Atlanta Chief of Police Erika Shields. Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Local police are increasing their use of body cameras, which often puts them at odds with the federal agents they work with — who "never wear body cameras," the Washington Post reports.

The big picture: A 2018 Justice Department survey found that 47% general-purpose law enforcement agencies had acquired body cameras by 2016. 80% of the largest local police departments, which employ 500 or more full-time sworn officers, had acquired body cameras by that time.

What's happening: Local police departments tell the Post the DOJ "has helped fund and train local police departments in body-camera use while ignoring federal use." When local officers work with federal agents on joint task forces, they are prohibited from wearing body cameras.

What they're saying:

  • “I believe they have an obligation to join us in 21st-century policing,” Todd Axtell, the St. Paul, Minnesota police chief, told the Post about federal agencies.“This is what they’ve been preaching. It’s ironic they aren’t complying with what they preach to be so important in policing.”
  • The Justice Department's lack of camera use is due to “safety and security concerns, such as protecting sensitive or tactical methods used in arresting violent fugitives or conducting covert investigations," a DOJ official told the Post.
  • “If you’re policing and you’re policing properly,” Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields told the Post, “you have nothing to fear” from wearing a body camera.

What to watch: Shields pulled Atlanta's officers from federal joint task forces with the DEA, the FBI and others after federal agents refused to wear body cameras — and chiefs in Houston and Austin are considering the same if a compromise isn't reached with federal agencies.

Go deeper: The police technology revolution no one is hearing about

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
9 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

Dave Lawler, author of World
10 hours ago - World

Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China

Data: Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance; Map: Naema Ahmed/Axios

A global initiative to ensure equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccines now includes most of the world — but not the U.S., China or Russia.

Why it matters: Assuming one or more vaccines ultimately gain approval, there will be a period of months or even years in which supply lags far behind global demand. The COVAX initiative is an attempt to ensure doses go where they're most needed, rather than simply to countries that can produce or buy them at scale.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!