After a series of resignations by an internal ethics committee, the company retracted.
After its CEO proposed that it create an armed version of the Taser stun gun, the company had to change course. “non-lethal”American school drones are being deployed to combat mass shootings. The company is immediately outraged.
Rick Smith – CEO of Axon Enterprise, formerly known as Taser International – issued a statement on Monday clarifying the company’s plans for the controversial drones, which he first outlined in a press release last week in response to several recent mass shootings.
“I want to be explicit: I announced a potential delivery date a few years out as an expression of what could be possible; it is not an actual launch timeline, especially as we are pausing that program,”He added “We have a lot of work and exploring to see if this technology is even viable and to understand if the public concerns can be adequately addressed before moving forward.”
A remotely operated non-lethal Taser-enabled drone in schools is an idea, not a product, and it’s a long way off.
The original concept was floated by the company as “part of a long-term plan to stop mass shootings,”Smith declared that the drones will be made. “capable of incapacitating an active shooter in less than 60 seconds,”You can even share a photo of your mock-up design.
However, the plan provoked a lot of backlash. Nine out of twelve members of an internal company ethics committee resigned in protest, “concerns the drones would harm over-policed communities”Reuters claims that the claimants claimed they weren’t informed prior to the announcement.
Directly, the CEO said that resignations are being addressed. “unfortunate that some members of Axon’s ethics advisory panel have chosen to withdraw from directly engaging on these issues before we heard or had a chance to address their technical questions,”He went on, however, to say: “We respect their choice and will continue to seek diverse perspectives to challenge our thinking and help guide other technology options that we should be considering.”
The ethics panel stated that it had been presented with plans to make a Taser-equipped drone similar to the one in question more than a decade ago but was approved by the committee only. “limited pilot”The device was believed to be exclusively used by police departments at that time. “Even on those limited terms,”The board “ultimately voted against Axon moving forward”The company made its announcement last month but it decided to go ahead anyway.
“Now, Axon has announced it would not limit the technology to policing agencies, but would make it more widely available. And the surveillance aspect of this proposal is wholly new to us,”The panel stated. “Reasonable minds can differ on the merits of police-controlled Taser-equipped drones – our own board disagreed internally – but we unanimously are concerned with the process Axon has employed regarding this idea of drones in school classrooms.”
Axon’s stun drone concept was announced in direct response to mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas last month. After officers took more than an hour before they were able to confront the gunman who killed 19 children and two adults teachers, intense criticism was levelled at law enforcement.