Meet a Taser product that will reduce police violence instead of enable it: the Taser AXON Flex. This tiny camera weighs less than 4 ounces and can be attached to hats, helmets, shirt collars…or sunglasses like these Oakley Flak Jackets (for the Robocop version of your friendly neighbourhood law enforcement).
This wireless transmission to the central database is tamperproof video that provides vital evidence of what really happens in police encounters. For the police, it provides a record of exactly what happened from their point of view, crucial to settling courtroom debates over officer testimony. They also, however, act as a vital witness to police behaviour, and tests have shown that the use of these cameras reduces police use of force by 60%. With someone “observing” (love the Panopticon effect), officers are less likely to use force against clearly violent people, and DO NOT instigate the use of force against nonviolent people.
This small and simple-to-use technology has been proven to make a huge difference in how police use force when performing their duties. It also has allowed them to rid themselves of “frivolous lawsuits” from people whose claims of police brutality are unjust: “In one instance, a man brandishing a shotgun claimed to not have been armed when Lake Havasu cops drew their weapons and commanded him to drop his gun. The man threatened to lodge a complaint, but when the officers informed him that the entire event was recorded on video with AXON, he opted against it. In another case, a resident claimed Lake Havasu officers had treated her in an abusive manner, but AXON video revealed the officers courteously and properly handling the call, despite the cursing and rants of the very highly-intoxicated complaining resident. The officers were exonerated without need for further investigation.”
Now Taser wants to roll this technology out to police departments across the nation, and is working to make the tech both flexible and affordable. While the admittedly sexy AXON Flex costs $900 per unit, not every police department needs to strap a camera onto their Oakley’s. The more affordale AXON Body is being offered at less than $300 per unit, aggressive marketing designed to permeate American police departments with Taser cameras.
I never, ever thought I would say this: I cannot wait until every single police officer in America is armed with this Taser…AXON Flex or AXON Body. A camera that improves the behaviour of police officers would be a welcome counterbalance to the massive civilian surveillance we all live under. Police officers may resist being videotaped, but only the guilty have anything to worry about, right?