April 17, 2024

EEAC Kickoff 2024

At Axon, we are on a mission to Protect Life. Responsible innovation and a deep focus on ethics and equity within our product development processes are core to Axon's DNA. Established in 2022, Axon's Ethics and Equity Advisory Committee (EEAC) brings together community leaders and community-focused academics who help Axon responsibly develop and deploy public safety technologies, with the goal that everyone gets home safe.

The EEAC is an independent body of community leaders and community-focused academics who work to ensure ethics and equity are weaved into the fabric of all Axon products and services. The EEAC advises Axon on a host of internal and external issues to help center the needs and perspectives of communities in the creation of future Axon Ecosystem solutions. The EEAC also reviews and provides feedback and recommendations on a limited number of Axon products per year, and aids in training product leaders on equitable development practices.

EEAC 2023 Year End Report

Download Axon's 2023 Ethics and Equity Advisory Council Year End Report for insights into the key learnings of 2023 and the work that lies ahead in the coming year.

Download Report

EEAC Kickoff Highlight Video

In March, our co-equal U.S. and U.K. EEAC members came together for the 2024 Kick Off. Our annual EEAC Kickoff event serves as a chance for EEAC members, stakeholders and partners to align on goals for the year. The team spent the week planning Product Reviews and Ethical Tech Trainings for the coming year. Additionally, the EEAC welcomed community partners into discussions to ensure current community sentiment is captured and can influence the group’s 2024 workflows.

EEAC member spotlight

U.S. Council

Jeff Taylor

After a college football injury, Jeff Taylor started a decade-long fight against addiction to pain medication, eventually leaving him homeless and facing a 4-6 year drug sentence. Instead of prison time, he was diverted to and graduated from a drug treatment program. He went on to earn a teaching certificate before becoming a lobbyist for prison reform, community and law enforcement relations, homelessness, drug addiction, and inmate diversion and treatment programs. After 12 years of recovery, Taylor was hit by a car while biking, which led to a relapse. While in a prison cell, Taylor wrote SB 1093, which passed and has since released early nearly 20,000 inmates into transitional services like drug treatment and job placement programs, and reduced recidivism rates by 63%. Now free and sober, Taylor continues to write legislation.

Bertha Purnell

After a 35-year nursing career, Bertha Purnell became a community advocate after her youngest son Maurice was killed by gun violence in June of 2017. Purnell works with community members, law enforcement and elected officials to help build a safe and healthy community. She founded Mothers on a Mission 28 and co-facilitates a bi-weekly support group called Hope and Healing to support families who have been affected by violence. She serves as the chapter coordinator for Crime Survivors for Safety & Justice. She is also a strong Restorative Justice proponent, a partner of Nature 120, the Chairman of the Gun Violence Task Force, a partner to the Funeral Home Task Force under Commissioner Richard Boykin, and a Community Ambassador in the 15th and 25th Districts in Chicago as part of the Neighborhood Policing Initiative (NPI).

Dr. Broderick Turner

Broderick L. Turner, Jr., Ph.D is an assistant professor of Marketing at the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. He leads multiple research projects that consider how technology impacts vulnerable consumers. In particular his work focuses on video surveillance technology, such as body-worn cameras and CCTV, and how the video available from these sources alters people's judgments, especially of police-involved episodes. His research has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) and featured on the Verge Technology Podcast, NPR (KJZZ), The Appeal, The Pacific Standard Mag, and the Nature Human Behavior. Turner also founded The Flea-Market Lab that aims to never generalize findings to vulnerable populations without working directly with them.

Michelle Vilchez

Michelle Vilchez joined Innovate Public Schools, a national education equity organization, as coCEO, in 2021. Prior to that, Michelle served as the Executive Director of the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center, a communication and conflict resolution agency focused on bringing diverse communities together to work on society’s most complex issues. Her focus on bringing together community members, law enforcement, faith based groups and local government to build a stronger community. In 2016, Michelle was named Woman of the Year by the California State Assembly, and In 2019 was selected by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network with the Center for Creative Leadership as a fellow. Michelle was born and raised in Southern California and has a BA in Psychology and Cross Cultural Education. She currently serves as a fellow with the Pahara Institute.

