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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

California man dies after being shot with taser

Shawn Iinuma, 37

June 30, 2009
Richard Brooks, The Press Enterprise

A 37-year-old Fontana [California] man died Monday morning after being Tasered when he became violent while being treated for an apparent methamphetamine overdose, Fontana police said.

Police and fire were summoned to the 7500 block of Cherimoya Avenue by Shawn Iinuma's family at 1:15 a.m. because he had been using meth and was acting strangely, investigators wrote in a statement.

A lengthy struggle ensued after he became violent and police Tasered him, the statement said. Iinuma stopped breathing after being restrained. He died at Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center.


A comment received here this morning says:

How many times does this sequence of events need to play out? When will good men recognize and stop this scenario? ~

Occam's Razor, the generally accepted principle of Logically Connected Progressions, or, to quote Sir Isaac Newton, proclaims: "We are to admit no more causes of natural things than such as are both true and **sufficient** to explain their appearances. Therefore, to the same natural effects we must, so far as possible, assign the same causes."

Shawn Iinuma, a human being, was intoxicated with drugs, involved in a "lengthy struggle", tasered and he died. He didn't die during the "lengthy struggle", but only after the pain/torture/control device was used, where what remaining ability to use his muscles, was mindlessly, rapidly depleted by a device which has no ability to know when the muscles, including the heart, have reached an inability to resume normal function.

The common intervening factor in these deaths is the introduction of a "control device, or a method of restraint", and the post-mortem search for other factors ignores Occam's Razor, which says all the factors you need to look at are the agitated state of the arrestee, his near state of exhaustion and the introduction of a dangerous electrical device which rapidly exercises muscles without any feedback mechanism to warn that the normal chemical factors which will stop a spiral to certain death, have been over-ridden by the stun device.

It is approaching insanity to look for other "causes" or explanations. Occam and Sir Isaac Newton would conclude "It was the taser/control/restraint which led to this death."


Anonymous said...

When will people learn that the worst thing they can do when they need help is call the police?

Anonymous said...

How is it possible that there still remains any doubt that the taser is killing people? 415 dead and still rising? It continues to amaze me that the taser lap dogs continue to defend taser international and their tortuous device. The whole bunch of them should be rounded up and put where they belong to be...in prison for murder.

Jim said...

I hope somebody will refer the family to the following stories, and then to an attorney outside of San Bernardino/Riverside Counties:

San Antonio police ordered not to Taser drug users http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/san-anto...

Jury awards $3 million in Texas stun gun death http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2009/03/09/jury-awa...

U.N.: Tasers Are A Form Of Torture http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/25/nat...

Canadian police restrict stun gun usehttp://bbvm.wordpress.com/2 009/02/15/canadian-police-rest rict-stun-gun-use/

UCSF study raises doubts about stun gun safety http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2009/01/27/ucsf-stu...

Police kill man, 17, with Taser http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2009/01/12/police-k...

Police Kill California Man with Taser http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2008/12/22/police-k...

Amnesty International urges moratorium on Taser use after CBC/Radio-Canada probe http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/amnesty-...

No answers forthcoming in Rialto policeĆ¢€™s use of Taser on boy http://bbvm.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/714/

Critical Mass said...

One of the first medical examiners to rule that a taser caused death, was Dr. Terrance Allen in the Los Angeles Medical Examiner's office. He reported that his autopsies of taser victims were sometimes attended by up to 8 LA Law Enforcement officers, in an attempt to intimidate him from naming, what was then called the "Tasertron" - the stun gun used on Rodney King, I believe - as the proximate or contributing device in early LA taser deaths.

Dr. Allen was then threatened by rogue police officers, his house was fired upon in drive-by shootings and he eventually was forced to move north to San Francisco, where his father had worked in a similar capacity.

