Norton, Beyer Applaud Department of Justice Decision They Fought for to Allow Local Police Who are Part of Federal Task Forces to Wear Body Cameras
Washington, October 30, 2020
Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) applauded last night’s Department of Justice (DOJ) decision to allow local police officers who are on federal task forces to wear body cameras. Norton and Beyer have introduced two body camera bills: The first bill, which passed the House this year, would require all uniformed federal police officers to wear body cameras and have dashboard cameras in police vehicles, and the second bill would prohibit the federal government from refusing to work with local police departments that require their officers to wear body cameras, which would essentially codify DOJ’s new policy. IDOJ had prohibited local police officers on federal task forces from wearing body cameras.
“In this year of increasing clashes and protests over police violence, it’s particularly appropriate that the Department of Justice has taken this small step toward police accountability by allowing local police officers who are part of federal task forces to wear body cameras,” Norton said. “Local and federal police should always be on the same page, especially on a matter such as body cameras, whose effectiveness has been shown. This should be the first step toward full accountability, when both federal and local police officers will embrace appropriate use of body cameras.”
“I’m glad to see that the Justice Department has reversed course after a year and a half of pursuing a backwards policy of discouraging local law enforcement from using body cameras,” Beyer said. “This is a step in the right direction, but it should never have been necessary and cost crucial time. Every federal officer should use body-worn cameras, and the Administration must embrace forward-thinking reforms that improve transparency and accountability of policing.”