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FBI Agent Assoc. Sides With Secret Service Agents in Supreme Court Case

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI Agents Association voiced its strong support for two Secret Service agents involved in an immunity case that was argued before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

A Court of Appeals had ruled  that Steven Howards could sue Secret Service agents Virgil Reichle and Dan Doyle, who arrested him in 2006 in Colorado after he confronted Vice President Cheney and tapped him on the shoulder. He was also overheard on his cell phone saying he was going to ask Cheney how many kids he killed.

The agents and the Obama administration have argued that they should be immune from a lawsuit. Howards claimed the agents retaliated against him for exercising his constitutionally protected free-speech rights.

In a statement on Wednesday, Konrad Motyka, president of the FBI Agents Association, said:

“FBIAA members are very concerned about the impact of this case on federal law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect the public and this country’s national security. That is why the FBIAA, representing over 12,000 active and retired FBI Special Agents, joined with the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA), representing over 25,000 federal law enforcement officers from 65 federal agencies, in filing an Amicus Brief with the Supreme Court on this case. The brief argues that the Court needs to uphold the immunity standard in order to avoid interjecting undue uncertainty and liability risks into the law enforcement context.”

Along with the statement, the association included an excerpt of the Amicus Brief:

“FBIAA and FLEOA members are directly involved in the arrest and detention of persons and the investigation of crimes that threaten the security and safety of the United States and its citizens.

“FBIAA and FLEOA members are required to use their skills and education to make quick decisions in complex situations. Requiring them to defend against allegations that an arrest supported by probable cause had an improper retaliatory motive would undermine their effectiveness, introducing unnecessary second-guessing and risk of personal liability into the law enforcement process.

“Accordingly, FBIAA and FLEOA submit that, consistent with the holdings of the Second, Sixth, Eighth, and Eleventh Circuits, their members should be immune from retaliatory arrest claims when probable cause exists for the underlying arrest.”


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