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, February 28, 2010

QotW: On making police work easier...

"I wish it were easy. It's not. A policeman's job is only easy in a police state."

Posted by XXXXXXXXXXXX, February 27, 2010, 11:30PM [LINK]

See also [LINK].

Saturday, February 27, 2010

San Fran Police Chief George Gascon and his Taser faith

Gascón said. "It is not a perfect tool. ... It is not nonlethal. We understand that occasionally, the Taser has been found to be a contributing factor in the death of someone during an altercation with police." [LINK]

"Occassionally..."? Yeah, but how often do police shoot and kill people using their guns? So tasers replace one "occasionally" with another, but add a layer of randomness that is evil at its core. The risk of death is reduced for the rare "sword-wielding lunatic", but increased for others that would otherwise have never faced a randomly-lethal police weapon.

But he said in many of those cases, "you have people who are extremely fragile. People who probably, if you were to ask them to run around the block, they would probably suffer cardiac arrest. So it's somewhat disingenuous to simply say that Tasers caused this." [LINK]

Utter bollocks. The old and evil 'Blame the victim(s)' trick. Disgusting. Repulsive. Evil.

And there are too many cases where young and normal-health people have been tasered_and_died. It's also worth highlighting that Taser International and their minions claim a massive 15-to-1 safety margin. So how does that claim fit into Gascon's false and deceptive proposal that taser deaths are to be blamed on the victims' health?

Gascon is falling back into the bald-face Taser lie that tasers are not capable of causing death.

Fact: The AMA concluded that tasers can cause death, "directly or indirectly."

Fact: The Canadian Braidwood Inquiry concluded that tasers can cause death, "even with healthy adults."

Fact: The Maryland Attorney General concluded that Taser International has "significantly understated" the risks of taser use.

San Francisco Police Commission officials would be well advised to force Gascon to write the Taser Use Policy **in advance** of permitting procurement to proceed. They should review it and ensure that tasers are only used in those very rare circumstances when the risk of death is reduced, not increased.

It's the grey areas that need to be extremely well defined. If the fine line is not well defined and restricted, then it is very easy for tasers to become an overall negative and an increase in evil.

This is one of those real-life IQ test moments. If the Commission members can't see the logic of reviewing the policy while they have this ideal opportunity to provide actual and effective oversight, then they're idiots.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Boise "Mounted" Police settle with Gerald Amidon for $150,000

The Boise "Mounted" Police have settled for $150,000, but admitted no wrong-doing (puhleeze...).

Gerald Amidon stated that he did not realize that the men forcing their way into his apartment were officers. He tried to block the door, resulting in him being thrown to the floor by three officers. After giving him a good solid tasering, one officer sodomized him with his taser... [LINK]

Officer #3: Do you feel this?
Complainant: Yes, sir.
Officer #3: Do you feel that? That’s my...
Complainant: Okay
Officer #3: - ...Taser up your ass.
Complainant: Okay
Officer #3: So don’t move.
Complainant: I’m trying not to. I can’t breathe.
Officer #3: Now do you feel this in your balls?
Complainant: I do, sir. I’m not going to move. I’m not gonna move.
Officer #3 Now I’m gonna tase your balls if you move again.
A minute later, this exchange occurred:
Officer #3: Okay, I’m gonna take this Taser out of your asshole now. Are you going to fight with me?
Complainant: No, not at all, sir.

On principle, I've got absolutely nothing against homoerotic horseplay amongst consenting adults. [LINK] But when an officer of the law sodomizes a citizen with a taser, as well as lovingly fondling the subject's testicles with the same taser, that's more than just a bit weird. It should be a Federal Civil Rights issue.

