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Thursday, September 27, 2007

At the mercy of taser torturers

September 25, 2007
Pierre Tristam, Daytona Beach News-Journal

This guy hits the nail on the head more than once.

"... the stun gun, the single-most savage addition to police arsenals since the back-alley interrogation, has done the opposite of its intended purpose. Rather than lowering the level of violence necessary to subdue dangerous individuals, the stun-gun has lowered the threshold of excusable police violence by making the use of brutal force seem protective. Briefly electrocuting someone, the story goes, is better than shooting him. But before that choice between two brutalities, there was a choice between brutality and reason — between Rambo with a shield and good policing. A cop who’d never dream of unholstering a firearm against a lout or a big-mouthed student isn’t hesitating to unholster the stun-gun and use it repeatedly under the guise of restoring control.

What a convenient perversion of reality: a 5-second torture session, often repeated many times, often unnecessary, overwhelmingly directed at non-violent individuals, is called “improving safety.” For whom? Earlier this year the Houston Chronicle analyzed the Houston Department’s use of Tasers since they were introduced two years ago to that same crock fanfare — “to reduce deadly police shootings.” Since then, the paper found, “officers have shot, wounded and killed as many people as before the widespread use of the stun guns.” Houston officers used their Tasers more than 1,000 times in the past two years, “but in 95 percent of those cases they were not used to defuse situations in which suspects wielded weapons and deadly force clearly would have been justified.” Tasers, in other words, are instruments of punishment, not safety. They’re enabling cops to be executioners rather than law enforcers, not just metaphorically."

"... the moment a cop appears on the scene and metes out orders, not following them can mean an immediate charge of resisting or battery if you so much as graze the cop’s ego. Judging from public comments responding to incidents like the one at the University of Florida, that’s what people want from their cops — uncompromising control. In a cop’s presence, your job is to conform, submit, accept that you’re guilty until proven otherwise.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Thoracic Compression Fractures as a Result of Shock From a Conducted Energy Weapon: A Case Report

Annals of Emergency Medicine (formerly known as the Journal of the American College of Emergency Physicians)
James E. Winslow MD, MPH, William P. Bozeman MD, Michael C. Fortner MD and Roy L. Alson PhD, MD, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

"In this case report we describe for the first time thoracic spine compression fractures resulting from a conducted energy weapon discharge. Physicians who may care for patients who have been exposed to a conducted energy weapon discharge should be aware of this as a possible complication."

Address for correspondence: James E. Winslow, MD, MPH, Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University Health Sciences, Medical Center Boulevard, Winston-Salem, NC 27157-1089; 336-716-1740, fax 336-716-1705, jwinslow@wfubmc.edu

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Police in Northern Ireland will not be issued with tasers

September 25, 2007
The Irish Times

Police Service of Northern Ireland chief constable Sir Hugh Orde said that if tasers were eventually issued for use in Northern Ireland there would be serious limitations. "I have no intention of issuing tasers routinely to ordinary police officers. All we are talking about, in Northern Ireland, is potentially issuing them to the most highly trained firearms officers as an alternative," he said.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Policy describes rules for taser

September 24, 2007

Heidi Gill learned the hard way that disobeying a Warren police officer’s orders could be enough reason to be jolted by the electrical shock from a Taser gun, according to the department’s use-of-force policy.

Says Rick Mahan, coordinator of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in Youngstown: "It’s a better form of non-lethal weapon."

Even the manufacturer no longer calls the weapon "non-lethal." And yet police continue to use it as though it were.

Despite deaths, officials call tasers effective tool

September 24, 2007
Chicago Tribune

"Still, several high-profile cases involving Tasers have threatened to turn public opinion against the device."

Debate heats up over US stun gun laws

September 24, 2007
Mark Simkin, ABC News

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Palo Alto police revise 'liberal' taser policy

September 23, 2007
By Kristina Peterson, Palo Alto Daily News

Friday, September 21, 2007

Man tasered for refusing to lift hand off Quran

September 21, 2007
Associated Press

The Qurun is the central religious text of Islam.

Who's PAYING these "people?" aka "Listen to the police or just don't be so stupid"

Here are but a few of the comments I've received here today (of the hundreds of visitors) - mere replicas of those I see on every website that DARES to equate tasers with unjustified force. "Real" people can't possibly be writing this stuff. I'm left wondering who's paying these "Master Commenters."

All of these comments relate to Heidi Gill's horrific experience at the hands of an out-of-control police officer:

Yeah riiigggghhhhhtttttt. Good thing to say right before filing your law suit. If anyone looks crazy in this video, it's you lady, and the word lady is used advisedly.

