HOW DID WE GET FROM HERE:
Taser expert backs ban on cops' private deals
December 12, 2007
Rob Shaw, Times Colonist
A Victoria police expert in Tasers, whose involvement with the company that manufactured the devices sparked a conflict-of-interest investigation, says he backs a department proposal to ban officers from doing personal business with weapons manufacturers. Sgt. Darren Laur, reacting to reports questioning his association with Taser International Inc., and its effect on subsequent reviews of the device, said he had the full support of the Victoria department to work with the company.
Still, he agrees that creating new guidelines, as the Victoria force plans to do, would help "separate perception and reality on these conflict-of-interest issues, because it can cloud the water," he said.Laur's involvement with Taser began in 1999, when the company paid him as the Victoria department's use-of-force expert to travel to Arizona to train as a master instructor. Rival company Tasertron had also paid him to travel to train in California in 1998. His training, and a 1999 report he wrote about the devices, made him Canada's foremost expert on Tasers. He is widely credited with introducing the devices to Canadian police, and the Victoria police became the first department to try, and then adopt, Tasers into regular use.Laur also runs his own company, Personal Protection Systems Inc., which Taser paid a total of $498.07 US to travel to Alaska and Oregon to teach Taser use in 2000. Laur's company, which he owns with his wife, went on to design a Taser holster. Taser International purchased the design for $5,076.25 US in stock in 2001. Laur cashed the stock in 2003, for an undisclosed amount.Each situation was approved by the serving police chief, said Laur. "I've always fully disclosed that, and I've always been very sensitive to the conflict-of-interest issues," he said yesterday.
Nonetheless, an internal review of Laur's ties to Taser said he had projected an "apparent and perceived conflict of interest."
The review, which concluded five months ago, was sparked by a a public complaint from Ontario resident Patti Gillman in 2005. Gillman's brother, Robert Bagnell, died in 2004 when Vancouver police hit him with a Taser during an altercation. After his death, Vancouver police asked their Victoria counterparts to conduct an independent review of Taser safety. Laur was appointed to the review panel, although he said he focused only on medical issues and not Taser use because of his ties to the manufacturer. The final report contained a disclosure of Laur's business with Taser. Gillman hired a lawyer and filed a complaint.
Victoria police Insp. Cory Bond's subsequent internal investigation concluded Laur was not technically in conflict because he fully disclosed his dealings with Taser, had sold his stock nine months before the report, and received department approval for all his actions. However, Bond also wrote there "remains a reasonable perception" that he "might have been affected by his prior financial interest in Taser." In retrospect, the department should not have put him on the review panel, she said. The B.C. Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, which reviews internal investigations, agreed with her report.Despite the findings, acting police chief Bill Naughton said Laur has been "upfront and straightforward from the very get-go and I think suggestions he has been otherwise are incorrect."
Gillman said she is not pleased with the investigation. "I would like to see police and weapon manufacturers held at complete arms length from each other," she said yesterday.
As a result of the complaint, Victoria police have proposed a step towards such an arrangement.The department wants to ban officers from doing personal business with weapons manufacturers as part of a pending overhaul in its conflict-of-interest policies. Under the rules, officers who train with weapons companies as part of their duties would not be able to profit by creating a private business and becoming trainers for the weapons company.
Weapons companies often pay for officers to attend their own training seminars, hoping it will encourage a police force to buy their products, such as Tasers, bean-bag guns, incapacitating sprays or other items. It is a common, but largely unexamined, area of concern in North American policing, said Naughton.
"This is not a Victoria issue alone, this runs across Canada, and as far as I know we're the only agency across Canada trying to take a serious look at this issue," said Naughton.
The conflict-of-interest rules will also force Victoria officers to fully disclose the private businesses they run outside of policing, their stock holdings and any business ties that could be conflicts. The guidelines are being reviewed by department lawyers before becoming official policy, said Naughton.
Meanwhile, Laur said he thinks people are trying to put blame on his Taser reviews because of recent deaths that occurred after Tasers were used on suspects.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
IPICD (Institute for the Prevention of Deaths in Custody), LAAW, Micheal Brave & "Excited Delirium"
IPICD (aka Institute for the Prevention of Deaths in Custody) is sponsored by LAAW.LAAW is basically lawyer Micheal Brave. Mr. Brave has registered at least two Internet domain names with 'excited delirium' in the URL. These domain names are redirected to point to IPICD. And thus the circle is complete:...IPICD <> LAAW = lawyer Brave <> "Excited Delirium" URLs <> IPICD...So, what does this have to do with Taser?Taser's chief litigation lawyer is (or was?) a certain lawyer named Mr. Micheal Brave, Esq. etc. You're either in on it, or you're being played like a trumpet.
It should also be noted here that Michael Brave is also the whois owner of the Electronic Control Devices: Legal Resources website.
From the Toronto Star
February 13, 2009
"The Mounties have also dropped the term "excited delirium" – a phrase that had no medical foundation, and was criticized earlier by the Commons committee, the RCMP's public complaints commissioner, independent consultants and civil liberty groups."
Taser's Delirium Defense
How lawyers used junk science to explain away stun-gun deaths.
From Mother Jones
I highly recommend you read the entire article by clicking on the above link.
"… But the company [Taser International] is remarkably tight with America's foremost ED training and advocacy business. The Institute for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths (ipicd) was cofounded by police trainer John Peters and an old acquaintance, Michael Brave, Taser's national litigation counsel ...
