Saturday, November 24, 2007

Out with "custody death", in with "excited delirium"

CP : Most people hit with RCMP Tasers unarmed: reports:

"RCMP Cpl. Gregg Gillis is the force's expert on Taser training and excited delirium -- the mysterious condition of heart-pounding agitation used as a kind of catch-all label by those who can't otherwise explain why a growing number of people have died soon after being zapped.
Asked about the dozens of reports that suggest police used Tasers against unarmed suspects whose behaviour prompted only verbal interventions before they were stunned, Gillis stressed the need for context."

G&M : RCMP revised taser policy to allow multiple jolts

"Three months before Robert Dziekanski was tasered, the RCMP adopted a change in force protocol that allows officers to fire multiple shocks to control people under certain circumstances.

Until August, officers trained to use stun guns were cautioned to avoid using them more than once because of concerns about health effects. However, the force's belief that excited-delirium symptoms can escalate and cause death outweighed their worries about the impact of multiple shocks.

But the term “excited delirium” is not formally recognized by the World Health Organization nor the American Medical Association as an actual psychological or medical condition.
However, the condition is being used increasingly by coroners tasked with attributing causes of death among victims in police custody. David Evans, Ontario's regional supervising coroner for investigations, described it as a “forensic term” not a medical one.
“I think previous to the description of excited delirium, [it] was sometimes called custody death,” he said.

Cpl. Gilles conceded that the policy on multiple taser shots “may be hazardous. We don't know.” "

You have to feel a bit bad for RCMP Cpl. Gilles, expert on a forensic term.


Q said...

Taser International is aggressively suing coroners who attribute cause of death to tasers and is threatening employees who contemplate whistle blowing.
These guys are like the NRA, crazy and powerfully connected.

Lindsay Stewart said...

"excited delirium" i guess that sounds better than "bullshit excuse for killings" or "get away with murder".

Alison said...

Thanks, Q. I posted a link up at Bread'nRoses and April Reign blogged it.

psa : Yeah, or "we're so excited by our new toy we're bordering on delirium"

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