This is a ridiculous debate! do what the police SAY to do and then there won't be a problem. people who obey the law have no worries here. this officer was justified in his actions- hands down.

Maybe if people would actually listen to the police or just not be so stupid as to become so intoxicated that they cannot control their own behavior, police would not have to use tasers or any force. The blame all centers back on her, not the police.

She got what she deserved and should have gotten more.

Put on a uniform and go to a few bar fights, maybe then you'll get it.

Oh, I "get it" alright but thanks for asking.

One voice of reason had the audacity to ask: "Why is it okay to use a Taser on a human being? Who is making money on this? Where does the trail of money lead to? I just do not understand."

To which, I say, please come back again - I'll help you understand.

Heidi Gill - Probe of arrest ongoing

September 21, 2007
Ron Selak Jr., Tribune Chronicle (Ohio)

Said Heidi Gill about her experience: "I thought I wasn’t going to make it out of there. It was horrible. I was in fear and I wanted out. That was the worst part, in the car. I thought something snapped in him [Warren police officer Richard Kovach], he was just so verbally abusive, so crazed."

See and hear the horrific video here.

Officer says he shocked her seven times, twice after she had been handcuffed.

ABC News focuses on tasers

ABC News has published a series of in-depth articles on tasers over the past few days.

Taser Nation: Are Cops Using Tasers Too Often?
Two Tasering incidents this week have again raised questions about the stun gun's use -- and possible abuse.

Police Too Quick to Taser?
Tasering Seems to Have Surged in Popularity, but It Is a Seemingly Extreme Measure

Are Officers Going Overboard with Tasers?
Deputy Subdues Autistic Teen With Stun Gun; Ohio Cop on Leave After Tasering Handcuffed Woman

Kerry Condemns Heckler Arrest

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Taser doubts

September 20, 2007
Talahassee Democrat

And I quote: "But how many more people must die before more thorough study of Tasers is undertaken? Few Taser incidents wind up making the news. But scores of people whom law officers intended to subdue, not kill, are dead anyway. That's worthy of a closer look."

Yesssss! My point exactly.

Ohio woman tasered numerous times by police officer

September 20, 2007

An Ohio police officer is on "paid administrative leave" after dashboard camera video shows him using a taser over and over again on Heidi Gill even after she's handcuffed and again when she's cooperating.

Another example of a police officer in the throes of excited delirium?

Get your "Don't tase me, bro!" t-shirt

The newest in trendy t-shirts is the "Don’t tase me, Bro!" design. The phrase references the recent taser attack on a University of Florida student at a John Kerry speaking event. "Don't tase me, bro!" was uttered by Andrew Meyer as he was pinned to the floor by six University of Florida police officers after he tried to exercise his right to free speech.

Buy it here.

Buy it here.

Buy it here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Campaign against the taser - New Zealand

In New Zealand, despite a well organized campaign against the taser, the weapons were introduced on a one-year trial basis in 2006. The trial ended in August 2007, however opponents believe the stun gun will continue to be used regardless.

As part of the campaign's effort to educate and enlighten, a video was developed and is available on YouTube.

It's worth watching - if you have the stomach for it.

United States Forest Service purchases 700 tasers

September 19, 2007

Are these to be used on happy campers? Innocent wildlife? Or perhaps the plan is to use the tasers to control children in the US Forest Service's newly announced "More Kids in the Woods" project?

The US Forest Service's mission is: "to provide the greatest amount of good for the greatest amount of people in the long run."

Am I missing something here?

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Senator Kerry's office issues statement re UF student tasered

Senator Kerry's office issued the statement below:

"In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way. I believe I could have handled the situation without interruption, but I do not know what warnings or other exchanges transpired between the young man and the police prior to his barging to the front of the line and their intervention. I asked the police to allow me to answer the question and was in the process of responding when he was taken into custody. I was not aware that a taser was used until after I left the building. I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted."

At his court hearing this morning, Andrew Meyer was ordered released on his own recognizance. He faces two charges: "resisting an officer with violence" and "disrupting a school assembly."

UF President Asks for Investigation into Taser Incident

September 18, 2007
First Coast News, Gainsville, Florida

The president of the University of Florida is asking for a full investigation into the incident at the town hall forum hosted by Senator John Kerry.

Campus police used tasers to arrest student Andrew Meyer when he refused to step away from a microphone.