Edmonton: "Cops say stun guns safe"

Edmonton Sun - Despite public concern about stun guns sending out more electrical current than specified by the manufacturer, Edmonton police say that most of their small percentage of defective Tasers have registered below-tolerance readings. And the few deemed to be above tolerance were still within safe parameters, said Const. Olena Fedorovich, of the Edmonton Police Service officer safety unit. "There’s an assumption that they’re above tolerance. They’re not. They’re below most of the time. There have been a few where either their pulse rate or main phase was slightly above manufacturer’s specifications — but they’re still considered safe." Chief Mike Boyd told the Edmonton Police Commission last week that 23 conducted energy weapons (CEWs) were pulled from service in 2009 because they failed independent testing. That amounted to about 6% of the EPS’s stock last year. ... [LINK]

Naive and stupid.

Even if the tasers are "failing safe" (electrical output on the low side), that still makes them (even more than normal) unreliable. And an unreliable weapon is a very very very dangerous weapon. For everyone involved (police AND the subject themselves).

See [LINK] for detailed explanation.

Example 1: "Police shocked the man with a Taser stun gun twice, with no effect. Officers then fatally shot the man." [LINK]

Example 2: Taser had no effect - Or did it? [LINK]

There have been innumerable examples of ineffective tasers, some with directly deadly consequences that might not have occurred with other (deescalation) approaches.

This amount of explaining away of tasers failing by the Edmonton police is very disturbing. They shouldn't be doing that. It's indicative of the level of 'Church of Taser' type-thinking within the law enforcement community.

Fedorovich admitted that some officers have some apprehension about using CEWs stemming from recent controversy. "...[members] also have a heightened understanding of the liability and accountability associated to it."

Well duh!

Taser QotW: "The use of electricity to immobilize animals should be forbidden."

Dr. Temple Grandin is a Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University and a world-famous designer of humane livestock handling facilities.

"Electro-immobilization is NOT a humane method of restraint"

"The use of electricity to immobilize animals should be forbidden."

Consider that this advice is for animals.

What about humans?

See [LINK].

SF police chief pushes for Taser use by officers

San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon "...pushes for Taser use by officers..." [LINK]

The headline is probably more accurate than actually intended. I can smell from here that this man is a full member of 'The Church of Taser'. If his officers ended up using tasers several times per week (about one hundred times more often than his stated justification), then he would probably support that.

I find it funny/sad that the Commission officials have been promised that "...the department will create a policy that allows officers to use Tasers only with aggressive, combative suspects...", and are not taking the duh-obvious step of forcing Gascon to supply the policy IN ADVANCE of approving the procurement. Duh!!!!

Tell the Chief to write the policy and submit it to the Commission for review and approval. Then see how it compares to the lessons already painfully learned in other jurisdictions. Because he is obviously a 'True Believer', you're not likely to see a reasonable policy unless forced.

Allowing this Arizona ex-pat to bring in tasers (from Arizona) in advance of setting the rules would be naive.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Taser's "Anti-Felon ID Tags" will have this assassination case wrapped-up shortly

The assassination of Mahmoud al Mabhouh, a Hamas military commander, in Dubai last month was carried out by an 11-member 26-member hit squad. ... Police say his murderers used an electric shock taser, tortured him with a lit cigarette [redundant] and smothered him with a pillow... [LINK]

Gather up the scattered 'Anti-Felon ID Tags', e-mail the codes off to Taser headquarters, and they'll be happy to help identify the killers.

An "undisclosed overseas client"...

Reliance on taser nearly costs officer his head

Law enforcement leaders are allowing the propaganda-based taser training to replace common sense and good judgment.

File this one under 'Stupid':

NSW, Australia - ...Sergeant De Lorenzo had found Tevi Koloamatangi, allegedly armed with a loaded .357 handgun, and three staff in the hotel's bottle shop... Sergeant De Lorenzo fired the Taser at him, striking him in the chest... Mr Koloamatangi reeled back, but then composed himself and fired again at Sergeant De Lorenzo, narrowly missing his head. ... [LINK]

Friday, February 19, 2010

RCMP planning to make about 50 taser policy changes

OTTAWA (Jim Bronskill, CP, 15 Feb 2010) - The RCMP plans a sweeping overhaul of its taser policy following recommendations from inquiries prompted by the death of Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski. An internal briefing note obtained by The Canadian Press says the Mounties' policy centre on use of force recommends four dozen specific changes on stun gun use. ... [via TNT]

Well, assuming that these are the sorts of changes that we're expecting, then that would be nice.

