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

Taser International's false claims about death by "excited delirium"

Below, in BS brown, is a press release [LINK] sent out by Taser International back in November 2007. This is presented here to remind blog readers that Taser International had tried desperately to pin the blame for the taser-associated death of Mr. Dziekanski on "excited delirium".

It's worth noting that the Braidwood Inquiry has firmly rejected "excited delirium" as a cause of death in this case (revealed as being logically implausible with Braidwood's detailed analysis of the timeline), and that Braidwood also stated that the term is completely unhelpful in any case. The primary conclusion about the cause of death is that it was directly caused by the immediate actions of the RCMP, and almost certainly predominately due to their use of the taser.

Careful and honest observers have long ago concluded that tasers can cause death through a variety of mechanisms. The repeated denials by Taser International in the face of real world evidence only serves to further increase their liability. And given patterns evident in their corporate behaviour, and considering the body count, a criminal investigation of Taser International would seem to be a reasonable next step.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Nov 16, 2007 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- TASER International, Inc. (Nasdaq:TASR), a market leader in advanced electronic control devices, released the following statement regarding the mid-October confrontation between Mr. Robert Dziekanski and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the Vancouver airport. An amateur video of the incident that was released earlier this week has received sensational coverage from the media with many reports drawing an unsubstantiated and uninformed conclusion as to the cause of Mr. Dziekanski's death.

"This tragic incident appears to follow the pattern of many in-custody deaths or deaths following a confrontation with police. Historically, medical science and forensic analysis has shown that these deaths are attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the TASER(r). Specifically in Canada, while previous incidents were widely reported in the media as 'TASER deaths,' the role of the TASER device has been cleared in every case to date -- including the widely publicized Bagnell in-custody death in Vancouver where the TASER device was cleared by an inquest jury."

"Cardiac arrest caused by electrical current is immediate. The video of the incident at the Vancouver airport indicates that the subject was continuing to fight well after the TASER application. This continuing struggle could not be possible if the subject died as a result of the TASER device electrical current causing cardiac arrest. His continuing struggle is proof that the TASER device was not the cause of his death. Further, the video clearly shows symptoms of excited delirium, a potentially fatal condition marked by symptoms of exhaustion and mania such as heavy breathing, profuse sweating, confusion, disorientation and violence toward inanimate objects."

"We are taken aback by the number of media outlets that have irresponsibly published conclusive headlines blaming the TASER device and / or the law enforcement officers involved as the cause of death before completion of the investigation. These sensationalistic media reports completely ignore the earmark symptoms of excited delirium shown in the video. TASER International is transmitting over 60 legal demand letters requiring correction of these false and misleading headlines and will take other actions as appropriate. These unsubstantiated, false headlines mislead the public and could adversely influence public policy in ways which could place the lives of both law enforcement and the public at greater risk," concluded Tom Smith, Founder and Chairman of the Board of TASER International, Inc.

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