In a Wall Street Journal report on 11/12/2015 (behind their pay wall) the United States Marshals Service has banned body cameras. In most major metropolitan areas the United States Marshals Service runs Fugitive Task Forces. These units are made up of Deputy US Marshals and state and local police officers.
Due to pressure from the administration many state and local agencies have begun equipping their officers with body cams. Typically these cams are deployed with patrol units and units engaged in high threat enforcement actions. Think SWAT, Narcotics raid teams and Fugitive apprehension teams. However, those officers equipped with body cams that are assigned to US Marshal run Fugitive Task Forces are not allowed to deploy their cameras.
This apparently came down from the Justice Department and is therefore likely to apply to all Federal Law Enforcement agencies with state and local task forces, although that is not stated.
This puts the officers in a Catch-22. If they wear the cameras they are in violation of US Marshal rules and can have their assignment terminated. If they don’t wear them they are in violation of their agency policy and can be fired. If the agency waives the requirement and allows the officers to operate without the cameras, then they may be faced with extensive litigation for not following their policy.
Most transparent administration ever. My ass.