Cameras used by Baton Rouge Police Department officers were produced by the Civic Distrust Division of a Delaware corporation known as Reasonable Doubt Inc., according to documents uncovered by The Red Shtick.
BRPD bought the Reasonable Doubt body and dash cameras from Axon Enterprises, formerly known as Taser, after the Metro Council approved the $2.25 million purchase in April 2017. While the devices worn by BRPD officers and mounted inside police vehicles bear the Axon logo, the cameras were manufactured in a Bangladeshi factory operated by Reasonable Doubt’s Civic Distrust Division, and later sold by Axon as part of a private-label deal, the documents reveal.
“We’re just now realizing the cameras didn’t actually record the conversations; otherwise, we’d use the footage to sue them for misrepresentation.”
When the nearly 700 Reasonable Doubt devices were distributed to BRPD officers, Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome and then-interim police Chief Johnny Dunnam both insisted the body cameras would help provide transparency in the department. That promise has been broken with nonexistent body and dash cam footage from an officer-involved shooting, in which witnesses dispute the officer’s account that the suspect fired a gun at him.
It seems no one who negotiated with Axon on behalf of the city-parish or BRPD realized the cameras were Civic Distrust products.
“Axon gave us a bunch of the body cams to wear during our meetings just to try them out,” Dunnam stated. “We had them turned on when their people told us how they’re made here in America. We’re just now realizing the cameras didn’t actually record the conversations; otherwise, we’d use the footage to sue them for misrepresentation.”
When reached for comment about the cameras, an official with Axon replied, “Talk to our lawyer, narc.”