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, June 19, 2010

Low End of Single Digits

CBC News - RCMP Commissioner William Elliot said there have been many changes in the aftermath of [Robert Dziekanski's] death, including policy changes to ensure offices are warned there is a risk of death with ... Tasers, and an emphasis on using the least amount of force necessary. [LINK]

What is the approximate level of that risk?

Taser International claims it is so low that it could be rounded to zero. That wording allows ratios as high as 0.49% risk of death (1 in 200), but they're intentional unclear about what they're actually claiming. If we could demand a number, they would deny anything even within several orders of magnitude of 0.49%.

This just in: A recent study by Dr. Swerdlow included a significant finding that supports the proposition that the electrical current from a conducted energy weapon is capable of capturing the heart and triggering ventricular fibrillation. He determined that one out of 56 subjects collapsed immediately after a conducted energy weapon was deployed across his chest, and the first cardiac rhythm presented was ventricular fibrillation. The subject had no drugs or cardiac pathology. In relation to this subject, Dr. Swerdlow stated: "The time sequence and electrode location are both consistent with electrically induced VF [ventricular fibrillation] in one subject (subject 1), and neither drug use nor cardiac disease provides alternative explanations. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported fatality suggestive of CEW-induced VF." Braidwood, p. 329

"...one out of 56 subjects..." is about 2% (roughly).

What did I fricken tell you?

I've posted many times: It's the "Low End Of Single Digits", given actual taser hit to the chest.

See previous posts such as [LINK], [LINK], [LINK], and many others.

The reason that this specific topic is such an important issue is that acknowledging the significant risk of death obviously leads directly to better policy. It also leads to reduced sales of tasers, once the police decision-makers come to the conclusion that they've been sold a bill of goods by the smarter-than-them, slick-talking stun-gun salesmen. Finally, this long-delayed acceptance of the ugly reality should also lead to criminal prosecution of those making false claims of safety, as those claims (wrapped in training brainwashing) have led directly to bad cut-and-paste Taser Use policy, and thus tragic outcomes. It's a chain of moral and ethical failure with ground zero located in Scottsdale, AZ.

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