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Tag: civil rights

Two Border Patrol Agents Accused of Forcing Immigrants to Strip, Eat Marijuana, on Trial

 
 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two Border Patrol agents accused of forcing drug smugglers to strip and eat marijuana are on trial this week on civil rights charges, the Huffington Post reports.

Authorities said the border patrol agents left the four undocumented immigrants, wearing nothing but their underwear, to fend for themselves in the cold desert in November 2008, Huffington Post wrote.

The agents did not arrest the alleged victims, Dario Castillo and Ramon Zuniga.

Castillo also faces a charge of tampering with a witness.

ICE Settles Suit with 22 New Yorkers for $1 Million over Warrantless Search

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

More than 20 New Yorkers will receive a combined $1 million in a settlement with ICE over warrantless raids on their homes, WNYC reports.

Under the settlement, ICE also must change some of its policies and training involving searches.

“Sleeping while Latino is not a suspicious activity that justifies ICE’s forcing its way into homes and terrorizing families at gunpoint,” Ghita Schwarz, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, said. “Our brave clients have shown ICE agents that they are subject to the same constitutional restrictions as any other law enforcement officer; they need judicial warrants or valid consent to enter a home.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Reviews Taser incident in Pittsburgh Following Complaints of Civil Rights Violations


 Steve Neavling
 
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether a Pittsburgh police detective was out of control when he pulled a Taser on a man in Pittsburgh over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

The incident captured a national audience after a cell phone video caught Detective Frank Rende walking up to a man and pointing a Taser in his face.

“When anything attracts our attention that could potentially violate any civil rights of the public, or of anyone in the community, we assess the situation,” FBI spokeswoman Kelly Kochamba told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

The man who was targeted by police, 27-year-old Mark Keyser Jr., faces charges of defiant trespass, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.

The detective has a long disciplinary history, the Post-Gazette reported.

Justice Department’s Civil Rights Head Expected to Be Nominated Labor Secretary

Thomas Perez

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Obama is expected to nominate Thomas Perez, a civil rights expert, as his choice to head the Department of Labor, the Associated Press reports.

Head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division since 2009, the 51-year-old could be nominated as early as today.

Perez led an effort to challenge voter ID laws in South Carolina and Texas because of the potential to restrict minority voting rights, the AP reported.

Perez has support from organized labor and many Hispanics.

Newspaper to Examine FBI Treatment of Civil Rights Icons in 1960s

stanford.edu photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is releasing dozens of investigative files involving civil rights-era photographer Ernest Withers as part of a lawsuit with The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn., CNN reports.

Among the files is an investigation of Martin Luther King Jr. while in Memphis in 1968, CNN reported.

The bureau also examined the NAACP, Southern Christian Leadership Conference and peace and black power movements.

The files are expected to shed light on how deeply the FBI probed the lives of civil rights leaders.

The newspaper won the right to examine the records after reaching a settlement under the Freedom of Information Act.

Late Sen. Byrd Got FBI Documents on Civil Rights Movement

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, who belonged to the Ku Klux Klan in the 1940s and fought against legislation protecting black people, received secret FBI records about the civil rights movement in the 1960s, the Associated Press reports.

Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat who died in June 2010, suspected Communists and others were beginning to infiltrate the civil rights movement.

Turns out, the CIA leaked the documents to Byrd, prompting a feud between the two federal agencies, the AP reported.

Although Byrd caught heat form the FBI for obtaining the records, he was an outspoken supporter of the agency’s long-time director, J. Edgar Hoover, according to the AP.

AG Holder Pledges to Fight Texas Voter ID Law at NAACP Event

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 Attorney General Eric Holder pledged Tuesday to aggressively challenge new voter restriction efforts during a speech at the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Houston, the New York Times reports.

“In our efforts to protect voting rights and to prevent voting fraud, we will be vigilant and strong,” Mr. Holder said. “But let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”

Holder’s speech comes as the Justice Department is in federal court over Texas’ photo ID voting requirement, which Holder says violates the Voting Rights Act and disproportionately impacts minorities, young people and the elderly, according to the New York Times.

Holder pledged to vigorously enforce civil rights violations.

“The arc of American history has always moved toward expanding the electorate,” he said. “It is what has made this nation exceptional. We will simply not allow this era to be the beginning of the reversal of that historic progress.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Hispanics in Arizona worry about racial profiling

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hispanics in Arizona protested outside the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office, expressing concern that they’ll be subjected to racial profiling following Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court Decision, Bloomberg reports.

While the court struck down three provisions of the Arizona immigration law, the justices left intact the requirement that local police check the immigration status of anyone suspected of being in the country illegally.

“People are living in fear,” said Ovalle, 32, a U.S. citizen who volunteers with Puente Movement, an immigrant-rights group in a state that has become the epicenter of the nationwide battle over illegal migration, Bloomberg reports. “It is criminalizing brown skin.”