You might contact Dr. Allen to confirm what I just wrote, as I am not certain of the details. He may even be able to expand on your list of "Taser Deaths". What I will do here, is copy & paste some linked quotes dealing with Dr. Allen:

"[Dr.]Terence Allen, a specialist in forensic pathology who served as deputy medical examiner for both Los Angeles and San Francisco coroner's offices, in 1991 linked the taser to fatalities. With electrical current, Allen says, the chance of death increases with each use. Allen warns, "I think what you are going to see is more deaths from stun weapons."

But Terence Allen, a specialist in forensic pathology who served as deputy medical examiner for both the Los Angeles and San Francisco coroners' offices, has a more grim view of the "non-lethal" weapon. "The problem is when it starts getting used in less than critical situations," said Allen. "In L.A. they'll shoot you for reaching for your wallet. People need to realize that this isn't 100 per cent safe, and it doesn't have a very good track record. As pathologists, we should warn law-enforcement agencies that the TASER can cause death."


(Cont'd next message)

Critical Mass said...


According to a report on the effects of the TASER in The Journal of Forensic Sciences by Dr. Sara Reddy and Dr. Ronald Kornblum, chief medical examiner in Los Angeles, the TASER has been used several thousand times by the Los Angeles police department in attempts to control violent suspects. During that time the TASER has been an effective immobilizer 80 per cent of the time. There have been 16 deaths associated with its use in L.A. County.

The report, which Laur read when he researched the TASER's potential for use in Victoria, explains that the TASER doesn't rely on damage or destruction of tissues or organs to be effective; instead, it knocks the target to the ground after causing a generalized muscle contraction. Under ordinary circumstances, these effects are temporary and completely reversible. But used on an older individual, somebody with heart trouble, or somebody weakened by excessive drug use, the weapon can be fatal. Included in the report were accounts of volunteer targets that described the experience as painful and who required several minutes to recover from the experience. The electrical current generated by the TASER is not lethal when the weapon is used as directed on an average healthy adult.

But Allen suggested the report may be misleading. In a 1991 letter to the journal he noted that he was one of only two medical examiners in the L.A. office to list the TASER on a death certificate.

"This was because pathologists in L.A. were under pressure from law enforcement agencies to exclude the TASER as a cause of death," wrote Allen. He suggested that the L.A. coroner's office has a strong bias and exonerates the law enforcement agencies of that city. "The L.A. coroner's office is the handmaiden of law enforcement [in that city,]" he said.

Allen says that the TASER could cause heart defibrillation depending on where the two probes strike the targeted subject. He suggests that the use of this weapon could have dire effects on the hearts of weaker or older individuals or those under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

UVic criminologist Daniel Koenig suggests that the introduction of this weapon will be a positive influence on Victoria policing but adds there are some drawbacks to be considered.

"Police are operating on the same plane of existence as the rest of us," suggests Koenig. "So there's always the danger that [the TASER] will be used inappropriately. We're talking about humans here."

The U.S. exportation of stun guns was listed as one of the top 10 censored articles of 1997 by Project Censored, an annual nationwide media research project that casts a revealing spotlight on relevant issues that don't make the news.

The article, titled "Shock Value: U.S. Stun Devices Pose Human-Rights Risk" by Anne-Marie Cusac, suggests that the potential misuse of these weapons in countries with poor human rights records means the U.S. ranks as the leading producer and seller of instruments of torture.


Good work, Patty. I hope this helps.

Critical Mass said...

I just posted this set of thoughts on the "ED" Blog. I'm speculating about a 3rd possible mechanism which could be fatal in the use of a taser. I would call it "Taser Induced Asphyxia", as opposed to the more traditional "Positional Asphyxia". Here are my thoughts:

"One factor often present during the restraining of a detainee is "positional asphyxia", at a time when the detainees need for oxygen is great.


The reason we need an aqualung with pressurized air, to be able to breathe in as little as a depth of 2 to 3 feet under water, is that the muscles which expand the chest to allow for the intake of air, are some of the weakest muscles in our body. You can't breathe while 2 feet underwater, through a garden hose, because the weight of the water can't be overcome by the chest cavity muscles.

