The Company Formerly Known as Taser (Axon) has announced a new line of body cameras that allow law enforcers to live stream their antics:
Police officers wearing new cameras by Axon, the U.S.’s largest body camera supplier, will soon be able to send live video from their cameras back to base and elsewhere, potentially enhancing officers’ situational awareness and expanding police surveillance.
Axon plans to test the device, the Axon Body 3, with a group of agencies early next year and ship to U.S. customers in the summer. (The initial price of $699 doesn’t include other costs, like a subscription to Axon’s Evidence.com data management system.) A built-in antenna transmits HD video over dedicated 4G LTE cellular networks, while another feature triggers the camera to start recording and alerts command staff once an officer has fired their weapon, a possible corrective to the problem of officers forgetting to switch them on.
Now the whole department can tune in for the summary execution of the unarmed black man!
Less you mistakenly believe that this live streaming capability might give oversight committees the ability to oversee law enforcers by randomly activating the live streaming capability, never fear, the live streaming capability can only be activated when the officer wearing the camera enables it:
Giving supervisors the ability to live-stream from officers’ chests has raised privacy concerns among police too. Axon’s system does not allow supervisors to remotely begin live-streaming from an officer’s camera unless it is in recording mode–that is, once an officer presses a large button in the center of the camera or is activated automatically by the sound of a gunshot, for instance. The video streams will also be limited to those with permission through the Evidence.com software.
That’s a relief! I was almost worried that there was a chance that an overseer might randomly activate an officer’s body camera can catch them doing something unlawful!
Of course the live video is streamed to Evidence.com, which is a service geared towards preventing the use of collected evidence from being used to defend an accused party or from bring charges against a law enforcer who has been caught doing something illegal.
Axon has covered all of its bases. There’s no possibility that these new features will be used to hold law enforcers accountable, which will make them popular with law enforcement departments.