Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Taser needs more "jump science"

A lawyer for Taser Int. told the Braidwood Inquiry today that medical testimony linking the death of Robert Dziekanski to his being tasered five times is "junk science". Or, as amusingly reported twice by the Winnipeg Sun in their version of the story : "jump science".
"... there was no evidence that "the Taser device caused or contributed to his death."
We say it is time this uninformed speculation about the role the Taser device may have had in this case be dispelled and the attack on Taser’s reputation ended."

Taser Int., who filed an application in B.C. Supreme Court in August to quash all 19 of Justice Braidwood's recommendations related to their product, prefers to lay the blame on "sudden death during restraint" due to "delirium".

You know, Taser, I think a simple test here would help clear up all this "uninformed speculation".

The problem is that we see people being tasered and then dropping dead - in that order. The RCMP has hundreds of recorded examples of drawing their TASER™ device and then not using it. If, as you contend, people die of delirium and restraint and not from being tasered, then all you have to do is produce the RCMP body of evidence that just as many delirious people drop dead before they are tasered as after.

Jump science. Hope this helps.



Zee said...

Are they saying that there is no evidence showing that their TASER™ has any effect or only sometimes has no effect or sometimes it can make people fall on the floor but they might have stumbled and fell from fear or whatever?

thwap said...

I'm surprised Taser International has gotten away with that line of obvious bullshit for so long.

Anonymous said...

The Winipeg Sun has fixed their typo now.
Still-jump science works better when you're talking electricity.


West End Bob said...

produce the RCMP body of evidence that just as many delirious people drop dead before they are tasered as after

Leave it to the Lady Alison to get to the basics of the argument.

Excellent . . . .

RossK said...

Of course.

Apparently it is well documented that jolts of 'Jump' science were used to keep David Lee Roth going all through the not so Go-Go '90's.

All snark aside, this codswallop of attacking the legitimate biomedical concerns as junk is straight out of the Church of the Sacred Bleeding Atwater/Ailes/Rovians (eg. All Evil, No Banality Required)

Alison said...

Zee : Their argument is that death is caused by an underlying medical condition and an officer deploying the TASER™ is not responsible for not knowing about that underlying medical condition.
From a Taser manual via Stanford University :
Taser International : Instructor and User Warnings, Risks :

"When practicable, avoid prolonged or continuous exposure(s) to the TASER device electrical discharge. The stress and exertion of extensive repeated, prolonged, or continuous application(s) of the TASER device may contribute to cumulative exhaustion, stress, and associated medical risk(s). Severe exhaustion and/or over-exertion from physical struggle, drug intoxication, use of restraint devices, etc. may result in serious injury or death."

If this makes no sense to you, see "Guns don't kill people; bullets kill people."

Thwap : Yeah.

Bob : Thanks, ;-x, but I think the blog Excited Delirium made a similar argument first in comments in a US paper somewhere but I can't find it.

Ross : The AMA is as nothing to them apparently, never mind Paul Kennedy.
Also looks like a federal provincial turf war is going to result in the "a few bad apples" defence :
"Ottawa has vigorously argued the provincially-mandated inquiry doesn't have the jurisdiction to criticize federal bodies such as the RCMP and border services.

But in its final submission, the federal government also said "individual findings of misconduct can be made by a provincial commission of inquiry in respect of actions by federal public servants in British Columbia, so long as they do not relate to the administration and management of federal institutions."

Zee said...

Jump science or snort cocaine science? We might be inching towards a new platitude of of TASER™ science. I have from 40 years of reflection would like to define science as 'problem solving' an ability that almost all of us humans have and the performance of Taser International is anti-science, which they have hired lawyers to perform a demonstration for us. They can be applauded for their effort in display for the public of their common desire to educate the public and we can rejoice and relish in this abundance of wisdom.

Zee said...

Alison: they are engaging in pure absurdity. Or merely defending themselves. The TASER™ does not work for the purpose that it was intended for which is based on a good idea - non-lethal response to possible dangerous situation that cops might face on the job. Yelling or making loud noises could result in someone having a heart attack. The desire to deal with a problem without actually killing someone while putting on the mask of civilization results in absurdity but the people involved still need to make a living.

sagesource said...

Welcome to the Chewbacca Defense!

They don't even think you're worth the effort of a well-crafted lie these days.

RossK said...



Especially given that this latest gambit makes the Horsemen's original 'Stapler' ruse look like the Dallas Cowboy's Doomsday Defense, circa, 1974.


Excited-Delirium.com said...

Please Google the taser's "Curious Temporal Asymmetry".

See also: http://curiousasymmetry.blogspot.com/

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