The Quebec Public Security Minister announced this week that he is going to destroy five Tasers after they malfunctioned during testing, Fifty-two of the provinces 167 weapons were tested and with almost a ten percent failure rate during testing the minister is now going to test the rest.
Of course the minister does not know what was wrong with the weapons or what caused them to fail, which I would think is probably the most important point here.
Did the weapons that are supposed to restrain suspects by hitting them with a 50,000 volt electric charge, produce a smaller charge or higher charge. Possibly a lethal charge or none at all. Were the weapons dropped, left out in the rain or otherwise mishandled, Did the charge get stronger each time the gun is used. Are they now going to start testing them more often, annually, monthly, weekly or say each time they are discharged.
There seems to be more questions raised by the test results and certainly more actions required than simply destroying the defective guns, but at least he is not going to sell them on eBay.
Meanwhile in Edmonton, Alberta’s Medical Examiner declared that a 38 year old man that was tasered twice, died of a made up medical term, one that the Canadian Medical Society dismisses as a pop culture phenomenon.
Excited delirium is now frequently used to describe people who are tasered to death by the police, at least by medical examiners who either disagree with the Canadian Medical Society. It is also the main defense used by Taser International in its many law suits.
Suspects suffering from the fictional excited delirium, supposedly show signs, of paranoia, hallucinations, incoherent speech, shouting, incredible strength and sweating. Conditions quite similar to real medical conditions such as panic attacks, diabetes or head injuries and I guess being pissed off and wasted on any combination of drugs, or drink.
Which brings us back to the advice provided by Quebec Public Security Minister, who said that in order to avoid being Tasered a person needs only obey police officers.
I think the title of my post is a better warning.