County says camera policy excuses undercover MPs responsible for fatal shooting
MEMPHIS, Tenn. –WREG learned more about the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office camera policy in light of a fatal shooting for which MPs said they had no footage.
A Shelby County Sheriff’s deputy shot dead Antonio Jackson on August 16 in the Robinhood Park apartment complex when deputies said he threatened them with his car. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating.
For Jackson’s family, the pain of his death is still alive.
“He was human, father, son. He meant something to someone,” family members said.
Law enforcement and Jackson’s family tell different stories of how this happened.
“To prevent this fatal attack, our deputy shot the driver,” Lt. Dallas Wolfe said on the day of the incident.
“My baby was stuck inside his vehicle. Talk to so many people and they say he didn’t hit this officer, ”Jackson’s mother said.
Until now, the public did not know why the MPs were there.
“They were working on a case in this area. But again, we won’t be disclosing the details of this, ”Wolfe said.
“They won’t tell me anything. I just need to know why, ”Jackson’s mother said.
Now officials from the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirm to WREG that the deputies who approached Jackson were undercover and that is why they have no video of the incident.
As a result, WREG asked officials about their camera policies. Here is what we learned.
They have 400 body cameras for all patrollers and 176 on-board cameras for vehicles.
The policy states both the cameras “must remain on” in readiness during the Deputy Minister’s tour of duty.
We know MPs and their vehicles were at the scene of Antonio Jackson’s death because WREG footage showed them there.
Still, officials said: “We mistakenly thought there were images, but we have since learned that there are none available.”
They distinguish between most MPs and the undercover unit, which they say does not have cameras: “Undercover detectives need to be able to blend in with the groups of people they are investigating. The use of body cameras or detectable vehicles would jeopardize undercover missions and could endanger lives.
But in Jackson’s case, it was his life that ended in the hands of a deputy.
Her sister said all agents, even undercover agents, should be equipped with cameras.
“We just want to know the truth,” she said.
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