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.

Friday, November 20, 2009

X26 taser linked (DIRECTLY) to Cardell's death

[UPDATE: The pro-taser fanboy e-mails are all causing blog hits that are landing DIRECTLY on this post. See bottom of post for more.]

H/T to the It All Goes Here blog: Taser Linked To Death [LINK]

In June, Taser International's bought-and-paid-for minion "Dr." (not a real [medical] doctor) Mark Kroll wrote a letter to The Salt Lake Tribune in a pathetic attempt to blame "excited delirium" (solely) for the death of Brian Cardell. [LINK]

'Excited delirium,' not TASER, killed Brian Cardall, By Mark Kroll (26 June 2009) [LINK]

As is so often the case when dealing with Taser International's bought-and-paid-for minions, he was and is wrong. Dead wrong.

"Excited delirium theory nixed"...

The Salt Lake Tribune (19 November 2009) - A Taser that twice shocked Brian Cardall contributed to or caused heart irregularities in the 32-year-old man that led to his death on the side of southern Utah highway in June, the Utah Medical Examiner's Office has ruled.

Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Erik Christensen cited "ventricular fibrillation following conducted energy weapon deployment during a manic episode with psychotic features" as Cardall's cause of death. ...

Christensen's report states that prongs from a Taser deployed by a Hurricane police officer struck Cardall over his heart. While Christensen acknowledged other factors could have contributed to Cardall's death, he pointed out several factors that indicate a Taser electrocuted a naked, unarmed Cardall.

Report: "...the circumstances in this case represent a combination of the factors that are believed to increase the risk of a potential electrical death. These include the placement of the barbs over the cardiac axis, the penetration of the barbs deeply into a thin chest wall directly over the heart, absence of intervening clothing and more than one cycle of electrical stimulation. Additionally, the initial cardiac rhythm of ventricular fibrillation is consistent with findings seen in cases of electrocution."

The conclusion that the X-26 Taser, manufactured by Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Taser International, played a significant role in Cardall's death is a bold finding by Christensen. ...
Excited delirium theory nixed


Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a statistical surplus of taser hits to the chest in those that die?

Note also the following facts:
1) Taser International recently recommended "avoiding the chest".
2) Taser International's training protocol has always been into the back, not the chest.
3) Training cartridges have darts that are about 40% shorter than regular.
4) Taser International hints at avoiding repeated cycles.

And for the benefit of those that might point to Mr. Cardell's mental state as being a contributing factor, are you willing to agree that tasers present a serious risk of death for those in such a condition?

So, WTF are tasers for?

2009 - interesting year, eh?

UPDATE2: See also [LINK].

UPDATE1: My tracking systems are revealing a flurry of blog hits from known and suspected pro-taser fanboy locations. These hits are landing DIRECTLY on this post. The word 'directly' doesn't mean that the blog hit happened in perfectly isolation. Their PC needs to be turned on, they have to get an e-mail, they have to click in the link embedded in the e-mail. But they there is a straightforward cause-and-effect relationship from the click to landing 'directly' on this post.

Taser International has, at times, taken refuge behind the word "directly". They toss into the air all the pre-existing medical conditions and circumstances of the incident, and then make a faulty logical leap to try to disconnect the cause-and-effect relationship between the taser, the electrical shocks it emits, the direct effect of those shocks on the subject, and the (directly) resultant death.

I'm not prepared to let them get away with an escape in the case of Brian Cardell. By any reasonable interpretation of the autopsy report (as reported in the media), it seems clear that there is, in this case, a direct link from being tasered to being dead.

And regarding the other circumstances? What they never highlight is the obvious fact that the taser is marketed for use on this exact population. If they imply that the taser is potentially deadly in such circumstances, but continue to Fail to Warn, then they're heavily liable.

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