to answer the mail on death rates per full deployment to the chest.

For example, where is the M26 versus X26 death rate per full deployment to the chest?

For example, where is the death rate for chest hits versus taser hits in locations that would obviously be safer?

Because the pipeline has been solidly plugged up with defectively-structured studies, many with flaws so obvious that even a layman can spot them a mile away, and with a history of nondisclosure of ties to Taser International, denial of negative findings to local government officials, redacting obviously critical technical information, etc...

And you complain about besmirching their reputation?!??!

Good night.

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