Sean Walton ESQ

Sean L. Walton, Jr. is a talented and highly sought-after litigator who focuses his practice on complex serious personal injury, wrongful death and civil rights matters. Sean takes an aggressive and innovative approach with every case, looking to utilize his legal acumen to fight for his clients each step of the way. For his work, Sean has been named a Rising Star in Ohio by Super Lawyers and a Top 40 under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers, the American Society of Legal Advocates, the National Black Lawyers, and the National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys.

Sean is a member of the Board of Trustees for the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The AAJ provides trial attorneys with information, professional support and a nationwide network that enables them to most effectively and expertly represent clients. Sean is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Ohio Association for Justice (OAJ). The OAJ is devoted to strengthening the civil justice system so that deserving individuals can get justice and wrongdoers are held accountable. Sean recently developed a civil rights section for the Ohio Association for Justice of which he currently serves as the chairperson.

Dr. Desmond Patton

Dr. Patton is the 31st Penn Integrates Knowledge University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. His research uses qualitative and computational data collection methods to examine the relationship between youth and gang violence and social media; how and why violence, grief, and identity are expressed on social media; and the real-world impact these expressions have on well-being for low-income youth of color. He studies the ways in which gang-involved youth conceptualize threats on social media, and the extent to which social media shapes and facilitates youth and gang violence. Dr. Patton is the founding director of SAFELab, a member of the Data Science Institute, and a faculty affiliate of the Social Intervention Group (SIG). He holds a courtesy appointment in the department of Sociology. He is the recipient of the 2018 Deborah K. Padgett Early Career Achievement Award from the Society for Social Work Research (SSWR) and was named a 2017-2018 fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society.

Dr. Wilneida Negrón

Dr. Wilneida Negrón started her career as a therapist for court-placed youth and immigrant communities in NYC. She recently worked at the Ford Foundation, where she led strategy development across several theme areas, including Race, Technology and Society, and Future of Work(ers). She is currently part of the Ford Foundation’s and Mozilla’s public efforts to explore the impact and sustainability of public interest technology projects in the US, Europe, and the Global South. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Political Science at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, has a PhD in Comparative Politics, an MPA, and an MPhil in International and Global Affairs. She is a lifelong fellow for Data & Society Research Institute and an Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity.

Devon Simmons

In 2012, while incarcerated at Otisville Correctional Facility, Devon Simmons enrolled in John Jay College of Criminal Justice’s Prison-to-College Pipeline program. After his release, Simmons obtained degrees from Hostos Community College and John Jay, and has continued to be a reform advocate through his work as an International Ambassador for the Incarceration Nations Network, helping establish Prison-to-College Pipeline programs internationally. He is also a graduate of Columbia University's Justice-in-Education Scholars program and was a 2017 David Rockefeller Fund Fellow. More recently, Simmons is a 2019 Soros Justice Fellow, Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity, and Project Director at Columbia Law School for the Paralegal Pathways Initiative.

U.K. Council

Dr. Karen Graham

Dr Graham's work has been at the nexus of professional practice, academic research and scholar activism. At the beginning of her teaching practice, she spent three years working with adult male prisoners in two UK prisons. This formed the background to her Doctorate in Education 'Does School Prepare Men for Prison? She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and has developed, taught and externally examined degree programmes in Education, Sociology, Working with Children, Young People & Families and Criminology across several universities. She also founded and led the development of 'Going Straight 2 University', a project that brought university students and prisoner students together to earn credits towards a degree in HMP Birmingham. Dr Graham currently teaches criminology at University of Law, Bloomsbury and City, University of London.

