The following is an excerpt from an article instructing Law Enforcement personnel how to explain to the media why Taser victims die from Excited Delirium, a non-existent medical condition.
When law enforcement administrators are confronted by the
media event surrounding a Sudden In-Custody Death (SICD), they
often do not know what to say. Many times, what the chief says
during an unplanned media event will haunt that chief for a long
time and provide a basis for unpleasant cross-examination during
a civil trial.
Police & Security News; SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2007 VOL. 23 ISSUE 5 (PDF)
The article deals with language and terms.
For example, do not say, "The officer shot
the man with an ECD." ECDs are not firearms, but the word "shot"
will imply that notion. Instead, say the ECD was "deployed." Also,
do not use the word "tased," as this not only negatively impacts
the trademark, TASER, but it also helps to perpetuate the use of
this improper word, and it sounds unprofessional in reports and in
print. Again, simply say, "deployed."
A Taser that twice shocked Brian Cardall contributed to or caused heart irregularities in the 32-year-old man that led to his death on the side of a southern Utah highway in June, the Utah Medical Examiner's Office has ruled.
Of the 152 Taser-related deaths documented by Amnesty International:
o Most of those who died in custody were unarmed and were not posing a serious threat to police officers, members of the public, or themselves
o Those who died were generally subjected to repeated or prolonged shocks
o Use of the Taser was often accompanied by the use of restraints and/or chemical incapacitant sprays
o Many of those who died had underlying health problems, such as heart conditions or mental illness, or were under the influence of drugs
o Most of those who died went into cardiac or respiratory arrest at the scene
Thompson, one of multiple officers on the scene, waited 42 seconds after arriving before he a Taser on a manic and confused Cardall, according to 911 recordings.
The 156-pound Cardall is heard screaming for about five seconds after Thompson first deploys a Taser on him. After a two-second pause, Thompson the Taser on Cardall again. He says in the recordings Cardall had tried to get up.
This is often used as the cause of death. In fact, there is no such thing. The Taser aficionados use this hogwash to train public affairs officers to deceive the public.
Contrary to what many journalists believe (or were told), the
brain disorder of excited delirium is not a new label for a sudden
death and was not coined by TASER International, Inc., the leading
manufacturer of ECDs. The phenomena of excited delirium
was first described in British medical literature in 1650. The term
"excited delirium" can be found in United States’ medical treatises
as early as 1881 with the concept first being presented and
published in America by Dr. Luther Bell in 1849; he invested over
12 years evaluating patients with this peculiar form of delirium
(Bell’s Mania). Repopularized by Doctors Wetli and Fishbain during
the cocaine crazy 1980s when they were medical examiners in
Miami, FL, the term has expanded to include more than simply
delirium induced by chronic cocaine abuse. According to Dr.
Charles Wetli (Ret.), Chief Medical Examiner and Director of Forensic
Sciences for Suffolk County (Eastern Long Island, NY), the
causes of excited delirium could be metabolic (e.g., low blood
sugar); pharmacologic (e.g., cocaine); infectious (e.g., meningitis);
and/or psychological (e.g., underlying psychiatric illness).
Police & Security News; SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2007 VOL. 23 ISSUE 5 (PDF)
In other words, the cause of death is from an unknown pre-existing condition that has nothing to do with the fact that the victim was "SHOT", resulting in the embedding of two # 8 Eagle Claw fish hooks into the victim's body tissue, followed by being "TASED" with 50,000 volts of electricity.
Christensen (the medical examiner) said Cardall did not die from excited delirium, a syndrome often cited as a cause of death when someone is agitated or delirious and then dies after forcefully being taken into custody. ...Christensen's report states that prongs from a Taser a Hurricane police officer deployed struck Cardall over his heart. While Christensen acknowledged other factors could have contributed to Cardall's death, he pointed out factors that indicate a Taser electrocuted a naked, unarmed Cardall.
Excited Delirium can't be found in medical textbooks, dictionaries or on lists of standard diagnoses. The fact that the disorder seems to manifest most often when people are in police custody, and is often diagnosed only after the victims die, exposes the "diagnosis" as bogus and an obvious attempt to evade responsibility.
The American Medical Association has "no official policy" on the disorder, according to AMA spokesperson Melissa Smith.
Coroners have been successfully pressured by Law Enforcement and TASER International, Inc. to use Excited Delirium as cause of death, but a few courts are beginning to see through the propaganda.
Any lawsuit filed by the Cardall family will face fierce contention from Taser International, which has only lost one case in the 97 lawsuits filed against the company since its inception in 1993, Tuttle said.
But the tide is beginning to turn, said California attorney Peter Williamson, who, along with co-counsel John Burton, recently won the first suit against Taser International.
A federal judge in the U.S. District Court for Northern California ordered Taser to pay $1.4 million in attorney fees to Williamson and Burton, who represented the family of Robert Heston, who was killed in 2005 after he was shocked multiple times while high on methamphetamine.
The 40-year-old man's father had called police for help to restrain his combative son. Five officers shocked Heston 25 times.
And in another recent case:
(CN) – The 11th Circuit rebuked Orlando officers for Tasering an unarmed man eight to 12 times in two minutes, causing his death. Judge Stanley Marcus said the repeated shocks were "grossly disproportionate to any threat posed and unreasonable under the circumstances.
Without warning, Fiorino Tasered him in the stomach, bringing him to the ground. Once the five-second pulse wore off, she Tasered him again. The witness said Oliver never got up after the first Tasering, and never hit, punched, kicked or threatened the officers.
Oliver, who was lying on the hot asphalt, allegedly screamed that it was "too hot." Fioriono said she may have Tasered Oliver 11 or 12 times, explaining that she kept pulling the trigger until he stayed on the ground. Her Taser log showed eight times in two minutes, with each shock lasting five seconds.
... "We agreed with the district court's determination that the force employed was so utterly disproportionate to the level of force reasonably necessary that any reasonable officer would have recognized that his actions were unlawful," the court concluded.
Unfortunately, some courts are intimidated by TASER, Inc.
Last year, an Ohio judge ordered a medical examiner to remove Taser's name from three autopsies. The Summit County Medical Examiner's Office "offered no medical, scientific or electrical evidence to justify finding the stun gun was a factor in the deaths of two men in 2005 and another in 2006," The Arizona Republic reported in May 2008. Taser and the City of Akron had sued the medical examiner, claiming the examiners didn't have the proper education to decide whether Tasers contributed to the death.
The county's chief medical examiner contested the ruling, according to The Arizona Republic.
Taser also sued Indiana coroner Roland Kohr, who found the weapon contributed to a man's death in 2004.
Taser International dismisses what it calls misconceptions that the company targets medical examiners who make unflattering reports.
"This is simply not true," Tuttle said. "In the two instances that Taser has brought legal action regarding medical examiners, the lawsuits were to correct scientifically baseless opinions that resulted in very negative consequences to numerous entities and people."
Williamson disagrees. He said Taser intimidates medical examiners who find the stun guns lead to death.
"Very few medical examiners will stick their necks out on the line," he said.
No amount of training can account for the sadistic misuse of this torture instrument. Even with proper training, an officer cannot possibly know his victim's medical history or know with certainty that when he/she
deploys shoots someone, that the prongs meathooks will penetrate the victim where the peace officer intended.
Local media must avoid bullshit propaganda from TASER,Inc and Law Enforcement.
It is what it is.
These deaths will continue until Tasers are forever banned or become too expensive to deploy as a result of huge fines and legal fees.