County says camera policy excuses undercover deputies responsible for fatal shooting

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — WREG has learned more about the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office camera policy in light of a fatal shooting for which deputies said they have no footage.

A Shelby County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Antonio Jackson on August 16 at the Robinhood Park apartment complex when deputies said he threatened them with his car. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now investigating.

For Jackson’s family, the pain of his death is still raw.

“He was a human, father, son. He meant something to somebody,” family members said.

Law enforcement and Jackson’s family tell different stories of how it happened.

“To prevent this deadly attack, our deputy shot at the driver,” Lt. Dallas Wolfe said on the day of the incident.

“My baby was blocked in inside his vehicle. Talk to so many people and they say he did not hit this officer,” Jackson’s mother said.

Until now, the public had no idea why deputies were there.

“They were working a case in this area. But again we won’t divulge details of this,” Wolfe said.

“They won’t tell me anything. I just need to know why,” Jackson’s mother said.

Now, officials with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office confirm to WREG the deputies who approached Jackson were undercover and that’s why they have no video of the incident.

As a result, WREG has been asking officials about their camera policies. Here’s what we’ve learned.

They have 400 body cameras for all patrol officers and 176 dash cameras for vehicles.

The policy states both cameras “must remain ‘on’ in a state of readiness during the deputy’s tour of duty.”

We know deputies and their vehicles were at the scene of Antonio Jackson’s death because WREG footage showed them there.

Still, officials said, “We incorrectly thought there was footage but have since learned there was none available.”

They make the distinction between most deputies and the undercover unit, which they said are not issued cameras: “Undercover detectives must be able to blend in with the groups of people they are investigating. The use of body or vehicle cameras that can be spotted would jeopardize undercover missions and could endanger lives.”

But in Jackson’s case, it’s his life that ended at the hands of a deputy.

His sister said all officers, even the undercover ones, should be equipped with cameras.

“We just wanna know the truth,” she said.

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