Here is a copy of the letter to the university from president J. Bernard Machen.

To students, faculty, staff:

I have received a great deal of communication and input last night and this morning regarding the incident that occurred Monday at the conclusion of a town hall forum being held by Sen. John Kerry. The incident resulted in a student being tasered.

We are interested in learning what happened and are taking the following immediate steps to ensure the university utilizes best practice protocols:

University of Florida Police Chief Linda Stump has requested the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conduct a formal investigation into the arrest of UF student Andrew Meyer. An independent review such as this will make sure the results are objective and impartial. Chief Stump's priority is to ensure that the public remains confident in the department's ability to keep the campus safe.

Two officers involved in the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

We plan to assemble a panel of faculty and students to review our police protocols, our management practices and the FDLE report to come up with a series of recommendations for the university.

Administrators and police officials plan to analyze the incident and conduct an internal review and will consider changing protocols in response to this incident, if necessary.

Finally, as is standard procedure, the State Attorney's Office will review the charges brought against Mr. Meyer. We have communicated with the State Attorney and understand he plans to expedite his review.

I will talk about the incident and answer questions at a news conference scheduled for 2 p.m. in Emerson Alumni Hall.

J. Bernard Machen

A few hours later, the university president met with reporters and said the university considers it "fundamental" to provide a setting where "civil discourse" can happen.

He added that "the incident that occurred yesterday was regretful for us because civil discourse and dialogue did not occur."

Orange County deputies taser 15-year-old autistic boy

September 18, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

UF student tasered during John Kerry speech

University of Florida (College of Journalism and Communications) student Andrew Meyer was tasered today at a John Kerry speech at the university. Andrew Meyer was removed from the microphone after asking several questions of John Kerry and was forcibly taken down by at least five police officers. He was already on the floor of the auditorium and surrounded by police when one used a taser on him.

To see what the police look like in the throes of excited delirium, see the video footage at You Tube.

Andrew Meyer was charged with "disrupting a public event."

This one's not over - not by a long shot.

Reminds me of the incident in Brattleboro, Vermont at the end of July, when two peaceful activists were tased by police during a non-violent protest.

Ex-cop livid over police stun-gunning of son

September 17, 2007
Frankie Edozien, New York Post

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Less-lethal technology: research on conducted energy devices

The US National Institute of Justice, an agency of the US Department of Justice, has commissioned a new study to learn more about the effects of conducted energy devices, which are commonly called "stun guns." As the number of law enforcement agencies using stun guns has increased, the number of deaths reported to be associated with this less-lethal technology also has increased. NIJ has commissioned the study, titled "In-custody Deaths due to Conducted Energy Devices," to investigate whether the technology can contribute to or cause death and, if so, in what ways.

Other Current NIJ Research on Conducted Energy DevicesEffects of

TASER on Human Blood

Assessment of HEMI Devices in Trainees

Establishment of Interdisciplinary Working Group

Verifying Reported Effectiveness of Conducted Energy Devices in Reducing Deaths and

Injuries and a Review of Less-lethal Technology Operational Needs

Model Electric Current Through the Human Body From Less-lethal Conducted Energy Devices

Injuries Produced by Law Enforcement Use of Less-lethal Weapons: A Prospective Multicenter Trial

Enhancing Local and State Law Enforcement’s Understanding and Use of Emerging Technology

Human Effects Center of Excellence

Analysis of Airport Security Measures and the Role of Less-Lethal Weapons

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Anti-taser action in San Jose

Check out the amazing photos from yesterday's anti-taser rally in San Jose, California!

September 12, 2007

"Taser survivors, civil and human rights advocates, and cultural performers came together on Tuesday, September 11th to kick off a campaign to ban tasers in San Jose. People gathered that day at 5:00 pm outside of the District Attorney's Office at 70 West Hedding St. From there, participants marched to the San Jose Police Department. A final rally was held at City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., at 6:30 pm. Since 2004, when San Jose equipped all of its police officers with tasers, 5 people have died as a result of police use of tasers in that city. In the US, at least 268 pepole have died since 2001 after they were tased. Steve Salinas was tased to death by SJPD on May 25th, 2007. The Custodio family was tased and beaten on February 5th, 2007. Student Stephen Johnson was tased and beaten on March 10th, 2006."

Children make shocking find

September 12, 2007
Michael L. Owens, The News Virginian

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Judge, Jury & Electrocutioner

Here is the latest art/law collaboration between former California public defender and well-known anti-taser activist Aram James and renowned political graphic artist Doug Minkler.