I hope that the changes are accompanied by an explicit acknowledgment that the previous taser policies, almost certainly traceable back to slick-talking stungun salesmen, were wrong / incorrect / unethical / lethal / evil / deadly / counterproductive / immoral / dangerous / illegal / criminal.

There has to be some blowback against those within the law enforcement community that were so damn stupid and naive. But also the stungun salesmen that orchestrated much of this mess; they need to be held to account.

Taser International's Axon headcam business model disqualified by RCMP

CBC News - ...A camera made by Axon [a.k.a. Taser International] was disqualified from the field trials due to RCMP concerns about control over the videos. "After obtaining further information on these cameras it was learned that the recordings from the Axon camera are sent to a third party housed in the United States. As a result of this, the Axon was removed as an option for the pilot project." [LINK]

What stupid moronic idiot would develop a business model where gigabytes of data, per day per officer, is sent back and forth over the Interweb-thingy to some distant location (somewhere...) and held under strict control (of someone...), all to convert what should be a hardware purchase (with logistical support) into a pay-through-the-nose-forever "service".

It's not like anyone could see this objection from a mile away...



"Taser May Not Have Worked" on Michael D. Hawkins

KSPR News - The head of Springfield police is questioning whether a taser actually shocked a man who died following a confrontation at a motel. A medical examiner ruled Michael D. Hawkins death as an accident. ... Interim Springfield Police Chief Ron Hartman says the taser may never have sent electrical pulses into Hawkins' body. The examiner’s report showed only one probe hit his body. "If two probes aren't touching, it makes it hard for that system to be closed and work," Hartman said. [LINK]

News-Leader - A copy of the autopsy report provided to the News-Leader says Adelstein found a single, small wound from a taser probe on Hawkins's upper left chest, indicating only one of the device's two probes made contact. Interim Springfield Police Chief Ron Hartman said two probes must have contact with a person's body -- completing the circuit of electricity -- for a Taser to have full effect. [LINK]

The medical examiner's report, however, says an "area of taser penetration shows a 1 millimeter area of burn artifact with sclerosis of collagen." [ibid KSPR]

Okay, let me explain this for you.

Burning of flesh in the context of a taser dart injury is most likely caused by the taser current. After all, the darts are "propelled by compressed gas" (not explosives), so they should be stone cold (not hot) when they impact the subject. Right!!??!!

In cases where the second dart misses the subject, then the stray dart is quite likely to land on the floor or ground (hey, it's called gravity). If the floor or ground is reasonably conductive ["...in a crawl space..."], then the taser circuit can be completed by the ground path.

This mode of operation is variously denied by Taser International's own on-staff "experts" (deception?) and at the same time is mentioned in the Clover patent and a taser training video (if not elsewhere).

See [LINK].
See [LINK pdf].

So what are we to conclude when the Interim Police Chief repeats the same misleading statement?

Deception or ignorance?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ouch! "27 to 33" equals 48

Bernard (Bernie) Kerik (who just happens to be a former member of the Board of Directors of Taser International) has been sentenced to four years for various corruption convictions.


As part of the plea deal, the prosecution had only asked for 27 to 33 months.

48 months is an EXTRA year and a half over and above the mid-range 30 months. But the plea deal was with the prosecutor, not the court. The plea agreement even explicitly states exactly that; see [LINK].

