American Tomahawk

Viridian Gun Cam Goes Viral, Exceeds Five Million Views

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – May 20, 2020 – Earlier this year, evidence from the FACT Duty™ Weapon-Mounted Camera (WMC™) was presented for the first time in an officer-involved shooting (OIS) trial. The social media power and public interest in Weapon-Mounted Cameras became evident after news of the trial in Vernon, Texas broke. The video of the incident, including a direct comparison of incident gun camera footage to body cam footage, has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube and was shared with a world-wide audience of more than 75 million people through mainstream media coverage.

The WMC provided the critical evidence for the case in Wilbarger County, Texas by showing the defendant pointing a sawed-off shotgun at Vernon Police Corporal T.J. Session during an exchange of gunfire in which both Corporal Session and the defendant were shot and wounded. This was the first time an officer-involved shooting was captured by a gun camera. Body camera and dash camera video was also available from the incident, but the Viridian FACT Duty provided the only unfettered evidence of the defendant reaching for a weapon and subsequently shooting the officer. The defendant was convicted by the jury of aggravated assault on a public official and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

“The defense team brought up several questions regarding the details of the event that the Body Camera footage was insufficient to answer,” said Viridian General Counsel and Chief Legal Officer, Matthew Plowman, who was part of the Viridian team attending the trial. “The gun camera footage provided the key evidence that led to the jury convicting the defendant in exactly 16 minutes. This is an example of how the WMC is a critical risk management tool for law enforcement agencies and the municipalities they serve in every corner of the country.”

“We invented the FACT Duty after seeing communities literally torn apart because of a lack of evidence in officer involved shootings,” said Viridian President and CEO Brian Hedeen. “Seeing our gun camera play a key role in such a life-altering event was even more validation for the efforts of our entire team to get this to market and in the hands of as many officers as possible. It also rewards the trust of so many agencies across the country. To see the recent coverage and response online has also been amazing. Literally in a matter of hours, more than one million people saw this video on YouTube alone—which clearly showed how justified and heroic Corporal Session’s actions were that day—and how engaged the public is on this topic.

“We know this is something that is essential for modern policing. The public demands and deserves to know what really happened—and police departments and municipalities benefit from the openness and visibility as well. And the full scope of events captured by our gun camera alongside body cams and dash cams was very powerful. It showed in a real-world event that our technology provides a new and needed perspective, no matter what other video or evidence-gathering devices are present. And agencies across the country have responded. The number of departments that called after seeing the YouTube videos and news coverage has been astounding.”

More information on FACT Duty WMCs can be found at Gun-Camera.com. Viridian offerings are available at ViridianWeaponTech.com.

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