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Archive for August 23rd, 2021

Internal U.S. Capitol Police Investigation Clears Officer in Jan. 6 Fatal Shooting

By Allan Lengel

An internal investigation conducted by the U.S. Capitol Police has cleared the officer of wrongdoing in the Jan. 6 shooting at the Capitol of Ashli Babbitt of California, the Washington Post reports.

Ashli Babbitt

The findings come in wake of the Justice Department’s decision that the officer would not face criminal charges. The 35-year-old California woman was shot as she tried to force her way through a set of doors inside the Capitol during the insurrection while Congress members feared for their safety.

President Trump had praised Babbitt and questioned the officer’s action.

The department said in a memo outlining the investigation that the officer acted within department policy, which allows deadly force to protect themselves or others from serious physical harm, the Post reports.

Mexico President Open to Freeing Drug Lord Imprisoned for Murder of DEA Agent Camarena

DEA Agent Enrique Camarena

By Steve Neavling

Convicted drug lord Miguel Angel Felix Gallardo, who was imprisoned for the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, may be a free man soon.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Friday that he’s open to granting a pardon to Felix Gallardo under a proposed new law aimed at freeing thousands of prisoners. 

“If it is justified,” Lopez Obrador said of the drug lord’s potential release, “of course, yes.”

“I also want him to understand my situation, that I do not want anyone to suffer. I do not want anyone to be in jail. I am a humanist,” Lopez Obrador said.  

He added that the case will be reviewed by prosecutors. 

Felix Gallardo, now 75, was considered the godfather of Mexican drug smuggling and the co-founder of the Guadalajara cartel. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison for the Camarena’s murder, and in 2017, he was re-sentenced by a Mexican court to 37 years in prison and a reparation payment equivalent to $1.2 million.

Lopez Obrado made the remark following a prison interview with Felix Gallardo that was aired by NBC News.

‘Morale Is in the Toilet:’ Border Patrol Agents Overwhelmed by Surge in Illegal Immigration

By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol agents are becoming exceedingly “downtrodden” as illegal immigration increases and resources remain scant, according to the agency’s union said. 

“Morale is in the toilet,” Jon Anfinsen, the president of the National Border Patrol Council’s Del Rio chapter for the Border Patrol’s union, told The Washington Examiner. “Morale is low because agents aren’t allowed to do their job — if our job is to be out patrolling the border in between the ports of entry and actively searching for people who have crossed illegally, but we’re not allowed to go do that job, it basically creates this defeated feeling in everyone.”

Take a 245-mile stretch of the border surrounding Del Rio, Texas, where there are only 12 agents – the lowest number in Border Patrol’s history, despite a surge in illegal immigration. 

Since agents aren’t allowed to speak with reporters, The Washington Examiner interviewed five current agents and three former senior officials to get a sense of what it’s like to work along the border. 

“Agents are primarily indoors, processing, and we’re dealing with the people who are flagging us down — the ones who are walking up to us and turning themselves in,” Anfinsen said. “Meanwhile, the immigrants who don’t want anything to do with us, they’re running away, although sometimes they’re walking because they have no need to run because we’re not there.”

Illegal immigration has reached its highest level since 2000, and it gets worse by the month. Of the illegal crossings, 60% are in Texas and New Mexico. But in Texas, as many as half of the agents have been removed from the border to process people in custody. Countless numbers of migrants are slipping into the border unnoticed.

“Morale is tanking fast. This can be seen in the simple statements made by agents, but even more importantly, it can be seen in increasing processing times. Agents are just flat tired, and we are seeing and hearing it,” a former senior official at CBP wrote in an email.