Media Contact

Tom Hargis, ACLU of Texas, [email protected]

November 12, 2015

HOUSTON — Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced his decision to expand CBP’s review — but not its use — of body-worn cameras for its field officers and agents. According to Kerlikowske, CBP must reconsider policy and privacy questions; storage, training and funding issues; and union concerns.

The following may be attributed to Terri Burke, executive director of the ACLU of Texas:

“Customs and Border Protection has had body cameras on its agenda for two years now, and with today’s announcement it looks as if they’ll stay on the agenda for at least two more. If CBP was as serious as it says it is about transparency and accountability, the agency would prioritize the deployment of body-worn cameras to all its field personnel immediately. The use of body cameras would ensure that CBP’s officers remain accountable for their actions and would also protect them from false or frivolous complaints. We can no longer afford to accommodate CBP’s stalling tactics: at least 42 people have died at the hands of CBP officers in the last five years, and incidents of racial profiling and infringements on civil liberties remain rampant and unchecked. It’s got to stop.”