The Justice Department announced Monday it's awarding more than $20 million for law enforcement agencies around the country to establish or enhance their use of body cameras, a move that comes after several fatal shootings of black men by police that have prompted widespread protests.
Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced the grant at the opening of a Justice Department summit in Little Rock focused on reducing violent crime. The department said the grants are being awarded to 106 state, city, tribal and municipal law enforcement agencies.
"Of course, even as we strive to support local leaders and our law enforcement partners in their work to protect their communities, we are mindful — we know, we see every day — that effective public safety requires more than arrests and prosecutions," Lynch said. "Because It also requires winning, and keeping, the trust and the confidence of the citizens we serve."
Lynch didn't directly address the recent shootings of black suspects by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, or Charlotte, North Carolina. The Tulsa district attorney's office last week charged Officer Betty Shelby with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher. Police released aerial and dashboard video from the shooting, but did not have any body camera footage. Tulsa police officers don't have body cameras, although they were selected to receive a nearly $600,000 cash-match grant for them in 2015.
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