Saturday, November 17, 2007

Taser Is A Victim Here, Dammit

After Robert Dziekanski was tasered to death unfortunately expired in RCMP custody a few days ago, Taser International was stung by criticism of their fine product. What's a maker of torture devices human cattle prods on meth much maligned products to do when said instruments are the recipient of such unwarranted aspersion? Why, go on the offensive, of course.

"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."

Well, well, Taser, the company on whose board disgraced cop Bernard Kerik once sat and got very rich, is threatening lawsuits if people don't stop slandering it's good name and fine motivational equipment.

They are so full of shit it's laughable. There have been well over 200 taser related deaths in the US and Canada but we're supposed to believe they all died from a made up physical state called excited delirium:

"The medical diagnosis called excited delirium is the subject of intense debate among doctors, law-enforcement officers and civil libertarians. They don't even all agree on whether the condition exists."

A more useful term might be "death by cops using trauma inducing torture instruments". A more pragmatic look at this bogus nonsense would show that it's a cover to hide from the many lawsuits just lurking out there from the explosion of taser use. And as for the outrageous claim that their devices have been cleared in "every case to date", I wonder just who is doing the exculpation. More than likely any court case where the company was exonerated it was the massive resources at their disposal that won the day against victims' families, and police oversight usually means the cops deciding for themselves that they and their tasers had nothing to do with any deaths.

Meanwhile, the same day that guy was murdered in Vancouver Taser International got big orders for their stun guns from police in Texas, Virginia and Tennessee.


Anonymous nick z. said...

I've got taser-proof armor and a battle-axe that says their fascist tactics will only makes things worse for them.

18/11/07 4:56 AM  
Blogger nolocontendere said...

One wonders when tasering incidents become so commonplace that they won't even be reported as newsworthy.

18/11/07 6:25 AM  

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