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Police Body-worn Cameras and Axon Enterprise's Claims in Media

Radical Interactionism and Critiques of Contemporary Culture

ISBN: 978-1-83982-029-8, eISBN: 978-1-83982-028-1

ISSN: 0163-2396

Publication date: 30 April 2021

Abstract

Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are quickly becoming standardized police equipment. Axon Enterprise, a United States company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is currently the worldwide purveyor of BWCs having near-complete control over the police body camera market. In 2012, the company launched their Axon Flex body camera alongside claims about the efficacy of these devices. While the research is expanding, scholarship has yet to explore the role that stakeholders like Axon may play in the implementation of body cameras across police services. This empirical chapter examines claims made by Axon in media in relation to the efficacy of their body cameras over a six-year period (2012–2018). Three themes relative to our analysis of Axon claims emerged: officer and community safety; cost and officer efficiency; and accountability and transparency. A basic finding that cut across all three themes is that most of Axon's claims appear to be shaped by beliefs and assumptions. We also found that Axon's claims were mostly predicated on the market (i.e., financial considerations), rather than say scientifically or legally grounded. Some suggestions for future research are noted.

Keywords

Citation

Laming, E. and Schneider, C.J. (2021), "Police Body-worn Cameras and Axon Enterprise's Claims in Media", Denzin, N.K., Salvo, J. and Chen, S.-L.S. (Ed.) Radical Interactionism and Critiques of Contemporary Culture (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 52), Emerald Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-239620210000052001

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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