The United States Department of Justice has announced that federal agents will be required to wear body cameras when serving warrants. This change is set to include agents that work for the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco.
"I am confident that these policies will continue to engender the trust and confidence of the American people in the work of the Department of Justice," Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.
Prior to the Department of Justice's recent policy change, federal agents had been barred from wearing body cameras when issuing an arrest warrant. In contrast, many state and local police departments had already required that officers wear body cameras when issuing arrest warrants or executing search warrants. However, state and local officers were often required to turn their body cameras off when working on joint operations with federal agents. Differences in policies such as these could often create friction between federal and state agents.
Moving forward, the FBI, DEA, U.S. Marshals Services and Bureau of Alcohol and Tobacco will have 30 days to develop proposals for how they'll use body cameras moving forward. Also, these federal entities must "designate a senior official with responsibility for implementation and oversight of its [body-worn camera] policy." Sixty days later, these same groups must put together training programs that address the use of body camera footage as evidence.
Following the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and several others, there has been a renewed push for all law enforcement officers to wear body cameras when interacting with citizens. Members of the Biden administration have also pushed for the passage of the George Floyd Justice In Policing Act as another method of holding police officers accountable.
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