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Archive for February 9th, 2022

CBP Limits Border Patrol’s Critical Incident Teams Following Congressional Concerns

By Steve Neavling

CBP is increasing oversight of secretive teams within Border Patrol that conduct internal investigations into misconduct by agents, according to a memo obtained by The Hill.

The responsibilities of critical incident teams (CITS) are being limited after Democrats in Congress urged Biden’s administration to examine the teams.

In a letter to Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro last month, 10 committee and subcommittee chairs in the House and Senate are requesting a review of the units.

The House Committees on Homeland Security and Oversight also are conducting their own joint investigations into the critical incident teams. 

“We have grave concerns about the lack of transparency in the role of Border Patrol’s critical incident teams,” the leaders of the committees, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, of N.Y., and Bennie Thompson, of Miss., wrote to new CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus

Border community advocates have questioned the effectiveness of the teams, calling them “shadow police units.”

According to the memo, the Office of Professional Responsibility is given more power to review incidents such as use of force, a death of a migrant in custody, and a pursuit that results in injury or death. 

“To the extent USBP CIT personnel respond to these incidents to provide specialized scene processing or evidence collection capabilities, it must be done so at the direct request of OPR personnel and under the guidance of the OPR incident commander,” the memo, signed by Border Patrol Chief Raúl Ortiz and OPR assistant commission Matthew Klein, states. 

“If CIT team personnel are notified of a critical incident, they will immediately notify the OPR duty agent to determine whether a response is required. CIT teams will not respond to a critical incident unless specifically requested to do so by the OPR duty.”

Illinois Woman Sentenced to 7 Years After Boyfriend Severely Wounded U.S. Marshal in Shootout

By Steve Neavling

An Illinois woman was sentenced to seven years in prison for role in a shootout that seriously injured a deputy U.S. marshal in May 2020. 

Xaveriana Cook was in her car with her boyfriend Hunter Carlstrom, a previously convicted felon who was wanted for murder, when a U.S. Marshal’s task force conducted a traffic stuff to arrest the man. 

Carlstrom shot Deputy U.S. Marshal Bob Dickerson, causing servere injuries that required emergency surgery. Law enforcement returned fire and fatally shot Carlstrom.

According to testimony and prosecutors, Cook knew Carlstrom had committed murder. He also informed her that he would shoot police if they tried to arrest him. 

Cook eventually pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact to robbery and murder and aiding and abetting the possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. 

Individuals who assist and facilitate the criminal conduct of others are accountable for harm that results,” U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner said in a statement. “In this case, the defendant chose to help a self-confessed murderer flee the state where he had brutally murdered and robbed another individual.  Even though this defendant knew her boyfriend was armed and intent on engaging in a shoot-out with any law enforcement who attempted to arrest him, she continued to assist him, facilitating his interstate travel and attempt to avoid arrest and prosecution. This defendant should not have been surprised that Carlstrom made good on his threats to open fire on law enforcement, resulting in his own death and life-threatening injuries to a Deputy U.S. Marshal who was simply trying to do his job. Today’s sentence was an important step towards protecting our communities and achieving justice for those harmed by this conduct.”

After the sentencing, U.S. Marshal Danny McKittrick said he was “proud” of Dickerson and his family “for the way they have handled a very difficult chapter in their family’s life.”

“On behalf of Bob’s family, the U.S. Marshal’s Service and the Fugitive Task Force, we would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners and the Federal Court family for all of their prayers and support during the process. We thank again the Baptist Hospital administration, nursing staff and Doctors Lovelace, Kirk and Hamilton for saving our friend Bob’s life,” McKittrick said.