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The Louisville field office for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) hosted a media round table to talk about Kentucky, COVID era challenges and changes brought about by 2020.
Special Agent in Charge Robert Brown, Criminal Program Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Brian Jones, and National Security Program Assistant Special in Charge Quincy Barnett answered questions.
First and foremost, they talked about keeping the public informed.
“I think we always strive to inform the public of what is going on,” said Brown. “I think it is important for the public to see we are assisting.”
Of course, in the case of open investigations, transparency is simply not always a possibility. However, in recent years, particularly during Covid, the bureau has made an effort to employ social media, particularly Twitter, and informing the community and involving the community.
Brown and the others stated that more and more, because of the dynamic of social media, they are reaching out to the public at large for help. In particular, they have asked the public to assist in identifying participants in the Capitol riots.
“We want to be open and transparent with all of it,” said Jones. “We don’t want to have the reputation the FBI usually does.”
Accountability & Changing Laws
Also, a hot topic of discussion were issues that stemmed from the Breonna Taylor shooting death last March, and similar scenarios.
At this time, body cams are not mandatory for federal agents. “I think that will change,” said Brown.
“They expect that in the coming months, with a lot of changes in rules and regulations at all levels, body cams will become mandatory, particularly when it is what were referred to as “Adversarial, high-risk scenarios”.
They also addressed the fact that the FBI has handled more criminal complaints in the past year. Violent crimes have seen an uptick in the Louisville Metro area, and to some degree so have less populated parts of the state.
“We have seen more robberies of pharmacies,” said Brown.
As always, drugs are a concern. Cartel-linked methamphetamine distribution has changed to some degree too, according to the FBI.
“The cartel is as concerned about Covid as anyone,” Brown said.
To assist the FBI, and to see images of people wanted in connection with the capital riots, visit www.fbi.gov