Prof. Allyson McVean

As Emeritus Professor of Policing and Criminology, Allyson's research has impelled and encouraged institution-wide ethical leadership and culture change in several organisations, in particular the Police Service of England and Wales, Police Scotland and the military. Her work with these organisations – those that are conferred with powers that include the use of force and other morally intrusive tactics - has collectively raised ethical awareness and understanding, leading to changed attitudes and better decision making. Allyson works with the Royal Navy having undertaken the Review into the Ethical Health and Culture Across the Five Arms of the Royal Navy (2018/2019) and assisted the development of the ethics agenda in the Royal Marines. Allyson is a member of the NATO Research Task Group 304 on Ethical Leadership.

Desmond Brown

Desmond Brown is the Independent Chair for the Avon and Somerset Lammy review which produced a report into disproportionality in the Avon and Somerset Criminal Justice System in March 2022. Brown is the Founder and a Director at Growing Futures UK, a community interest company that works with children, young people and their families affected by exclusions, child criminal exploitation and serious youth violence. Desmond is Chair of HMP Bristol Employment Advisory Board and Vice Chair of the Independent Scrutiny Panel of Police Powers and Use-of-Force as well as a member of the Bristol City Council's Children and Young People's Board and Exclusion Task Force. Desmond is a fierce advocate for racial and community justice both locally and nationally.

Alex Holmes

Alex is a non-profit leader with over a decade of experience working in schools and with youth on behavior, violence, online harms and mental health and wellbeing, focusing on community cohesion, and shaping attitudes and changing behaviors.

Alex's work has been influenced by his own experience of racism and bullying, which resulted in him creating a peer to peer support system which is now present in over 5,000 schools across UK, Ireland and globally.

Alex sits on the global safety advisory boards of the majority of the major social media and tech companies advising them on their approach to trust, safety and online harms. Here he looks at new products, tools, features and ensures this innovation is safe, looking at it with an equity lens.

He is a Queen’s Young Leader, Forbes 30 Under 30, a recipient of The Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Award.

Alex was named on the Independent on Sunday's Happy List as one of the ‘100 people who make Britain a happier place to live’ and has a keen interest on barriers to children’s happiness and wellbeing.

Giles Herdale

Giles Herdale is the co-chair of the UK Independent Digital Ethics Panel for Policing (IDEPP), which works to explain the importance of ethics in digital policing and ensuring UK police forces factor ethics into their digital policing programs from the outset. He is an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute and served as the Program Director for Digital Intelligence and Investigation at the National Police Chiefs' Council and was the National Digital Intelligence and Investigation Strategy Lead for Essex Police.

Maya Mate-Kole

Maya works for the Golden Key Partnership Research Programme managing the award winning Call In Programme in partnership with Avon & Somerset Police Constabulary. The Call In offers a trauma informed and person centred diversionary scheme to Black, and minoritised young people involved in serious youth violence, criminal exploitation and drug related offending. In addition to her work with young people and within local communities, Maya is also a commissioner for the Mayoral Commission on Race Equality; leading the criminal justice task group to influence systemic change in relation to structural inequality and race equity. Maya is also Vice Chair of Avon & Somerset Constabulary's Women's Independent Advisory Group, a member of the Inclusive Policing Group and continues to offer scrutiny to the force in addition to a number of other board/advisory group positions.

Delano Gourmet-Moore

A lifelong Bristolian of French-Caribbean & Irish descent, Delano Gournet-Moore was raised in the communities of Montpelier and St. Paul's, two of the traditionally Black areas of Bristol. He completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Anthropology & Archaeology at the University of Bristol, with both his dissertations focussing primarily on experiences of anti-Black racism as experienced by Black staff and students in the universities, and as experienced by young Black people living in Bristol. Delano serves as a Digital Youth Engagement Officer for a Bristol-based network of African & Caribbean community organisations called African Voices Forum; his role is centered around the empowerment of young people of African descent in Bristol. In 2016, he wrote, researched and presented on 'There is Black in the Union Jack', a documentary commissioned by Black South-West Network.

To learn more about the EEAC, please visit axon.com/eeac.