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Complaints Paint Disquieting Portrait of Border Patrol Misconduct

Border Patrol agents reads the Miranda rights to a Mexican national arrested for transporting drugs.Drivers routinely complain about misconduct at Border Patrol checkpoints near the Mexican border, according to newly released information, the New York Times reports. 

Among the complaints are verbal abuse, racial profiling and improper use of guns.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona has accumulated 6,000 pages of complaints, statistics and other records related to alleged misconduct.

The New York Times reported:

Collectively, the documents, detailing encounters between motorists and border agents from January 2011 to August 2014, portray an agency whose fractured oversight system has enabled at least some agents working along the southern border to stretch the limits of law and professional courtesy while rarely facing meaningful consequences.

Among the 142 complaints obtained by the A.C.L.U., only one seems to have resulted in disciplinary action: An agent received a one-day suspension for unjustifiably stopping a vehicle, apparently driven by the son of a retired Border Patrol agent.

James Lyall, an A.C.L.U. lawyer dedicated to the border, said the records not only confirmed the types of stories his office regularly heard from border residents, but also suggested that Customs and Border Protection had underreported the number of civil rights complaints it had received.

Florida Police Officers Claims He Was Disciplined for Speaking to FBI

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Boynton Beach police officer who was placed on administrative leave after speaking to FBI agents is suing the Florida city.

The Miami Herald reports that Sgt. Leif Broberg, a 24-year-veteran of the department, alleges the department threatened to fire him for launching complaints about members of the force trying to conceal video of an arrest.

Broberg said his leave amounts to punishment for talking to FBI agents about a video that he says depicts officers beating a suspect after a high-speed chase.

Broberg has contended that high-ranking members of the department wanted to discard the video.

Other Stories of Interest

Retired FBI Official Michael Mason Remembers Fondly Agent Robin Ahren

Michael Mason is a retired Executive Assistant Director of the FBI. Thirty years ago this month, Robin Ahrens became the first female FBI agent killed in the line of duty.

Robin Ahrens

Robin Ahrens

By Michael Mason
For ticklethewire.com

It’s hard to believe it’s been 30 years since Robin Ahrens was killed in the line of duty. I met Robin briefly when our paths crossed at the FBI Academy.

I can still remember being advised that a female agent had been killed and then hearing Robin’s name. It was like a punch in the stomach. Not really because I can claim to have known her well, we were both new agent trainees and she was one class behind my class.

Rather it was because she was one of us…not just an agent, but a brand new agent. The reality of the danger of the job became very real in that moment.

It’s always a bit more sobering to hear about the passing of anyone with whom you had even the briefest of encounters. It makes the incident less anonymous. Your story made me pause and think of all the life I have lived since she was killed.

Though I am not a religious man, it is moments like this I hope there is a heaven. It is right to pause and remember those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice.

Justice Department Creates New Position to Focus on Threats of Homegrown Extremism

department-of-justice-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The rising threat of homegrown extremism has prompted the Justice Department to create a new position to coordinate investigations, the Washington Post reports. 

The new position of domestic terrorism counsel is expected to be announced today at George Washington University.

The position will focus on threats posed by ISIS, as well as by racists and anti-government zealots.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Distributing 40-Minute Film to Prepare Law Enforcement for School Shooting Response

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is distributing a 40-minute film to teach emergency responders how to respond to school shootings.

“We felt like we had a wealth of knowledge and we wanted to put it in a format that would be realistic to people who watched it,” said Jeff Peterson with the FBI in Nashville, WSMV reports. “So when they saw it, they would be like, ‘Oh my God, that could happen here in my jurisdiction.’”

The film is designed to prompt discussions about better responses to shootings.

“What it brings to the forefront is the overwhelming nature of these incidents,” Peterson said. “Things like witness management, like mass casualties, like dealing with the media, that have to be handled.”

FBI, Justice Department Trying to Determine Role Goldman Sachs Played in Corruption Case

goldman-sachs-logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has teamed up with the Justice Department to determine whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was involved in corruption and money laundering at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Business Insider reports. 

At this point, the inquiry does not suggest criminal wrongdoing by Goldman Sachs.

Investigators “have yet to determine if the matter will become a focus of any investigations into the 1MDB scandal,” the Wall Street Journal quoted a spokeswoman for the FBI as saying.

Officials have been investigating allegations that 1MDB management sent nearly $700 million to bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

FBI Helps Rescue 149 Sexually Exploited Children in Nationwide Sting That Nabbed 150 Pimps

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI helped rescue 149 sexually exploited children as part of a weeklong sting across the country.

Operation Cross Country also nabbed 150 pimps and others involved in the sex trade.

“Human trafficking is a monstrous and devastating crime that steals lives and degrades our nation,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said. “As a result of the FBI’s outstanding coordination and exemplary efforts alongside state and local partners during Operation Cross Country, more children will sleep safely tonight, and more wrongdoers will face the judgment of our criminal justice system.”

More than 500 law enforcement officials were involved in the sting, which involved 135 cities.

The stings took place in casinos, hotels, truck stops and other areas.

FBI Fails to Vet Arrest Records for Frequently Used Database on Crimes

handcuffsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is no longer vetting arrest records from states in an apparent violation of federal regulations that require the bureau to exclude from its database “nonserious” arrests and convictions, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The database is used by the government to conduct background checks on job applicants.

Some “nonserious” crimes are, such as curfew violations and public drunkenness, are ending up in the database.

Vetting the records for crime severity “impractical,” said Jeremy Wiltz, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s Information Services Branch.

The database includes nearly 80 million people, and the FBI last year conducted 30 million criminal background checks.