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Tag: lawsuit

Lawsuit: Does U.S. Constitution Protect Mexicans in Their Home Country?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Is a Mexican boy shot in his home country protected by the U.S. Constitution?

The question is at the center of a lawsuit filed by the family of a Mexican teenager who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent near Nogales, Sonora, in 2012, the Associated Press reports.   

The 16-year-old’s mother said her boy was just walking home near the border fence when an agent shot him. Border Patrol counters that the boy was among a group throwing rocks at agents.

The attorney for the agent who fired the fatal shots argued Tuesday that the lawsuit has no merit because the boy wasn’t protect by the Constitution.

The FBI is investigation the shooting.

FBI Dropped Purchase Order on Controversial License Plate Readers

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI planned to invest in license-plate readers that are becoming more popular among local and state law enforcement but didn’t follow through with a purchase order after lawyers expressed concerns about the technology invading people’s privacy, the Associated Press reports. 

The AP received records that indicate the FBI has been interested in using the technology for about a decade to store data from license plates.

The technology allows law enforcement to track suspicious vehicles and search for criminals.

The ACLU is concerned with the ability of law enforcement to identify innocent motorists.

The FBI crrently only uses license plate readers on rare occasions, said FBI spokesman Chris Allen.

“They may only be deployed in support of an investigation and only if there’s a reasonable belief that they will aid that investigation,” Allen said.

Justice Department Blasts DEA for Lax Punishment of Agents Behind Cruel Detainment

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department criticized the DEA for the lax discipline of agents who detained a San Diego college student and left him without food or water for five days, NPR reports. 

Daniel Chong was handcuffed and left in a dark room during the 2012 detention in which he tried to stay hydrated by drinking his own urine.

“What happened to Mr. Chong is unacceptable,” the Justice Department said in a letter released Tuesday to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“The DEA’s failure to impose significant discipline on these employees further demonstrates the need for a systemic review of DEA’s disciplinary process.”

Chong settled with the government for $4.1 million.

“I didn’t stay sane,” he told All Things Considered’s Audie Cornish in May 2012, weeks after his arrest. “Eventually, by the second or third night … I went completely insane and was just trying to get a grip on reality, on what’s happening to me.”

Residents Want Permission to Monitor Border Patrol Checkpoints from Just 20 Feet Away

Arivaca, AZ

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the Border Patrol are making an unusual request: They want permission to monitor agents from 20 feet away.

Two residents of an Arizona town, Arivaca, filed a lawsuit last year, claiming the Border Patrol violates their First Amendment rights and bullies anyone who protests the checkpoint, the Associated Press reports.

An attorney for Border Patrol argued that checkpoints are not a public forum and having people monitor checkpoints would be dangerous.

DEA Sued Following Discovery That Agency Collected Americans’ Phone Records

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone call records violated the constitutional rights of Americans, alleges the Human Rights Watch in a lawsuit against the agency.

Forbes reports that the suit comes just a day after a USA Today report on the surveillance program.

The DEA reportedly amassed billions of phone records in the decade before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The suit alleges the DEA violated Americans’ first and fourth amendments by conducting “untargeted and suspicionless surveillance of Americans.“

“The NSA isn’t the only federal agency collecting Americans’ call records in bulk,” said EFF staff attorney Mark Rumold. “The DEA’s program is yet another example of federal agencies overreaching their surveillance authority in secret. We are asking the court to require the government to destroy the records it illegally collected no matter where they are held, and to declare—once and for all—that bulk collection of Americans’ records is unconstitutional.’’

Other Stories of Inerest


Former Head of FBI’s Knoxville Office Sues Bureau, Justice Department

Richard Lambert

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former chief of the Knoxville FBI office is suing the bureau and the Justice Department for $2.5 million, saying he was falsely accused of violating the law for accepting a position as the senior counterintelligence officer for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence Oak Ridge field office, The Knoxville News Sentinel reports. 

Richard Lambert, a 24-year veteran of the FBI and former special agent in charge of the Knoxville office, claims that his office was raided and false rumors were spread about him.

“Due to the notoriety and stigma surrounding defendants’ erroneous legal opinion and its plain implication that he is a federal felon, Mr. Lambert is currently unemployed and unemployable,” Lambert wrote in the lawsuit.

ORNL spokesman David Keim declined to comment Monday.

At issue is whether Lambert violated a law that “makes it a crime for a former government worker to ‘communicate’ with his or her former co-workers for one year after leaving his or her post ‘with the intent to influence official action,’” the Sentinel wrote.

Lambert was also a key FBI  investigator for a while in the anthrax mailings after 9/11.  He was one of the investigators who strongly believed that scientist Steven Hatfill was behind the mailings. Hatfill successfully sued the government for trying to pin the mailings on him, and leaking information about the case to the press.

Eventually, the FBI decided Hatfill was not the guy, and investigators turned their attention on scientist Bruce Edwards Ivins, who committed suicide before he could be charged.

 

TSA’s List of Suspicious Behaviors Is Revealed As ACLU Sues for Document

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What do airport screeners look for when they are trying to detect suspicious behavior?

The suggestions are part of the TSA’s controversial behavior-detection program, Screening Passengers by Observation Techniques, which outlines suspicious actions.

Although the TSA considers the list of behaviors to be confidential, it was posted online.

The ACLU, which is concerned that the list encourages racial and ethnic profiling, is suing the TSA to force the release of details of the program, The Washington Post wrote.

Here are some of the suspicious behaviors: tightly gripping a bag, appearing disoriented and whistling.

“Airports are rich environments for the kind of stress, exhaustion, or confusion that the TSA apparently finds suspicious, and research has long made clear that trying to judge people’s intentions based on supposed indicators as subjective or commonplace as these just doesn’t work,” Hugh Handeyside, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said in a statement.

Former FBI Agent in Charge of Seattle Quietly Dismisses Discrimination Lawsuit

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Laura M. Laughlin, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle office before abruptly resigning last year, has dismissed her lawsuit against the bureau and Justice Department, King 5 News reports.

Laughlin filed a federal lawsuit in 2011, claiming she faced sex discrimination and retaliation.

“As the agent in charge of 300 agents in Seattle, she was one of the highest level FBI agents ever to sue the bureau,” King 5 News wrote.

It’s still not clear why Laughlin quietly dismissed the case. Neither she nor her attorney could be reached for comment.

The Justice Department released a statement.

“Ms. Laughlin dismissed her case with no settlement,” said Assistant US Attorney Marine Utgoff Braswell.

 Other Stories of Interest