AXON Body Cameras: The Pros and Cons in a Criminal Case

AXON body cameras.

AXON Body Cameras: The Pros and Cons in a Criminal Case

In the last decade, law enforcement agencies have begun regularly utilizing body-worn cameras on their police officers as a means of holding them accountable for their actions in the field. Dominating the “body-cam” market is AXON Enterprise, a Scottsdale-based company with offices across the globe.

AXON body-cameras are designed to provide objective truth and maintain logs of records and evidence. The AXON footage that is provided by law enforcement agencies in criminal cases can, in some cases, provide irrefutable evidence as to what transpired during the time a crime was committed if the entire offense was recorded. As reported by the National Institute of Justice in 2022, the use of body-worn cameras resulted in “ statistically significant decreases in citizen complaints,” with body-camera use also “more likely to result in arrests, charges filed, cases furthered, and both guilty pleas and verdicts.”

Arizona has proven to be a major player in the AXON camera market. According to the Ahwatukee Foothills News, many major cities approved new long-term contracts with the company:

  • Phoenix City Council approved a $39.26 million dollar contract with AXON Enterprise for 2019 to 2028, the largest secured with any Valley city.
  • Mesa approved a five-year, $2.1 million annual contract, which can increase to $2.5 million.
  • Scottsdale City Council approved the payment of $850,000 annually to AXON for body cameras and AXON taser guns.

Despite the many positives, AXON footage can fail to provide the whole picture in the following ways:

  • Officers can choose when to turn on and off their cameras. Officers who have not volunteered to wear body-cameras are less likely to turn their camera on.
  • Officers can mute sensitive information for privacy reasons, which can cause information to be lost.
  • Some cameras have a 30-second delay when being turned on and off, potentially causing vital information to go unrecorded.
  • Because officers can choose to record on mute, interactions are able to be seen without the benefit of hearing what each party is saying, causing speculation.

These practices can lead to doubt and suspicion regarding the actual events surrounding the offense, potentially even omitting information that would be valuable to the defendant in a criminal case.

An experienced criminal law attorney at Rideout Law Group is able to review AXON footage in order to determine whether any footage manipulation has occurred, as well as compare this footage to written reports and witness statements for accuracy and truthfulness.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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