The new body cameras worn by Sandy Springs Police officers recorded “instrumental” evidence in a Jan. 5 incident where an FBI agent shot an alleged gang member, according to Police Chief Ken DeSimone.

The body cameras “were very instrumental in the FBI shooting” investigation, DeSimone told the City Council at its Jan. 23 annual retreat. “The FBI commented … this is one of the first shootings they’ve had with body camera evidence,” DeSimone added, because FBI agents typically do not wear their own cameras.

Sandy Springs Deputy Police Chief Keith Zgonc demonstrates the department’s new chest-mounted body camera in 2017. (File/John Ruch)

Kevin Rowson, a spokesperson for the FBI’s Atlanta field office, declined to comment, citing potential evidence in the case. He said a “thorough investigation” continues.

The FBI previously said the Jan. 5 incident happened as agents and Sandy Springs Police officers attempted to arrest Cedrick Hill, a Marietta resident accused of being a member of a drug-trafficking gang called Nine Trey Gangster Bloods. Hill is accused of fleeing the Wyndham Atlanta Galleria hotel on Powers Ferry Road and dragging and injuring an FBI agent with his vehicle. The FBI agent shot Hill, who survived.

DeSimone said Sandy Springs officers with body cameras rode in the ambulance with Hill, “and you get a lot of evidence that way.” He told the City Council that other officers also rode with the FBI agent.

All Sandy Springs patrol officers began wearing TASER Axon brand body cameras last year. The cameras are always on, recording briefly and then re-recording over footage, unless the officer is responding to a specific incident, when he or she triggers it to keep recording.

John Ruch

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.