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Tag: la times

LA Times Editorial: Border Patrol Must Take Deadly Shootings More Seriously

By Los Angeles Times
Editorial Board

The new head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s internal affairs office made a troubling assertion late last week. Since 2004, he said, the agency has apparently taken no disciplinary action against any of its agents who have used deadly force.

That follows a report released in February by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum, which reviewed 67 shooting incidents by Border Patrol agents from January 2010 to October 2012, 19 of which were fatal, and accused the agency of violating accepted police practices and a “lack of diligence” in investigating agents’ actions.

The American Immigration Council reported in May that of 809 abuse complaints (a broader category) filed from 2009 to 2012, 40% remained unresolved, and in the resolved cases, only 3% found fault with an agent’s actions. Comparative statistics are hard to come by, but a study of 2002 data found that about 8% of complaints against civilian police officers were sustained.

The backlog of cases and the possibility that the agency has been unwilling to discipline its officers led Department of Homeland Security officials in June to replace the internal affairs director, James F. Tomsheck, with an outsider, former L.A. police officer and FBI Deputy Assistant Director Mark Morgan. It was Morgan who told reporters he had yet to find records of disciplinary actions against agents in deadly force cases. While it’s possible that there was no fault to be found, that seems highly unlikely.

It is clear that the agency must respond more quickly to complaints and must be willing to assess the behavior of its employees fairly and objectively when they use their weapons. In one 2012 case, a Border Patrol agent fired across the border into Nogales, Mexico, killing 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez; the boy, who the Border Patrol says may have been throwing rocks, was struck in the back by at least eight bullets. His family says he was merely walking home after playing basketball. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the family, but so far it has been unsuccessful in getting the agency to publicly identify the officer involved.

To read more click here.

 

Other Stories of Interest

 

Los Angeles Times Editorial: Civil Rights Division Nominee Deserves Better

 
 
By The Los Angeles Times
Editorial Board

Debo Adegbile, President Obama‘s nominee to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, is an experienced litigator and  specialist in civil rights law. In a rational world, he would receive unanimous confirmation. But as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on his nomination, Adegbile faces opposition from conservatives who don’t like his legal philosophy and a law enforcement group that won’t forgive him for participating in the appeal of a man convicted of killing a police officer.

Neither objection has merit. Like any president, Obama is entitled to Justice Department officials who share his views. As for the charge that Adegbile is hostile to law enforcement, it’s based on a fundamental misunderstanding of a lawyer’s role.

The most sensational — and unfair — criticism of Adegbile involves the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981. Adegbile and other attorneys at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund filed a brief with the Supreme Court in 2009 asserting that Abu-Jamal’s conviction was invalid because of racial discrimination in jury selection. Two years later they represented Abu-Jamal directly when prosecutors asked the Supreme Court to reinstate his death sentence.

The Fraternal Order of Police complained to Obama that Abu-Jamal’s “just sentence — death — was undone by your nominee and others like him.” Actually, it was a federal appeals court that overturned Abu-Jamal’s death sentence, citing flawed jury instructions.

To read more click here.

Reuters Editor Charged with Helping Anonymous Hack the LA Times Website

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A 26-year-old Reuters editor is charged with helping computer hacker, Anonymous, break into the LA Times’ website, the Huffington Post reports.

It’s not that Matthew Keys was trying to keep his relationship with Anonymous a secret.

According to the Huffington Post, Keys boasted on a blog in March 2011 that he chatted with “top level hackers within Anonymous.”

“I identified myself as a journalist during my interaction with the top-level Anonymous hackers and at no time did I offer said individuals any agreement of confidentiality,” he wrote. “In fact, I asked several of them for their feelings should they be exposed. They seemed, by and large, indifferent.”

Keys faces up to 25 years in prison on charges he conspired with Anonymous to hack the LA Times site by giving the underground group usernames and passwords to alter the site.

Book Review: The Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel

By Lisa Sweetingham
LA Weekly​

William C. Rempel, who for 36 years worked as an investigative reporter and editor at the L.A. Times, has written the book At the Devil’s Table: The Untold Story of the Insider Who Brought Down the Cali Cartel, which came out last month. The insider in question is Jorge Salcedo, the former head of security for the Cali Cartel in Colombia, who secretly turned on his employer in the late ’90s by becoming an informant for the DEA.

Rempel discusses and signs his book at Vroman’s Bookstore tonight, but if you can’t make it to Pasadena, here are seven astounding revelations about Colombian drug lords from the book.

7. The vicious blood feud between the Cali Cartel in the south (headed by the Rodríguez Orejuela brothers) and the Medellín cartel in the north (Pablo Escobar) all started in the late ’80s in New York City, when a pair of mid-level cocaine traffickers had a fatal feud over a woman. The dead man’s friends were allies of Escobar. The shooter sought sanctuary with Cali boss Hélmer “Pacho” Herrera. When neither side would back down, Escobar vowed to his former comrades: “Then this is war — and I’m going to kill every one of you sons of bitches.”

6. Herrera, the youngest of the four Cali godfathers, oversaw the most brutal wing of killers in the entire cartel. He was also openly gay, looked as if he had just stepped off the pages of GQ, and lived in an all-white compound with white marble floors, white walls and ceilings, and white leather furniture.

To read more click here.