The message is LOUD and CLEAR.

To see a larger version, click on the image. If you would like to order a poster, please contact Doug Minkler at the e-mail address on his website.

Earlier this year, I received an extraordinary poster in the mail from my new friends in California, former deputy public defender Aram James and renowned political graphic artist Doug Minkler. This large silkscreen poster was a collaboration between Doug, the artist, and Aram, the wordsmith. I was very moved by the powerful way in which they portrayed the message: Tasers Save Lives - The Big Lie. They were kind enough to send more than one copy and I was over the moon about being able to share one with Cameron Ward on returning to Vancouver in May. Cameron's awe mirrored my own.

To see a larger version of the poster, click on the image shown.

I was thrilled to learn this weekend that Tasers Save Lives - The Big Lie was selected as one of only 137 posters, from over 2,200 submitted from 56 countries, to be given a full page display in a catalog published by the International Poster Competition. This competition, held from May 12 to June 24, 2007, is part of the International Poster and Graphic Arts Festival of Chaumont (France).

I am honoured to own one. If you would like to order a poster, please contact Doug Minkler at the e-mail address on his website. You can also download a small copy of the poster for free from the same place.

San Jose march today opposes police use of tasers

September 11, 2007
Bay City News Service

San Jose community members will hold a rally and march today in an effort to halt the San Jose Police Department's use of Tasers, event organizers have announced. The rally will kick off in front of the Santa Clara County district attorney's office at 70 W. Hedding St. at 5 p.m. with speeches by family members of victims who have been allegedly Tasered by San Jose police officers. Participants will then head to the San Jose Police Department and call on officers to turn in their Tasers. The event will end with a live demonstration of the effects of Taser use and the release of 268 balloons, representing each officer-involved, Taser-related death throughout the country since 2001, according to event organizers. There have been five Taser-involved deaths involving San Jose police officers since 2004, organizers said.

Protesters have their day in court

September 11, 2007
Patrick Crowley, Brattleboro Reformer

Peaceful protestors Jonathan Crowell and Samantha Kilmurray pled not guilty to misdemeanor charges.

See Brattleboro for more information.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Anaheim (California) man dies after taser

September 10, 2007
Denisse Salazar, The Orange County Register

Jorge Renteria Terrquiz, 25, unarmed - died Sunday, September 9th

This is the second death in California this month. The first recorded taser-related death - that of David Flores - occurred in California in 1999. Since then, 52 more people have died in that state.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Amnesty fears over Brunstrom Taser stunt

September 9, 2007
Andrew Dagnell, icWales.co.uk

Amnesty International is protesting the top cop in North Wales, Richard Brunstrom, after he showed himself on his blog getting zapped by a taser. He first, however, had the benefit of a medical test to ensure he was fit enough to be tasered, which he "passed with flying colours." He was tasered for 1.5 seconds.

In the clip, Mr. Brunstrom says: “We’re prepared to use this on members of the public when we have to. It’s right and proper that the head of the organisation tries it out for himself.”

And his last words - a warning: "I very strongly advise you, if faced by an officer and a Taser, that you follow the instructions of the nice police officer, because you will not enjoy the consequences of disobedience."

Cathy Owens, of Amnesty International in Wales, has said: "I’m afraid Mr Brunstrom has given the game away because at the end of the video he clearly alludes to police using Tasers when people are merely disobedient. It is not clear to people who watch the video how Tasers will be deployed, and whether they will just be used on disobedient individuals who argue with police."

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Protect and serve, not shock and awe, in Vermont

September 8, 2007
John Curran, AP

Brattleboro, Vermont has been in the spotlight lately. Police in Brattleboro were the first in Vermont to acquire tasers. They got the first three in 2002 and today they have eight. The population is less than 12,000.

Today's article describes how and when Brattleboro police have used tasers. This story even made the Boston Globe.

On Thursday, it was reported that the town has decided to conduct its own review of the use of tasers on a pair of nonviolent protestors on July 24th instead of waiting for the attorney general's office to finish a statewide review of police use of force policies - Town hires judge to do Taser review

Recently, Brattleboro suspended the use of tasers only to quickly redeploy them. This is a town at the crossroads, one that is in an excellent position to stop the insanity. However, it will take some energy and a little cranium grease on the part of the 50 people who turned out recently, carrying "Protect and serve, not shock and awe" signs and marching through downtown. To gather strength in numbers, these people will have to continue to walk the walk and talk the talk, to enlighten the government of Brattleboro and the public at large.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters calls for ban of police tasers in Guelph (Ontario)

September 6, 2007
Guelph, Ontario

The Guelph Union of Tenants and Supporters is calling for an immediate ban on Tasers being issued to city Police.

