Youtube videos of people screaming "don't Tase me bro" while getting zapped by police officers could become as common as reports of police who use their Tasers more liberally than civil rights leaders condone.
Scottsdale-based Taser International announced recently that it's creating a head-mounted video-recording system for police officers that they expect will cut the companies legal fees in half.
Taser chairman Tom Smith says the company's been the defendant in more than 40 legal cases about the use of Taser guns by police, and spends a quarterly average of $1.5 million in legal fees. Smith says, with video evidence, the firm would be able to cut that legal bill in half by showing juries the circumstances behind the weapon's use.
"Picture somebody on drugs going berserk," Smith says about using video from his new device in court. "Now we're going to give you a video image of it."
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Experts say police departments could expect smaller legal bills, too.
"More likely to result in lower legal fees for police departments [than for Taser International]," Steve Dyer, an analyst with Craig-Hallum Capital Group LLC in Minneapolis, tells Bloomberg. "It helps in assessing where there's a question as to whether a police officer used an appropriate level of force."