Miami police used a Taser to shock a 6-year-old last year in an elementary school because the boy, a special-needs pupil, had cut himself twice with a shard of glass and threatened to slash himself again or any approaching officer, says the Associated Press. Manufacturer Taser International Inc. has developed a Taser Cam that the company hopes will illuminate why Tasers are needed and add another layer of accountability for any officer who uses the device.
The Taser Cam is an audio and video recorder that attaches to the butt of the gun and starts taping when the weapon is turned on. It continues recording until the weapon is turned off–whether the device is fired or not. Taser chief executive Tom Smith, said that if the recorder had been used in the case of the 6-year-old, it could answer the question, “If not the Taser, then what? The Taser Cam could have shown why police didn’t have any other option. This wasn’t just Tasing someone because he was being naughty.” The Taser cameras always face where the gun is pointed, to capture what is said and done in the moments leading up to a suspect being jolted by the device’s 50,000 volts. The company plans to sell Taser Cams as early as March. The cameras won’t be standard, costing about $400. Tasers generally run $800 to $1,000.