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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

PERF Taser Use Guidelines - widely ignored since 2005

Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) 2005 Conducted Energy Device (CED) guidelines [PDF]

{NOTE: CED = Taser}

1. CEDs should only be used against persons who are actively resisting or exhibiting active aggression, or to prevent individuals from harming themselves or others. CEDs should not be used against a passive suspect.

This guideline is essentially ignored. And not just in practice, but ignored as documented in written policy. It's the #1 recommendation and it's widely ignored. WTF! Good ammo for plaintiffs against extremely common overuse.

2. No more than one officer should activate a CED against a person at a time.

There are some infamous cases where multiple tasers were simultaneously and repeatedly discharged. Although such incidents are rare among all taser deployments, they're not as rare in cases where the victim of such taser torture ends up dead. This is an 'interesting' correlation in itself.

3. When activating a CED, law enforcement officers should use it for one standard cycle and stop to evaluate the situation (a standard cycle is five seconds). If subsequent cycles are necessary, agency policy should restrict the number and duration of those cycles to the minimum activations necessary to place the subject in custody.

This one is in a weird Taser International Twilight Zone. On the one hand, Taser International includes the same guidance. Meanwhile, on the other hand, Taser's own director Mark Kroll compares endless taser hits to ping pong balls (claiming infinity hits is exactly as safe as one). Discrepancies such as this are common with such false taser safety claims.

4. Training protocols should emphasize that multiple activations and continuous cycling of a CED appear to increase the risk of death or serious injury and should be avoided where practical.

I beg your pardon? Did PERF say "risk of death"?

More later...

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