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Deputy Attorney General Orders Federal Agents to Wear Body Cameras

The United States Department of Justice announced this week that federal agents are now required to wear body cameras while on duty. Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco wrote in a memo to various agencies on Monday that proposals to implement the updated policy must be submitted within the next month and that training programs need to be in place in 90 days.

Photo by Jonathan Ernst-Pool/Getty Images

Despite the unending instances of cops using excessive force and killing unarmed civilians, establishing a consistent national standard for body camera usage has proven to be exceptionally difficult. Based on her memo, Monaco is aiming to increase accountability and protect the public from unjust practices by law enforcement.

“The Department is committed to the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by the Department’ s law enforcement agents in such circumstances. In October 2020, the Department announced a policy that permits state and local officers on Department ofJustice Task Forces to wear and activate BWCs when the use of force is possible – while serving arrest warrants, executing other planned arrest operations, and during the execution of search warrants,” the memo states.

“Today, based on recommendations from the Department’s law enforcement components, I am directing the Acting Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives; the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Director of the Federal Bureau of lnvestigation, and the Director of the United States Marshals Service to develop and submit for review, within 30 days, component BWC policies that require agents to wear and activate BWC recording equipment for purposes of recording their actions during: (1) a pre-planned attempt to serve an arrest warrant or other pre-planned arrest, including the apprehension of fugitives sought on state and local warrants; or (2) the execution of a search or seizure warrant or order,” wrote Monaco.

Monaco added that she is “proud of the job performed by the Department’s law enforcement agents, and 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.”

Read Monaco’s full memo here.



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