Currently only Supervisors and the Tactical Squad are issued Tasers. The Police Chief has called for Tasers to be issued to every front-line officer. There are several recent reports of inappropriate and excessive use of Tasers in Guelph.

GUTS supports the recent findings of Amnesty International. The group has recently published a report titled "Canada, Inappropriate and Excessive use of tasers."

Amnesty states that the Taser is supposed to be an alternative to deadly force yet is consistently used too early in the use of force model. Also Amnesty states "None of the studies carried out in Canada into the use of tasers meet Amnesty International's criteria for an independent, impartial and comprehensive inquiry into their use and effects.."

On July 25, 2007 a Guelph man was tasered by police, because he was suspected of being intoxicated and acting irrationally. The General Warnings put out by Taser, states that “... drug intoxication or chronic drug abuse, and/or over-exertion from physical struggle may result in serious injury or death.” Despite the lack of an immediate risk of death being posed to the officers involved, they chose to taser this man. The Guelph Police are in contravention of both International Law and the General Warnings put out by the manufacturer.

On the night of April 15, 2005 the Guelph Police arrested a woman for public intoxication. Following a strip search, she was placed in an interrogation room. When she refused to stand up, she was tasered by the Guelph Police. Tasers in combination with the influence of alcohol can be fatal. Moreover, since she was sitting down, the woman clearly was no physical threat to the officers.

These two cases highlight that the manner in which the Taser is being used in Guelph, and more broadly Canada, is in contravention of the UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials and the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by law Enforcement Officials. GUTS believes that under international law, the manner in which Tasers are being used in our community would fall into the category of torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

It is GUTS' position that the leadership and highly trained units in the Guelph Police do not have the training nor inclination to correctly use tasers. Clearly the culture of policing in Guelph is not conducive to proper use of tasers and they should be banned until proper training is given, proper research is conducted, and proper accountability measures are in place.

Attorney reveals private autopsy results for Nathaniel Cobbs

Civil rights attorney Michael Sussman yesterday disclosed the results of an independent autopsy conducted on the body of Nathaniel Cobbs who died on July 8. He handed out the final page of Dr. Lone Thanning's findings at a news conference with Cobbs' family on Broadway yesterday. Thanning wrote, under the heading of "immediate cause," that Cobbs died of "multi-organ shock with exsanguination (massive bleeding)." Under the "proximate cause" of death, she concludes it was because of "multiple blunt and electric force injuries (contusions, lacerations; consistent with canine bite marks, and Taser burn abrasions.)" Finally, she notes under "associate conditions" that Cobbs was suffering "multiple, acute drug intoxication; (phencyclidine, cocaine.)"

The original autopsy blamed Cobbs' death on his enlarged heart and the drug PCP in his system. Says Michael Sussman, "The autopsy ... made no effort to find the truth."

See also Work of MD who performed Cobbs autopsy "incomplete, inadequate, or erroneous"

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Family details hours before mentally ill man's death

September 5, 2007
Vallejo Times-Herald, California

Charles Gordon, 26, unarmed

Family members said a coroner's official told them Tuesday that Gordon did not die from his neck wound. An autopsy did not determine an immediate cause of death because authorities don't know what role the Taser may have played or whether Gordon had used drugs, Solano County Coroner's Deputy John Prink said. Charles Gordon died on September 3, 2007.

Can taser directly cause ventricular fibrillation?

"Conclusions: It is possible to cause ventricular fibrillation in pigs using a taser EMD device. From these data we can now proceed to investigate the probability of taser induced VF in humans."

Shock from taser blamed for spine fractures

September 5, 2007
South Bend Tribune, Indiana

A police officer who volunteered to be Tasered suffered back spasms so severe his spine was fractured, an emergency medicine journal reports. The injury was the first of its kind ever reported in medical literature, journal authors said.

Ryan Wilson taser death lawsuit refiled in federal court

September 5, 2007
Felisa Cardona, The Denver Post

Wendy Wilson, the mother of 22-year-old Ryan Wilson, says in her lawsuit that police caused her son's death after an officer used a Taser on the back of his head during an investigation into marijuana cultivation. "Ryan Wilson immediately fell to the ground, became unresponsive, convulsed and died," the lawsuit says.

