Dec 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

ICE to pilot body-worn cameras in select cities

Photo of two federal agents walking around a vehicle at a traffic stop

Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents work a traffic stop after an early morning stakeout on Jan. 8, 2020. Photo: Eamon Queeney/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced Tuesday a body-worn camera pilot program for special agents in select cities.

Why it matters: The move comes amid renewed attention on law enforcement misconduct after a year of reckoning with police killings of Black Americans. News reports and human rights groups have documented ICE officers' violent use of force against migrants, primarily Latinos.

Details: The deployment of cameras will occur in stages. Special agents in the Homeland Security Investigations unit will start wearing the cameras for pre-planned operations in Houston, New York City and Newark, New Jersey.

  • They will be trained on proper use of the devices, civil liberties safeguards, data storage and more.
  • The camera will be mounted on the officer or agent's outerwear.

What they're saying: "The body-worn camera pilot is an effort to increase transparency between ICE and the communities we serve, enhance officer safety, and deliver on our commitment to accountability," acting ICE director Tae D. Johnson said in a statement.

  • "With its body-worn camera pilot, ICE is making an important statement that transparency and accountability are essential components of our ability to fulfill our law enforcement mission and keep communities safe," DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas added. 

Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify that special agents will be the officers initially testing the body-worn cameras.

Go deeper