Just this week, FBI director Christopher Wray met with law enforcement agents in Denver, Colorado. Wray met with agents from the agency’s Denver field office on Thursday as part of his mission to visit all of the 56 FBI offices in the U.S. by the end of the year.
Wray’s visits seem to be intent on unifying the offices across the country in order to fight against the threats that face our nation. As reported by Deborah Takahara of Fox Denver, Wray stated that “the threats we face as a country — as a community — have become so significant, so vexing, so persistent, [that] even if we wanted to take them on individually, we couldn’t.”
Wray also met with others during his visit, including prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s office as well as Colorado’s and Wyoming’s police chiefs and sheriffs, stating that “the reality is [that] law enforcement —as one community — has to be able to tackle these things together.”
While here, it was no surprise that Wray was asked to speak to a recent incident here in Denver involving agent Chase Bishop who was caught on camera in a bar in Denver doing a backflip and subsequently losing control of his gun.
During the incident which occurred in June, the off-duty FBI agent accidentally shot a bystander in the leg. In the video of the incident, the officer can be seen to be dancing in the middle of the dance floor, eventually launching himself into a backflip. As he is turning, his gun falls from his person and lands on the floor. Scrambling to get a hold of his weapon, agent Bishop picks up his gun and a shot is fired into the crowd.
The man who was shot was taken to a Denver hospital, and is expect to be OK, however many were left wondering why this off-duty officer had his firearm with him, especially in such a crowded place as a bar.
Wray replied steadfastly that this incident “involves an ongoing personnel matter,” and further stating “I am someone who believes very strongly in following our disciplinary process. One of the most important features of our disciplinary process is not to comment on it publicly while it is pending.”
He continued his response by stating that “we try to train people to exercise good judgment. That’s what the American people expect.” Wray was clear on his perspective on the matter, further saying “I expect all of our agents, all of our analysts, [and] professional staff to use good judgment.”
Wray was asked to speak on what the bureau’s policy is on firearms being carried by agents in places like clubs and bars—even while off-duty—and stated that they expect agents to carry their firearms, regardless of whether they are on duty or off duty. “That’s been true for a very long time,” he said, again stating that “good judgment is paramount.”