"The toxicology report concludes no trace of drugs or alcohol in Mr. Wilson. He was later diagnosed as having a pre-existing heart condition," the suit says.

Wilson is suing the city of Lafayette and its Police Department - and Taser International for product liability, claiming its device is "unreasonably dangerous and defective for use on human beings."

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Monday, September 03, 2007

Police say taser did not kill Oregon man who died at hospital today

September 3, 2007

Glenn Shipman, 42, unarmed

Mr. Shipman is the third person to die a taser-related death in Oregon.

Ohio man dies after being tasered by police

September 3, 2007
Akron Beacon Journal

Earl Guerrant, 47

Mr. Guerrant is the 18th person (and the fourth this year alone) to die in Ohio.

Coroners create national database to track stun gun-related deaths

September 3, 2007
Stephen Janis, The Examiner

"The reluctance of some coroners to rule the devices as either the primary or contributing factor in deaths can be attributed in part to the threat of lawsuits," said Dr. Randy Hanzlick, chief medical examiner in Fulton County, Georgia, and one of the database’s primary architects. "There have been direct statements at our meeting by the manufacturers: 'You put that on the death certificate, and the company will sue you,'" he said. According to this article, Taser International, the predominant manufacturer of stun guns, did not dispute Hanzlick’s claims. Company spokesman Steve Tuttle is quoted as saying "We have held and will continue to hold medical examiners responsible for any untrue statements."

The creation of this database is the best news I've heard in a very long time. I have long held that the key to taser-related deaths lies in a complete analysis of *all* of these deaths. For too long, each individual death has been looked at in isolation and it is high time that the data from all of them be analyzed to determine which common threads exist beyond the fact of taser use. The TRUTH is what we're MOST interested in and coroners must be able to seek the truth without interference or fear of legal reprisal from the manufacturer.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Now British police are told they can use taser guns on children

September 2, 2007
Jason Lewis, The Daily Mail, Britain

Doctors, police in conflict over excited delirium deaths

September 2, 2007
Kate McGinty, Appleton Post-Crescent (Wisconsin)

"While police are taught to treat excited delirium as a medical condition — and to control the person's aggressiveness by using a Taser — most of the medical community insists excited delirium is not, in fact, a medical diagnosis. "Excited delirium is not a term that is recognized, so (in the case of) nonmedical people who use the term, it's very difficult to determine exactly what they mean," said Dr. William Narrow, associate director of the division of research at the American Psychiatric Association. The American Medical Association, whose Web site returns no search results for the term excited delirium, defers to Narrow's opinion, said spokeswoman Lisa Bevilacqua. Excited delirium may well exist but falls short of a medical explanation for a death, said Dr. Michael A. Williams, chairman of the ethics committee for the American Academy of Neurology and medical director of the LifeBridge Brain and Spine Institute in Baltimore. What police officers and coroners are describing as excited delirium seems to be a syndrome, he said. "A syndrome is just a collection of symptoms," he said. "A syndrome describes symptoms of behaviors or a typical series of events ... that seem to be consistent among a certain group of people. "But the diagnosis is the next step. When doctors say diagnosis, they're thinking a particular cause, something I can see under a microscope or a blood test I can give." A given syndrome can have several causes or diagnoses, Williams said. "When the coroner says excited delirium, it's not clear to me what single pathological entity is supposed to be causing that," he said. "When somebody says excited delirium, the next thing they should say is, 'caused by diagnosis A, diagnosis B, diagnosis C.' "Excited delirium doesn't cause itself. Something causes excited delirium."

... Being more specific about excited delirium is not so easy, said Dr. Joe Prahlow, president of the National Medical Examiners Association. "In cases of excited delirium, there is no anatomical cause of death," he said. Identifying a factor that makes a death clearly caused by excited delirium is nearly impossible. "That's the million-dollar question," he said."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Three teens tasered by police at high school

September 1, 2007
WSFA News, Montgomery (Alabama)

At an Alabama high school on Friday, two boys were involved in a fight. Police used a taser on one of the students who was later taken to the hospital. Later, when a second unrelated fight broke out involving three female students, tasers were used on two of them and they too were taken to the hospital afterwards.

Police have become the new school yard BULLIES. This is an over-the-top example of how tasers are being used as a substitute for communication. How pathetic.

Fears grow over taser gun expansion in Britain

September 1, 2007
Miles Goslett, Telegraph

Taser electric stun guns are being made available to hundreds more police in England and Wales from today. To date, there has been only one death in Britain - that of Brian Loan, 47. I guess that's about to change.