See also his C.V. here: [LINK]

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Taser use in decline in Springfield, Oregon

...records show that officers’ taser use in Springfield, Oregon appears to be on the decline. Springfield police fired tasers in 20 incidents in 2009 — down 43 percent from 2008, when officers used them 35 times. Springfield Police Chief Jerry Smith said he’s not sure why that is, although he offered one possible reason. "It could be that people know now that officers carry tasers … and they don’t want any part of it." he said, suggesting that suspects are less likely to fight or flee from an officer because of their fear of the electroshock device. [LINK]

Or maybe... the deceptive and false claims that tasers are perfectly safe is starting to wear a bit thin. Perhaps the police officers of Springfield now realize, despite all the false and deceptive claims made by the slick-talking stungun salesmen, that tasers actually are fully capable of causing death, directly or indirectly [AMA]. Such an improved real-world understanding of possible taser outcomes would encourage consideration of other options.

Or perhaps... the media attention to each taser deployment is giving the officers reason to pause...

Either way, a 43% reduction in taser use year-on-year is a very good first step.

But to attempt to attribute this reduction solely to hypothesized improvements in the decision-making capabilities of the potentially-tasered subjects (!) is simply not credible.

That offered explanation sounds like a pathetic excuse for previous taser overuse, misuse and abuse.

It doesn't wash.

Eugene, OR moving to restrict taser overuse

Since 40 patrol officers in Eugene, OR began carrying tasers in early 2008, they have used them nearly 200 times. Eugene officers fired tasers in 49 incidents in 2008 and 2009. They threatened to use stun guns but did not pull the trigger in 144 more cases... [LINK]

These figure should be compared to the historical rate of lethal gunfire. Were the Eugene police shooting about 25 people per year previous to the introduction of tasers?

Tasers are touted as being "less lethal" (than guns) but they're obviously being used at a rate that is many, many times that of lethal gun fire.

Eugene panel to propose Taser policy revisions soon [LINK]

Yeah, ...well duh!

Portland Transit Police taser disabled man

Beaverton, OR - Jamal Green, 34, is disabled, with serious cognitive impairments. His lawyer says it is difficult for Green to understand and follow orders. Green was attempting to get home using the public transit system. He initially got on a bus that wasn't operating, when two officers - one a Beaverton Police officer and the other from Portland - working for Portland's Transit Police, approached Green. They instructed Green to show his hands. Green says that he didn't understand the commands as he was confused why the officers wanted to see his hands. The police report indicates that the first officer warned Green he would use a taser, then did so. Then the other officer, who deemed the first tasering ineffective, tasered Green a second time. [LINK]

Even if one reviews this report with an open mind about the actions of the two officers, it is very difficult not to feel that their entire approach was defective from the start. Clearly their 'training' (sic) is all about dealing with criminals, and so they treat everyone as a criminal, even the disabled. It's a 'false positive' problem that has implications for the safety of everyone.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Former member of Taser International's Board to be sentenced

Bernard (Bernie) Kerik is due to be sentenced on Thursday (18 February 2010) to between 27 to 33 months (possibly more) in prison for his various hubris-laced crimes. Mr. Kerik was on the Board of Directors of Taser International between 2002 and 2005.

Does this now-convicted criminal reflect badly on Taser International?

I believe that the X26 taser, introduced to the market in mid-2003, should be named the "X26 Hubris" in his honor.

Taser International certified "experts"

"The X-26 Taser launches two probes, or pins, into the skin and releases 0.0036 amps of energy into the suspect..." [LINK]

"0.0036 amps" = 3.6 mA (average)

What the heck is going in with the specified (already deceptive) Taser X26 (average) current output values?

The common tasers (X26, M26) are supposedly rated at "Current: 1.9 mA average", or perhaps about 2.0 or 2.1 mA (close enough).  Now, folks that are supposedly trained and certified by Taser International are quoting values that are about double that value (this isn't the first example).

The simplest explanation is that these Taser International certified Trainers and Master Trainers are idiots and that they're simply getting all mixed-up with the digits 3 and 6 in the specified "Energy per pulse: Nominal at main capacitors: 0.36 joules".

Morons... They can't even keep their misleading and deceptive "average" values straight.

