ATF agents not wearing bodycams during shootout with Clinton airport executive director, Republicans demand answers

Republicans are seeking answers regarding the killing last month of the executive director of the Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were executing a search warrant last month at the home of Bryan Malinowski, 53, when he opened fire, prompting a shootout that led to him sustaining fatal injuries and dying days later.

The ATF had accused him of purchasing over 100 guns and then illegally selling them, including at least three that were later linked to crimes, according to The New York Times.

“He would go to gun shows, the affidavit said, including two in Arkansas and one in Tennessee, and sell guns to people ‘without asking for any identification or paperwork,'” the Times notes.

Here’s the problem: Arkansas Sens. Tom Cotton and John Boozman, both Republicans, have since confirmed that the agents who effectively killed Malinowski weren’t wearing body cameras.

“The Department of Justice confirmed to us last night that the ATF agents involved in the execution of a search warrant of the home of Bryan Malinowski weren’t wearing body cameras,” the senators said in a joint statement released Friday.

“We will continue to press the Department to explain how this violation of its own policy could’ve happened and to disclose the full circumstances of this tragedy. Mr. Malinowski’s family and the public have a right to a full accounting of the facts,” they added.

This is a problem precisely because the ATF adopted a policy in 2022 requiring the use of body cameras during the execution of search warrants.

“This policy provides parameters for the use of BWCs [body-worn cameras] by TFOs [task force officers] to the extent that a state or local law enforcement agency requires their use by its officers during federal task force operations,” a Department of Justice memo discussing the policy reportedly reads.

As of late April, the only publicly available footage of the raid was from Malinowski’s Ring surveillance camera (*Language warning):

According to Malinowski family attorney Bud Cummins, the bodycam policy was enacted following the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor.

“It is astounding for ATF to now claim they simply ignored this clear policy,” Cummins told Fox News. “It obviously raises more questions than it answers.”

Questions that Malinowski’s family desperately wants answered.

“Our family has endured an unspeakable tragedy and one that is almost impossible to understand,” the family said in a statement after his death. “We are mourning the loss of Bryan, who passed away earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers also go out to the government agent who was injured yesterday, and to his family.”

“We do not understand the government’s decisions which led to a dawn raid on a private home and triggered the use of deadly force. We are obviously concerned about the allegations in the affidavit released by the government today. Even if the allegations in the affidavit are true, they don’t begin to justify what happened,” they added.

“At worst, Bryan Malinowski, a gun owner and gun enthusiast, stood accused of making private firearm sales to a person who may not have been legally entitled to purchase the guns. For now, we will wait for all the facts to come out. In the meantime, we ask that the public and the media respect our privacy,” the family concluded.

Local lawmakers are also involved. They held a protest at the state capitol on Thursday to demand more information about what happened during the March 21st raid on Malinowski’s home.

“Why the pre-dawn raid? ATF knew where he lived. They knew where he worked, they knew his routine. Why send full SWTA cars filled with tactical gear? Where the hell is the footage?” state Rep. Matt Duffield, a Republican, asked during the protest.

“I get fearful when I see this type of pre-dawn raid simply to execute a search warrant to a valued member of our community, not some former gangster with a rap sheet that needs to have a no knock warrant issued, perhaps,” state Sen. Mark Johnson, a Republican, added.

Vivek Saxena

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