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Tag: lawsuit

Black ATF Agent Sues ATF Again After Settling Lawsuit over Nazi-Tattooed Colleague

ATF Agent Bradford Devlin with a Nazi-themed tattoo, via U.S. District Court.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A black ATF supervisor who receive $450,000 to settle a lawsuit in which she claims the agency discriminated against her after she launched complaints about another supervisor with a Nazi-themed tattoo has sued the agency again.

Cheryl Bishop, a senior supervisor agent in Seattle and former bomb-dog handler, alleges in the latest lawsuit that she was smeared and retaliated against after the settlement in the first case was published in a newspaper, The Seattle Times reports.

According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, Bradford Devlin, the supervisor who was previously accused of abusive, racist behavior, was back at it again, sending an email to 150 ATF employees in which he defended himself and used racist tropes and false allegations against Bishop. Devlin is the resident agent in charge of the ATF’s Eugene, Oregon’s, office.

The lawsuit alleges the ATF’s failure to discipline Devlin or address his racist action led to more abuse.

“The Government’s repeated failure to discipline its employees for violating the law, unsurprisingly, leaves them to feeling free to do so again and again,” Bishop’s Seattle lawyer, Jesse Wing, said. “The Agency’s behavior, shrugging off continued defiant acts of race harassment and retaliation committed by a known racist supervisor in its ranks, reflects the need for fundamental change at ATF.”

The ATF declined to comment.

In the previous lawsuit, Bishop alleged the ATF scuttled her appointment to a job at Washington D.C.’s headquarters after she blew the whistle on abusive behavior by Devlin and complained about a Nazi-themed tattoo on his arm.

Devlin, who is now the senior supervisor in ATF’s Seattle Field Division, denied being abusive and says he got the Nazi tattoo while working undercover investigating an outlaw white-supremacist biker gang in Ohio.

Although the agency offered to pay for the removal of the tattoo, Devlin decided to keep it, calling it a “war trophy.”

Memo: Federal Agents in Portland Not Adequately Trained in Riot Control Or Mass Demonstrations

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Federal agents who were sent to Portland to quell protests were not adequately trained in riot control or mass demonstrations, Homeland Security warned in an internal memo.

The memo, dated Thursday, was written for acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, who criticized local officials’ handling of protests that resulted in property damage at federal buildings, The New York Times reports.

The presence of federal officers has drawn widespread criticism and lawsuits after videos circulated on social media showing the officers in camouflage grabbing protesters from the streets and loading them into unmarked minivans.

“Moving forward, if this type of response is going to be the norm, specialized training and standardized equipment should be deployed to responding agencies,” the memo warns.

Among those sent to Portland were tactical agents from a group known as BORTAC, a SWAT-type team that typically investigates drug smuggling organizations, not protests.

Homeland Security spokesman Alexei Woltornist said the federal agents received “additional training for their deployment in the city” to help the Federal Protective Service.

The sight of federal officers shooting tear gas and non-lethal projectiles at protesters appears to have escalated “fear and violence” in the city, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosemblum argued in a lawsuit filed Friday against Homeland Security, U.S. Marshals Service, and CBP.

DOJ Urges Judge to Toss Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against FBI Over ‘Distinct’ Claims

Training academy in Quantico, Va.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department urged a federal judge Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by current and former FBI recruits who allege the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015.

DOJ lawyers argued the class-action lawsuit is inappropriate because each defendant leveled separate and distinct allegations against different instructors without specifying a specific FBI policy that led to the alleged harassment, The Washington Times reports.

Rather, the lawyers said, each of the 16 women should file individual lawsuits.

“Here, plaintiffs have simply failed to allege the required ‘glue’ holding their allegations of disparate treatment together,” the department wrote.

The suit, filed last year, claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

At the time of the suit, seven of the 16 women still worked for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

“The instructors and fellow trainees who are alleged to have discriminated, as well as the timing and the factual nature of the alleged discrimination, are entirely different in the administrative complaints and allegations of” the two plaintiffs, DOJ lawyers wrote.

“Accordingly, to resolve these two separate administrative complaints, the FBI necessarily would have conducted two completely separate investigations which would have involved gathering distinct documents and interviewing different witnesses.”

Supreme Court: Mexican Family Cannot Sue Border Patrol Agent Who Killed Teenager in Cross-Border Shooting

Border marker at San Ysidro Port of Entry, via Border Patrol.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The family of a Mexican teenager killed in a cross-border shooting a decade ago cannot sue the U.S. Border Patrol agent who fired the fatal shot from American soil, a deeply divided Supreme Court ruled Tuesday.

In a 5-4 ruling, the court upheld a lower court’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the parents of 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, who was fatally shot in 2010 by Border Patrol Agent Jesus Mesa Jr.

The teenager was on the Mexican side of the border when he was shot.

The central question: When Mexican teenagers are shot on the Mexican side of the border, can American families sue in U.S. courts?

The family of Guereca said the teenager was playing a game with friends when he was shot in the head by Mesa.

Mesa said he pulled the trigger because he was under attack by rock throwers.

The Supreme Court took the case in February 2017 but sent it back to a lower court for more proceedings.

At the time, the Trump administration argued the right to sue in U.S. courts “should not be extended to aliens injured abroad.”

The court’s decision will make it more difficult for foreign nationals to sue federal officers for civil rights violations.

“A cross-border shooting claim has foreign relations and national security implications,” Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote, The USA Today reports. “In addition, Congress has been notably hesitant to create claims based on allegedly tortious conduct abroad.”

