Wednesday, August 10, 2022

The Revenge of the Thin Blue Line 26: Axon! Axoff! Axon-Axoff! The Bribery!

Police brutality and misconduct is fast becoming a big money maker.  No, I'm not referencing the payouts to the families of those victimized and killed by Police but, by Companies moving in to capitalize on the problem.

Axon Body Cameras are the industry standard.  Motorola has a strong hold on second place but, between them the two companies dominate the market across the United States.  Axon was originally named TASER, which I'm sure you know were the makers of the "Less-than-Lethal" electrical weapons.  Later iterations of Taser weapons added a "TaserCam" but, as body cameras gained a larger and larger segment of the company they renamed and rebranded.

Tasers, are of course controversial, and somewhat ineffective as in chaotic situations its' difficult (not impossible) to get a good shot which deploys both prongs properly and disables the suspect.  Taser (Axon) initially stood by their claims of not causing deaths and offered up a $1,000,000 defense for any Police Department sued after a death attributed to the Taser but, dropped this protection after Courts began to award wrongful death suits to victims' families.

Well, as Police misconduct continues to be documented by citizens with cell phone cameras and with the passage of the Illinois Safe-T Act in 2021, Axon wasted no time in doing what big businesses have always done to capture a market; Purchase all your major competitors and bribe government officials.
The Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that state Sen. Elgie Sims, a Chicago Democrat, was approached in the spring by federal authorities looking into whether Axon Enterprise Inc. either directly or through other lobbying entities improperly tried to influence Sims.
So... Governor J. B. Pritzker called on the Federal Law Enforcement to conduct the investigation which is good.  Axon has denied any wrongdoing.  Sims apparently worked as a lobbyist or provided legal aid to Axon.  This of course is part of the Government/Big Business hand-in-hand cooperation which often leads to corrupt dealings known as "Regulatory Capture", that is when those charged with overseeing certain government functions are coopted and act as clients or proponents of the business.  For instance, the Axon employee who briefed my department on use and functions of the body cameras was a former police officer who worked in his department's video evidence storage department and then was hired immediately upon his retirement by Axon.

The Republican nominee for Illinois Governor Darren Bailey, an alleged pig fucker, has garnered the FOP endorsement (on August 8th = "88", which is an obvious head nod to Bailey's rabid fascist base) and pledged to repeal the 2021 criminal justice reform law.  Dirty John Catanzara, disgraced former Chicago Police Officer and Jan6th Insurrection supporter, also supports alleged pig fucker Darren Bailey.  But, Bailey hasn't condemned Axon because he knows in his black pig heart the power and influence they wield even if Darren Bailey wishes to unleash Police Forces across Illinois to continue the old ways of brutality and misconduct.

No comments: