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Sat Jun 15, 2019, 09:44 AM

Federal task forces ban body cameras, so Atlanta police pull out. Others may follow.

Source: Washington Post

Federal task forces ban body cameras, so Atlanta police pull out. Others may follow.

No Justice Department agents or officers use cameras, while local police are moving toward transparency

By Tom Jackman June 14 at 1:26 PM

When an Atlanta police officer working on an FBI fugitive task force shot and killed a wanted but unarmed man in January, he hadn’t yet been assigned a body camera. Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields moved quickly to assign cameras to all of her officers on task forces and was told no. Federal agents never wear body cameras, and they prohibit local officers from wearing them on their joint operations.

Shields said she wasn’t aware of the camera ban until after investigator Sung Kim fatally shot Jimmy Atchison. When she realized the federal agencies would not bend on their “no camera” policies, Shields and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms decided late last month to pull Atlanta’s officers out of joint task forces with the Drug Enforcement Administration, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, about 25 officers total.

“If you’re policing and you’re policing properly,” Shields said, “you have nothing to fear” from wearing a body camera. Bottoms said she didn’t want to be in the position of not having video footage to answer the questions of a grieving family.

As more local police departments require their officers to record their actions, chiefs have been joining Atlanta in pushing back against the federal prohibition on body cameras. They note that the Justice Department has helped fund and train local police departments in body-camera use while ignoring federal use.


Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/crime-law/2019/06/14/federal-task-forces-ban-body-cameras-so-atlanta-police-pull-out-others-may-follow/

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Reply Federal task forces ban body cameras, so Atlanta police pull out. Others may follow. (Original post)
Eugene Jun 2019 OP
stopdiggin Jun 2019 #1

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Sat Jun 15, 2019, 02:15 PM

1. did not know this

Thanks. I was not aware that the Feds had a blanket ban on body cams. Curious, is there a rationale advanced on this?

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