... In 2005, Peters filed corporate papers for the ipicd listing himself and Brave as the founding directors. Within six months, the institute was leading eight-hour sessions at Taser's Scottsdale, Arizona, compound, teaching cops to recognize ED and often touting Tasers as the most effective tool for subduing agitated individuals. In the first two years, Brave estimated in a deposition, Taser paid $70,000 to $80,000 for the sessions. To date, Peters says, the ipicd has certified some 10,000 officers worldwide as in-custody death prevention instructors.
Taser also pays the way for Peters and ipicd instructor David Berman to speak at outside conferences, directs business Peters' way, and helps plug the ipicd's annual conference in Las Vegas, where past presenters have included Taser-backed researchers and employees. A flyer for last October's three-day shindig, which drew 250 attendees, promised the "historic" opportunity to help form a "general consensus about excited delirium that will then be published in leading medical, legal, and law enforcement journals." As an expert witness for Taser, Peters charges $5,000 plus $2,750 per day; in 2007, he was paid about $42,000.
Peters sees nothing inappropriate about his Taser connections. "We are not aligned with them at all," he says, although "we did not distinguish ourselves enough" at the start. (Brave, now listed as an inactive director, says he remains a legal adviser at ipicd.) In any case, the institute will continue in its quest to entrench ED as a medical and psychological diagnosis, Peters says, "to quiet these folks" who don't believe it exists.
These folks include Heston attorney John Burton, who, not surprisingly, finds the ipicd/Taser bond problematic. "These guys want to help the police stop killing people, and they're trying to build a liability defense for when they do," he says. "The two things are in direct conflict." "
ONLY TO END UP HERE:
First Annual Excited Delirium Conference
Canadian Centre for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths, Inc.
PRESIDENT: CONSTABLE GARY MULDER, GUELPH POLICE SERVICE
A few of the speakers at the conference:
DR. JOHN PETERS JR., PHD.INSTITUTE FOR THE PREVENTION OF IN-CUSTODY DEATHS, INC. (see Mother Jones above) (see also, from February 2007, the two-part National Public Radio investigative report here: Part I - Death by Excited Delirium: Diagnosis or Coverup? and Part II - Tasers Implicated in Excited Delirium Deaths)
Chris Lawrence, a trainer with the Ontario Police College (Canadian excited delirium "expert" and coroner's inquest witness)
Dr. Christine Hall, big-time taser fan and Canadian excited/agitated delirium proponent, employed by "Vancouver Island Research", has an e-mail address at the Canadian Police Research Centre as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org - see Public risk from tasers: Unacceptably high or low enough to accept? (Canadian Journal of Emergency Medicine, January 2009) and "expert" witness at MANY Canadian coroner's inquests, including that of my brother Robert Bagnell.
The Canadian Centre is proud to be hosting its First Annual Excited Delirium Conference. "Are You Prepared?" brings together North America's preeminent leaders on this topic. This 2 day conference will provide those in attendance, regardless of their knowledge base, a greater understanding of what is required when faced with a potentially deadly situation. From first contact by police, fire and EMS requirements, this conference will prepare those emergency services with the ability to recognize and act accordingly. Not only will this conference educate the "first responders," it is designed to inform the Emergency Physicians on best practices based on solid research and scientific findings. The goal of our conference is to simply promote teamwork and early recogition of a medical emergency which has manifested itself into a difficult and rapidly deteriorating situation.
"ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES POLICE OFFICERS AND EMERGENCY PERSONNEL FACE IS HOW TO HANDLE INDIVIDUALS ACTING IN VIOLENT, ERRATIC AND BIZARRE WAYS – OFTEN REFERRED TO AS EXCITED DELIRIUM. SUDDEN DEATHS HAVE OCCURRED, PUTTING THE ACTIONS OF ALL INVOLVED AND THEIR AGENCIES UNDER AN INTENSE PUBLIC MICROSCOPE. THIS EVENT BRINGS NORTH AMERICA’S PREEMINENT LEADERS TOGETHER FOR A COMPELLING 2 DAY DISCUSSION ON THE TOPIC OF EXCITED DELIRIUM."
Canadian Centre for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths, Inc.
The Canadian Centre for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths, Inc. is a new company founded by president Gary Mulder. Gary brings with him a wealth of knowledge, experience and a long list of contacts known throughout North America for sudden, "In-Custody Deaths" including those described as "Excited Delirium." A current and sworn Ontario police officer in his 18th year, Gary is currently a certified Use of Force Instructor with a foundation in Tactics and Rescue. As a trainer for the past seven years, Gary has attended numerous training courses and has organized several successful conferences on the topic of Excited Delirium, as well as other police related topics.
My goal is to provide transparent, unbiased information and education to any relevant stakeholder so that they might be able to make informed decisions in critical situations while they protect everyone involved.
To Provide Honest, Ethical and Factual Information.
A search for this incorporated "Canadian" centre at Industry Canada and Sedar returned no results for this "Canadian Centre for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths Inc."
A whois search for the company's website http://www.ccpicd.com/ did return the following:
Domain Name : ccpicd.com
Registrant:Canadian Centre for the Prevention of In-Custody Deaths Inc.627 Arkell RoadRR#2Guelph, ON N1H6H8CADomain name: CCPICD.COMAdministrative Contact:Mulder, Gary 627 Arkell RoadRR#2Guelph, ON N1H6H8CA519.241.6080Technical Contact:Administrator, DNS 5915 Airport RoadSuite 1100Mississauga, ON L4V 1T1CA+1.8008530954 Fax: +1.8009799587Registrar of Record: TUCOWS, INC.Record last updated on 12-Mar-2009.Record expires on 05-Dec-2009.Record created on 05-Dec-2008.Registrar Domain Name Help Center:http://domainhelp.tucows.comDomain servers in listed order:ns2.officelive.comns1.officelive.com