It is important to keep this level of deep technical ignorance in mind when dealing with these so-called taser "experts" working in law enforcement. Many of them are ignorant about science and technology to a degree that is actually dangerous to society. I'll bet that they're often called upon to provide "expert" technical advice and/or testify in local courts, and the result is that those that rely on their advice are misled.

So you have stunsun salesmen that practice deception, and scientifically-illiterate members of the law enforcement community that are being held out as "experts"... Seriously, the local reporters haven't got a chance.

See also: Q: How many amps in a police taser? [LINK]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stupid Taser Quote of the Week

Defense attorneys for former Winnfield Police Officer Scott Nugent said they plan to contest claims that a Taser stun-gun caused the death of Baron "Scooter" Pikes in 2008. ... Pineville attorney George Higgins actually said, ... [GET THIS...]

"We contend that a Taser cannot cause the death of a human being. The Taser is a non-lethal weapon."

... [LINK]

What happened? Am I back in 2007 again? LOL.

Eugene’s Civilian Review Board copies-and-pastes from Issac Azimov

Circa 1942, science fiction writer Isaac Asimov laid down the Three Laws of Robotics [wiki]:

1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Eugene, OR (KMTR) - For the first time since its formation, the City of Eugene’s Civilian Review Board has advised the chief of police to re-open an investigation. At a meeting Tuesday night, the board was discussing Taser incident involving a University of Oregon exchange student from China. The board disagrees with Police Chief Pete Kerns that an officer was justified in his use of force and use of a Taser. ...

Bernadette Conover, a board member, said the officers should have taken into account the language barrier as soon as they encountered the first student. "For me, the thing that kept coming up was ‘do no harm’. We want our officers, when they respond, to first do no harm, protect society and keep themselves safe. So there were an awful lot of things here that I think could have and should have been done differently." ...

1. first, do no harm...
2. protect society...
3. keep themselves safe...

Essentially the exact same three rules, and in the same order.

Beaten and tasered to death

San Jose, CA - Daniel Miller and Edward Sample, who used a baseball bat to beat up Jorge Trujillo in downtown San Jose (on 25 January 2006) are guilty of murder, a prosecutor alleged, even though the disoriented victim didn't die until after police subdued him during a violent run-in hours later with a baton and multiple Taser shots.

Dr. Christopher Happy, a Santa Clara County medical examiner at the time, ruled that it was likely Mr. Trujillo would have died from injuries he suffered before the Taser shots. But he also concluded that being zapped 21 times with stun guns (about 90 minutes after that beating) contributed to his death. ...[LINK]

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"...developed some sort of medical condition..."

PHOENIX - An Arkansas man visiting Arizona to introduce his fiancé to his family wound up dead after being tasered by police. DPS Lt. Steve Harrison says 36-year-old Mark Andrew Morse was walking northbound on the southbound I-17 near Metrocenter when an officer approached him. "Mr. Morse took a combative stance, basically a boxer's type stance [a.k.a. frustrated], became verbally abusive," Harrison said. "Officer deployed a taser, tased Mr. Morse once." [chest?]

"[The officer] was able to take him into custody, handcuff him without any further incident, (*)" Harrison said. [*...well, except for that unfortunate ending-up-dead thing...]  

"Shortly after taking him into custody, Mr. Morse developed some sort of medical condition." Morse died later at the hospital.

Harrison says Morse appeared to be under the influence, but the medical examiner hasn't determined the cause of death. According to The Arizona Republic, Morse left the motel after arguing with his fiancé. His family says he never abused drugs or alcohol. [LINK]

Repost: Claimed 15-to-1 safety margins and related

Sunday, January 25, 2009:

Taser's claimed safety margin of 15-to-1 [LINK]

Taser, and their leading brain-trust member Dr. Kroll, claim that the X26 taser has a safety margin of 15-to-1 and is therefore very, very, very safe.

Meanwhile people are being tasered and immediately dying.

But (according to Taser) those incidents don't matter - because they know that the taser is safe.

