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Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Federal law enforcement agents will now be required to wear body cameras when making "pre-planned" arrests and when executing search warrants, the Justice Department said Monday.

The big picture: The new directive marks the end of a policy that prohibited federal officers from wearing body cameras. The Justice Department had previously argued body cameras posed "a potential risk to sensitive investigations," per NPR.

  • In 2020, then-Attorney General Bill Barr said that local officers were allowed to wear body cameras when working on federal task forces.

State of play: Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced the new policy in a memo, saying that the DOJ "recognizes the transparency and accountability" needed in order to "build trust with the communities we serve."

  • Monaco said federal security agencies — such as the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives — have 30 days each to submit body-camera policies, including how long footage should be preserved for and under what measures it should be released to the public.
  • After 90 days, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys will conduct trainings regarding how to use body-camera footage as evidence.

What they're saying: "Although the Department's law enforcement components do not regularly conduct patrols or routinely engage with the public in response to emergency calls, there are circumstances where the Department's agents encounter the public during pre-planned law enforcement operations," Monaco wrote.

  • "The Department is committed to the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs) by the Department' s law enforcement agents in such circumstances," she added.
  • "I am 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."

Go deeper

Jun 7, 2021 - Technology

U.S. recovers millions in cryptocurrency paid to Colonial Pipeline hackers

A fuel tank at Colonial Pipeline's Dorsey Junction Station on May 13, 2021 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.S. investigators have recovered $2.3 million worth of cryptocurrency paid as a ransom to the cybercrime group responsible for the attack that shut down Colonial Pipeline last month, the Justice Department announced Monday.

Driving the news: Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount told the Wall Street Journal he authorized a $4.4 million ransom payment to the DarkSide cybercrime group on May 7th in an attempt to restore service of the largest refined fuel pipeline in the U.S.

Senate report: Failure to relay intelligence permitted Jan. 6 attack

A clash within the Capitol Rotunda on Jan. 6. Photo: Mostafa Bassim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Last December, the Capitol Police intelligence division began gathering data from social media about plots to breach the Capitol, as well as specific calls for violence on Jan. 6 and maps of the building's tunnel systems, a new Senate report finds.

Why it matters: The scope of these threats was not relayed to USCP leadership, rank-and-file officers or federal law enforcement agencies. As a result, all were unprepared for the worst attack since the War of 1812, the 127-page document reveals.

Colonial Pipeline CEO tells Congress paying ransom was "the right choice"

Colonial Pipeline CEO Joseph Blount defended his decision Tuesday to pay the hackers that launched a ransomware attack against the crucial fuel line, telling a Senate panel it was "the right choice" and that he put "the interests of the country first."

Why it matters: Federal investigators for years have recommended that companies do not pay hacking groups to decrypt their computer systems over fears that the transactions would encourage more groups to conduct future attacks.