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg disagreed because the shooting occurred on the U.S. side of the border.

“Neither U.S. foreign policy nor national security is in fact endangered by the litigation,” Ginsburg wrote. “Moreover, concerns attending the application of our law to conduct occurring abroad are not involved, for plaintiffs seek the application of U.S. law to conduct occurring inside our borders.”

Suit Alleging Sexual Harassment at FBI’s Training Academy Adds 17th Woman

Training academy in Quantico, Va., via FBI

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A female FBI trainee has become the 17th woman to claim she was sexually harassed at the bureau’s training academy in Quantico, Va.

The Florida woman who was discharged from the training academy joined a lawsuit that alleges the academy is a “good-old-boy network” that exposes women to a hostile work environment, inappropriate jokes and sexual advances beginning in 2015.

The lawsuit was amended to include the unidentified woman’s accusations, The Washington Times reports.

The trainee alleges her male supervisors effectively discharged her by issuing numerous situations known as “suitability notations,” which instructors hand out for issues ranging from insubordination to inability to complete a task.

The suit, filed in May, claims some of the women were discriminated against based on their race or disabilities. One African American trainee alleges an instructor called her “spaghetti head” because of her braids.

The lawsuit zeroed in on the mock town known as Hogan’s Alley, where trainees learn about tactical training with fake criminals and terrorists. This phase of training resulted in many women being kicked out of the academy.

At the time of the suit, seven of the 16 women still worked for the FBI.

The women are asking for more female training instructors, an examination of the training evaluation process and $300,000 each for emotional stress.

The FBI has declined to publicly comment on the case.

Lawsuit Challenging Conditions at Border Patrol Detention Centers Goes to Trial

A overcrowded, cold detention facility in Tucson.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A trial is set to begin today over conditions at detention centers at several of Border Patrol’s stations in Arizona.

The case involves a lawsuit filed in 2015 that challenges what attorneys say are unsafe and deplorable conditions at eight Border Patrol facilities in Arizona, The New York Times reports.

The lawsuit was filed four years before the surge in immigrants last year caused even bigger problems at the facilities, which activists say are inhume.

Photos used as evidence in the case show men packed under an aluminum blanket, rusty toilets, soiled toiled paper, and women changing a baby’s diaper on a concrete floor littered with trash.

“We’re talking about ensuring that the government is meeting constitutional standards when it comes to the detention of people in these facilities,” said Victoria López, advocacy and legal director for the ACLU of Arizona, one of the organizations involved in the suit.

Border Patrol didn’t respond to questions from The New York Times.

Gangster John Dillinger’s Body May Rest in Peace After Nephew Drops Suit to Exhume Body

Gangster John Dillinger, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

It appears the fight over exhuming John Dillinger’s gravesite is over.

Michael Thompson, the nephew of the 1930s American gangster, has withdrawn his lawsuit seeking permission from an Indianapolis cemetery to exhume Dillinger’s gravesite to determine if he’s actually buried there, RTV-6 reports.

Thompson believes he may have evidence that his bank-robbing uncle was not fatally shot by the FBI at a theater in Chicago in 1934. The FBI disputes those claims as fantasy.

Thompson’s plans were thwarted by Crown Hill Cemetery, which refused to give him permission to exhume the body.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Timothy Oakes dismissed the lawsuit in December, saying state law requires a cemetery’s consent to exhume a body.

“The limited question before the Court today is whether disinterment may occur under this section of the statute without cemetery approval. Court finds that the statutory requirements for this section of the statute are clear in that disinterment requires the cemetery owner to give consent before disinterment may occur,” Oakes wrote.

The judge, however, gave Thompson an opportunity to amend the suit, but he has not.

Crown Hill Cemetery released the following statement:

Crown Hill objects to the exhumation of John Dillinger. We have a duty to the families we serve to ensure the safety and integrity of the Cemetery which is threatened by the proposed exhumation. We also have concerns that the complex and commercial nature of this exhumation could cause disruption to the peaceful tranquility of the Cemetery and those who are visiting to remember their loved ones. Additionally, we received notice that not all of Mr. Dillinger’s next of kin agree with the exhumation. We honor the trust placed in us to protect all individuals in our care, and to protect the interests of those who cannot speak for themselves.

Homeland Security Agents Reportedly Paid for Sex Acts by Trafficking Victims

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Two Homeland Security agents investigating a transnational network of illegal massage parlors engaged in sex acts with the alleged victims in two Arizona cities, according to reports uncovered by Today’s News-Herald.

The reports indicate two agents participated in sex acts at massage parlors at least 10 times with Asian immigrants who were forced into sex slavery.

The two-year trafficking investigation began in 2016, when police were tipped off about several massage parlors in Lake Havasu City and Bullhead City in Arizona. When local police departments found evidence that some of the employees may have been victims of human trafficking, they called in the Department of Homeland Security.

According to investigative reports, the agents negotiated prices for hand jobs and other sex acts.

In September 2018, police arrested eight people on charges of sex trafficking, money laundering, and operating a house of prostitution.

But charges against two of the suspects were dismissed last week because the two federal agents refused to testify.

Homeland Security officials did not respond to questions about why the agents didn’t show up.

One of the women arrested in the case filed a lawsuit 0n Sept. 30 in an attempt to get more information from Homeland Security, including the disclosure of the agents’ identifies and all reports generated during the probe.