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.

Monday, October 11, 2010

International forum takes aim at Taser use

Police from across Australia will share ideas and lessons on the use of Tasers at an international forum opening on Queensland's Sunshine Coast today. The Queensland Police Service is hosting the event.

Setting appropriate 'Taser Use Policy' is extremely easy, once you start with the correct assumptions:

1) The stun gun salesmen are not to be trusted. They are not true friends of the law enforcement community. If you make the mistake of naively accepting their advice, you will experience nothing but grief.

2) Tasers are not reliable weapons. There are constant news reports about ineffective taser deployments, reports of subjects pulling out the darts, and reports of some subjects even laughing-off the effects. Obviously a dart can miss, but these reports include other unexplained failures. These reports, from the real world, indicate that policy should consider this level of ineffective deployments in determining when use of such an unreliable weapon might be considered rational.

3) Tasers can kill. Directly. Even with healthy adults. But perhaps even more so with those already in crisis. Even Taser International has been forced to acknowledge the risk of death (Training Package, 1 May 2010), but they continue to downplay the magnitude of the risk.

4) Tasers are a form of torture. Oh sure, when they work they can be used to incapacitate, but note this: they accomplish this using electrical shock that is simultaneously excruciatingly painful. This electro-torture is part of the equation; failing to consider the pain as part of policy would be a sub-human decision. (If you get your jollies causing people to suffer excruciating pain, then please find another line of work.)

Combining the above, it becomes obvious that tasers are being overused, misused, and abused.

The remaining slice of taser deployments that are simultaneously rational, useful, moral, ethical, legal, and practical is actually very thin.

After the Canadian Braidwood Inquiry, use of tasers in B.C. dropped by a huge ratio, something like 90%.

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