On Thursday, The Intercept published a leaked survey in which body camera manufacturer Axon (the company formerly known as Taser) discussed a new software platform permitting citizens to submit their own photo and video evidence to its private cloud storage property, Evidence.com.
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On Wednesday, Axon (formerly "Taser") announced its offer to outfit every cop in the US with a free body camera, with rollout beginning as soon as the end of the month. About 20 per cent of US police departments use body cameras. The overwhelmingly majority of all police departments have no policies about how best to use the cameras, what to do with footage, or even when to record.
On Wednesday, stun gun maker Taser announced that it's offering free body cameras to every police department in the United States. That's 700,000 cops across 18,000 departments. Rebranding itself as "Axon" (as in the nerve fibres that connect neurons throughout the human body), the company said in a press release that it's "going 'all-in' to empower police officers" and will offer departments free cameras and storage for an entire year.
Although far less lethal than guns, conducted electrical weapons (AKA stun guns) still pose the risk of cardiac arrest occurring after someone has been incapacitated. To help minimise the risk of that happening, researchers have successfully customised a stun gun to also monitor the target's heart rate at the same time.
Killing Them Safely is a documentary taking issue with the 'less than lethal' part of Taser's stun guns. It's been critically acclaimed by the New York Times and Hollywood Reporter, but Taser's employees have not-so-anonymously been taking to the internet to pan the movie.
University of Cincinnati Police Officer Ray Tensing has been indicted for murder in the shooting of Samuel Dubose, an unarmed black man. According to prosecutor Joseph Deters, video captured by Tensing's body camera was the critical piece of evidence in the decision to pursue charges. Does this mean that cameras work?
Taser International, the company best known for its namesake product, announced last week that its profits were up 57 per cent over the previous quarter. But it's not because tasers are flying off the shelves. That huge bump in profits is coming from sales of body cameras to America's police departments.
Early use of an electronic control device, like the TASER, by law enforcement occurred in the 1960s when American police officers used electric cattle prods to disperse Civil Rights activists. As for the earliest cattle prods, this came about when inventor John Burton of Wichita, Kansas received a patent (US427549 A) in the late 1800s for such a device.
Photographer Patrick Hall took a series of portraits of people getting hit with a 300,000-volt taser. What's even better: He also made a super-slow-motion video of the process for our enjoyment.
No. Well, probably not, as long as you're a normal person and not Chris Forsberg, drifting savant and former Formula Drift champion. Hoonigan got in the car with Forsberg, and zapped him with a handheld low-powered Taser while he was flicking his Silvia around a few corners. The drifting pro actually handled it pretty well.
Are drones not scary enough for you yet? How about this? A drone helicopter that spots you and identifies you as an intruder. It tells you to stop and put your hands behind your head. Instead, you keep coming. The drone then shoots you with barbed Taser darts that pump 80,000V into you. If you try to get up, it will continue pumping voltage into you until you submit and the authorities arrive.
Taser rolled out a new line of body-wearable cameras for law enforcement today, the Axon Flex line, designed to be worn on sunglasses and record video to the cloud from the officer's point of view. They're delightfully frightening!