>> Police departments across the U.S. facing pressure to appear more transparent and less eager to use force. And in a sign of the times, Taser, the company that made stun guns a household name announcing Wednesday that it will give U.S. police departments free body cams. The company going even further, after today, Taser will not longer be known by that name, it will now go by Axon.
Why the name change? The company, with the eponymous stun gun now wants to be known more for the video storage and software business-
Aah!>> And less for the viral videos showing police using Tasers in sometimes questionable circumstances. In addition to the cameras, the company is also giving police free access to its online video management software for a year.
Taser, or Axon, believes that will be the next driver of growth as police departments arm themselves with body cams. The surge expected after a number of deadly shootings of unarmed mostly black men, fueled protests and complaints of overly aggressive policing tactics. Citizens' rights groups have called for the increased use of body cams as a way to hold police officers accountable.
The New York City Police Department, the country's largest, has jumped on board but it's buying cameras from Tazer's smaller rival, VieVu. Still, not all police departments have warmed up to the idea of officers wearing the new technology.