A previously-posted comparison of known and stated incapacitation levels, with a view of bypassing all the crap, indicated that perhaps the actually [effective] safety margin was closer to 2-to-1. [LINK]

If true, then this very simple sanity-check type analysis indicates that the bell curves are overlapping far more than they had anticipated (which would explain perfectly the real-world death rate when taser darts land on chests and eliminate all those increasingly-insane explanations they've been going through).

Remember the excuses used by Taser when they escaped from Ruggieri? It turns out that the excuses they used apply only to the older 1999-era M26. The newer 2003-era X26 taser current waveform has characteristics that are the opposite. [LINK]

If you watch Taser's arguments carefully over time, you will notice them wriggling like a little worm under the hot stare of a magnifying glass.

Even if we assume that the older M26 taser did actually have a 15ish-to-1 safety margin for some percentage of the population, then it seems unlikely that the same safety margin would have survived the two significant changes in frequency spectrum and (especially) in duty cycle brought by the newer X26.

I notice that neither Taser, nor any police departments, have yet accepted my challenge to have the police trainees don a face shield, turn-around, and take their training hits in the chest (the same way they're delivered on the street). The fact that all the training hits are universally delivered to the back of trainees is a clear-cut admission of the risk of chest hits.

"...15-to-1 safety margin..."


More like 2-to-1, maybe.

Which overlaps the bell curves of 'individual susceptibilities' and the weapon itself...

...and this results in people...

... (people that in many cases did nothing to deserve death) ...


It all fits.


Monday, February 8, 2010

20-year-old man tasered, heart stopped

GREENDALE - A police detective tased a man in Southridge Mall Saturday. The 20-year-old man fell to the floor and was unresponsive. Nurses assisted with CPR and Southridge Mall provided a "paddle device" to try to resuscitate the man until rescue personal arrived. "Everybody was watching and waiting to see if he was coming back (alive) or not," worker Claire Mitchell told TODAY'S TMJ4 HD exclusively. ...the officer "feared for her safety," and deployed the Taser. That's when the man dropped to the ground. "He kind of lost consciousness, his heart stopped and they were doing CPR on him," Mitchell said. "It took about 15 minutes to bring him back to life." ... [LINK]

According to Taser International, this tasered-and-heart-stopped incident must be a pure coincidence.

They would claim that there's no cause-and-effect relationship.

[Thanks CM.]

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The morons of Sangamon County

Sangamon County Board member Jim Good volunteered to be tasered, once, in the back, while supported by two police officers to make sure he doesn't fall and bang his head (nor get tangled up in the taser wires and be accidentally shocked in the chest).

On 28 January 2010, Patrick Burns, 50, was tasered (reportedly 15 times) and died [LINK].

#470 - January 28, 2010: Patrick Burns, 50, Sangamon County, Illinois [LINK]

The coroner "did not determine the cause of death" [LINK].

Logically - that would point the finger directly at the potentially-lethal device that would leave no postmortem evidence...

Sheriff Neil Williamson said he stands behind the Taser stun gun. "I’m a big supporter of this device. If I felt there was any chance at all that this piece of equipment wasn’t safe, I would immediately withdraw the use of Tasers by this department. ..." [LINK]

Chief Deputy Jack Campbell said there’s not a set limit on the number of times a person can be stunned. "We don’t feel you can fire too much."

Let the lesson begin:

The American Medical Association (AMA) has concluded that tasers can cause death, directly or indirectly.

The office of the Maryland Attorney General concluded that Taser International has "significantly" understated the risks of taser use.

An analysis by Montreal biomedical engineer Pierre Savard, made available to [CBC], suggests the chances of someone dying after being hit with a police taser increase the more times they're stunned. [LINK] Previous post [LINK].

The above information is just a tiny sample.

Given all the information available, to still hold the opinion that tasers can be used repeatedly and still be safe is pure negligence.

Stephen Palmer - tasered and died of inconclusive causes

A certain Stephen Palmer is (was?) the (former?) Executive Director of (what once was?) the Canadian Police Research Centre [LINK] (a.k.a. CPRI, a.k.a. CITIG [LINK]).

