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Tag: Internal Affairs

Ex-Internal Affairs Chief Says Border Patrol Agents Receiving Inadequate Training

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents are receiving inadequate training and poor screening, resulting in unnecessary use of lethal force, according to the former head of internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection.

James Tomscheck also said in a Supreme Court ruling that an agent should be held accountable for killing a Mexican teen, the Associated Press reports. The case involved the shooting of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca in 2010.

A CBP spokesman declined to comment.

Tomscheck served as assistant commission of the CBP Office of Internal Affairs from June 2006 to June 2014, focusing on the oversight of use-of-force investigations.

“As security along the border has increased, criminal organizations seeking inroads into the United States have attempted to infiltrate the Border Patrol. And pre-hiring screening programs have been inadequate, leading the Border Patrol in some instances to hire actual cartel members as agents,” the brief, which also includes Tomsheck’s second-in-command, James Wong, states.

Tomscheck also wrote that the agency is becoming more militarized.

“Combined with inadequate field training on appropriate uses of force, these factors have led to an environment in which Border Patrol agents have unnecessarily employed lethal force on the U.S.-Mexico border,” the brief states.

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Former CBP Insider Accuses Agency of Corruption, Distortions to Cover Up Deaths

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

James Tomsheck, who was forced to resign as internal affairs for CBP, said the agency made it difficult for him to investigate internal complaints.

NPR reports that Tomscheck believes some Border Patrol agents aren’t being held accountable because of a culture that evades legal restraints.

Tomscheck said about a quarter of the 28 fatal shootings by agents and officers are highly suspicious, yet no one has paid any consequences.

“I believe the system was clearly engineered to interfere with our efforts to hold the Border Patrol accountable,” he says.

“Some persons in leadership positions in the Border Patrol were either fabricating or distorting information to give the outward appearance that it was an appropriate use of lethal force when in fact it was not.”

Tomscheck said he became a scapegoat for the problems in the agency.

Ex-Internal Affairs Official: Border Patrol Altered Details of Reports on ‘Highly Suspect’ Deaths

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents have tried to alter details of at least seven “highly suspect” deaths since 2010, a former internal affairs official for CBP told the Center for Investigative Reporting.

“In nearly every instance, there was an effort by Border Patrol leadership to make a case to justify the shooting versus doing a genuine, appropriate review of the information and facts at hand,” James Tomsheck told reporter Andrew Becker in a story published online Thursday.

The interview raise serious questions about the culture of secrecy and impunity at CBP.

Since 2005, on-duty Border Patrol agents and CBP officers have killed at least 45 people, and 15 of them were Americans, the Arizona Republic reports.

None of those case led to discipline for a federal official.

CBP Removes Head of Internal Affair in Search of More Aggressive Watchdog

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of internal affairs at Customs and Border Protection was removed from his position Monday following criticism that he wasn’t aggressive enough with agents accused of using inappropriate force, the Los Angeles Times reports.

James F. Tomsheck, whose job is to root out corruption among the federal government’s largest law enforcement workforce, has been given a temporary assignment.

In the meantime, the CBP asked the FBI to assign a senior agent to investigate the abuse, in what the Times described as an unusual move.

The shakeup comes after mounting criticism about widespread abuses at the county’s borders.

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