Sunday, May 26, 2024

As to the BATF people not wearing body cameras, update

yes, they're damn well supposed to:
Sept. 2021
Today, the Department of Justice announced the launch of the first phase of its Body-Worn Camera Program that requires department law enforcement personnel use body-worn cameras (BWCs) during pre-planned law enforcement operations. Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Phoenix and Detroit Field Divisions began using BWCs today during these pre-planned operations. Over the course of the next several weeks, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) will begin the first phase of their BWC programs. The department’s plans include a phased implementation of BWCs, and rely upon Congress to secure the necessary funding to equip agents nationwide with BWCs.
“ATF welcomes the use of body worn cameras by our agents,” said Acting Director Marvin G. Richardson of the ATF. “The department’s policy reflects ATF’s commitment to transparency as we work to reduce firearm violence in our communities.”

'Welcomes the use'.  'Commitment to transparency'.  Apparently, only when they feel like it.

A few months later, on Sept. 1, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a new policy requiring federal agents to wear body cameras during pre-planned operations. Still in the aftermath of protests and riots following Floyd's murder, Garland said the new policy would "promote transparency and confidence, not only with the communities we serve and protect, but also among our state, local and Tribal law enforcement partners who work alongside our federal agents each day."

Biden followed up with an executive order on May 25, 2022. The president instructed federal agency heads to draft policies that meet or exceed Garland's memo within three months. Within a year, Garland and other top Justice Department officials were to complete a study assessing the costs and benefits of officers reviewing camera footage before they finish reports, which would be used to set a standard of best practices for law enforcement around the nation.
Yet lots of agencies/agents aren't bothering/don't care/"You can't make us."  I'm sure with appropriate excuses.


rickn8or said...

"I'm sure with appropriate excuses."

Dettinger was trying to tap-dance around this with "You (Congress) haven't funded them yet."

X said...

Simple solution no body cameras, "lost" footage? The presumption can be made that the agents/officers we committing misconduct if there is any question that misconduct occurs. I am not anti-cop, but we have to acknowledge that there are bad cops (just like there are bad ) and that the "good cops" are under immense social pressure to cover for the bad ones. Since nearly every time there is body cam footage it shows that cop was in the right, it is not unreasonable to assume the opposite when it is "not on" or the footage is lost/corrupted and not available.

Rob said...

I have to agree with X, if you were supposed to have the camera and turned it off while people accused you of doing wrong I'd say you turned it off to hide your activity.

Mind your own business said...

So many state and local police forces have fully implemented body-cam programs that there is NO EXCUSE for the federal agencies to have not completed the same process. Which means the only reason they haven't is because they don't want to. Which says everything about how the federal agencies behave and reject transparency. They clearly play fast and loose.

I agree with X that with no body-cam footage should be interpreted by courts as misconduct by the police. The same way they treat destruction of evidence or failure to disclose exculpatory evidence. There needs to be consequences forcing federal agencies to be transparent and ethical. They sure aren't on their own efforts.