Imagine a long distance runner crossing the finish line of a race, immediately being placed in any restraint where his/her ability to fully expand and contract their chest cavity was reduced by a factor of 50% or greater. The result might be fatal.

When I see videos of arrestees being restrained on the ground with several law enforcement officers on their neck or their back, I'm not surprised at the number who die during "restraint".

If stun guns affect those fairly weak chest muscles, by rapidly exercising them to the point of exhaustion, it may explain why their victims often complain of not being able to breathe after being tasered.

We focus on stun guns somehow affecting the heart, while it is possible that tasers may induce "positional asphyxia" symptoms, without putting any weight on the chest. The chest muscles are simply unable to do their job due to being depleted by the taser shocks.

If you agree, you may have to add a third death mechanism ~ "Induced Positional Asphyxia", besides blood Ph and cardiac effects.

Good luck.

July 1, 2009 12:09 PM

Villager said...

Does anyone know the race or national origin of Mr. Iinuma?

Anonymous said...

The heading of this email written to Robert Dz's lawyer was: Portable Electric Chair_Execution Device-Taser
Hi to All of you,

Your website http://www.telawyers.com/contact.html stated that you greatly welcome feedback.

Here is my humble opinion:

The taser is not a stun gun, as it is currently soft sell marketed. Saying that it is a stun gun, when mortality statistics indicate otherwise, is nothing more that many making fraudulent-false and misleading statements.

I looked at the wikipedia site, that talks about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_chair.

Execution by electrocution (usually referred to as the electric chair or simply the chair after its method of implementation) is an execution method originating in the United States in which the person being put to death is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes placed on the body. This execution method has been used only in the United States and, for a period of several decades,[1] in the Philippines (its first use there in 1924, last in 1976). The electric chair has become a symbol of the death penalty; however, its use is in decline.
Historically, once the person was attached to the chair, various cycles (differing in voltage and duration) of alternating current would be passed through the condemned's body, in order to fatally damage the internal organs (including the brain). The first jolt of electrical current was designed to cause immediate unconsciousness and brain death; the second one was designed to cause fatal damage to the vital organs. Death was frequently caused by electrical overstimulation of the heart.

After reading this, it became clear to me that the Taser is a modernized version of the unpopular electric chair, marketed by Americans. With the first Taser death, this was established.

Now Amnesty International states:

16 December 2008

Media Release
USA: Safety of Tasers questioned as death toll hits 334-mark

This portable modified electric chair is undermining rule of law, due process of law, and instilling terror on all.

It takes longer to complete an esthetics course that it does to become an RCMP. I am told that RCMP cadets receive approximately five months of training. They get guns, whereas in some countries guns are not issued, and reason prevails.

With a portable electric chair, there is no need for charges, prosecutors, lawyers, judiciary, jail and prison guards, all support staff, etc., and this ought to be a concern to everyone. All of the above have been usurped. The police have bypassed the entire justice system and become a law unto themselves; accuser, prosecutor, Judge, jury, and Executioners.

With the Taser, have the Americans duped-pulled a fast one on the RCMP, and they knowingly bought it with taxpayers dollars? This brings blood-guilt upon all. Has the death-penalty has been resurrected in Canada, by a special interest group, without legislation?

Birth condemns no one to heed the will of evil, and I wonder where this societal insanity will end, when I view www.taser.com . They are now offering even more abominations.
The TASER Trade-In Program is a seamless way to trade your existing TASER® X26™ and/or ADVANCED TASER® M26™ technology and apply it toward the purchase of a new TASER® X3™ Semi-Automatic ECD. Act soon as this trade-in offer ends 12/31/2009.

I noticed that Walter is handling a case for Robert's mom, so that is why I am sending this to all of you. Many thanks for taking her case, many prayers for her, and your success.

God bless you,