The CPRC basically tasered themselves to death. They were (in my opinion) seduced by the slick talking stungun salesmen [LINK], got way too involved with defending the safety of tasers [LINK], and then they appear to have had their chain yanked (hard) [LINK], and appear to have been shut down [LINK].

And now, tragically, Stephen Palmer has been tasered and died.

#465 - December 30, 2009: Stephen Palmer, 47, Stamford, Connecticut [LINK] [LINK]

Of course, it's not (as far as we know) the same Stephen Palmer. But still... ...the irony. Seriously, you really couldn't make this sh_t up.

See also the Jesus list [LINK].

Excited delirium - see also "Curious Temporal Asymmetry"

... Dr. Joseph Noone, an expert on the clinical aspects of violent behaviour, said excited delirium is a term favoured by law enforcement officials and coroners even though it is not accepted as a medical or psychiatric diagnosis. ...

Noone, manager of psychiatric intensive care at the Riverview Hospital in Coquitlam, B.C., produced a report for the inquiry that states use of the term excited delirium when describing cause of death can result in the deceased being labeled as the culprit.

"The attractiveness of the term may relate to some of its proponents having ... the subjective perception that conducted energy weapon use and physical, mechanical restraint used by law enforcement officers deserves to be excluded or absolved as contributing in any way to an in-custody death," the report says.

"The deceased is identified as the culprit and must have had the condition of excited delirium."

Noone testified the term implies those in the throes of excited delirium "had something wrong with them" to begin with. "And if they died, they were going to die anyway..."

"Excited delirium (proponents) say that people walk around in this state where they could drop at any moment. In my experience, they are not dropping at any moment."

... [LINK]

Stunning Revelations - The untold story of Taser-related deaths

From November 13, 2006: In These Times

Stunning Revelations - The untold story of Taser-related deaths [LINK]

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dwight Madison's family launches $145M suit

Family sues for $145 million over stun gun death in Harford jail [LINK]

Maryland. Where the official (Maryland Attorney General) conclusion is that tasers are in fact potentially lethal and that Taser International has "significantly" understated the risks of taser use.

Nugent's own video...

What was in Nugent's head while he was video taping the death of Mr. Pike?

CNN - ...The video sealed Monday by the judge shows the aftermath of Nugent's Taser use, according to sources who have seen the tape. They told CNN that it runs about 17 minutes and was shot by Nugent himself.
The tape begins with Pikes handcuffed to a chair in the Winnfield Police Department, the sources said. He had already been hit by a so-called "direct" stun -- a Taser fired directly into his chest rather than from a distance -- and eight other Taser shots.
Off camera, voices can be heard taunting him, shouting the "N" word and demanding to know if he was high on drugs, the sources said. The tape also shows Pikes foaming at the mouth and struggling to breathe. He later slumps to the floor and is ultimately taken to an emergency room with shackles around both of his ankles. CNN has seen still photographs of the lifeless body, still in leg shackles at the hospital. ...

On January 17, 2008, an unarmed and handcuffed black man, Baron "Scooter" Pikes, was tasered nine times within the space of 14 minutes. The coroner concluded that Mr. Pikes was probably already dead before the final two taser hits.

According to Taser International, the taser is cardiac-safe. The implication is that it makes an ideal instrument of torture, with no fear of causing death.

Because of those false claims, I can't help but think that they deserve to also be held criminally responsible for Mr. Pikes death.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Nugent taser-homicide trial postponed

Winnfield, LA - ...Judge John Joyce agreed Monday to move the start of the trial to June 14. Scott Nugent's attorneys asked for more time to prepare. Prosecutors opposed the delay. In January 2008, Nugent allegedly shocked 21-year-old Baron Pikes nine times with a ... Taser while arresting him. Pikes' death was ruled a homicide. [LINK]

Nugent's attorneys need time to figure out new strategy (?).