Taser Surges as Government Announces Body-Camera Program

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Taser International Inc., which makes body cameras for police officers, closed at a 10-year high Friday as the federal government said it planned to spend $20 million on such devices for police departments.

The Scottsdale, Arizona-based company, which also makes electronic weapons, is benefiting from calls for greater accountability following high-profile deaths of black men at the hands of police. The April death of Freddie Gray while in Baltimore police custody sparked civil protests and riots in the city.

The Justice Department said the body-camera pilot program was the first step in an effort to spend $75 million over the next three years to deploy 50,000 body cameras to law-enforcement agencies nationwide.

Taser on Thursday reported earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, sending the company’s shares up 7.6 percent. Earlier this week, Taser signed a deal to provide cameras to the British Transport Police. Revenue in the company’s video segment was $18.9 million last year, an increase of 81 percent from 2013.

The shares rose 7.2 percent to close at $32.37 on Friday, their highest point since December 2004.

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