DOJ ROLLS OUT BODY-WORN CAMERA POLICY—ATF FIRST TO BEGIN IMPLEMENTING


On September 1st, 2021, the DOJ released a press release concerning the implementation of

body-worn cameras by federal agents in some circumstances (see quoted text below). The full

press release can be found here.


In relation to the ATF, the DOJ’s press release states:


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.

. . .


“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.”

. . .


On June 7 . . . Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco directed the ATF, DEA, FBI

and USMS to develop individualized comprehensive 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. Consistent

across each of these policies is a presumption that BWC recordings depicting

conduct resulting in serious bodily injury or death of another will be released as

soon as practical.



Mandatory use of body-worn cameras (“BWC”) by federal agents will potentially have a

profoundly beneficial impact on ensuring accountability, transparency, and fairness for the

firearms industry and general public during their interactions with ATF and other federal law

enforcement agencies. FRAC will continue to monitor this development and post updates as

we learn more details on how this policy rollout will impact ATF.

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