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Tag: discrimination

Appeals Court: Border Patrol in Ohio Didn’t Target People Who Looked Hispanic

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

File photo of a Border Patrol agent.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents in Ohio did not racially discriminate several Hispanic people who were stopped by the Sandusky Bay Station, according to a federal appellate court.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in Cincinnati upheld a lower court’s ruling that the complainants failed to prove people were targeted because they look Hispanic, the Toledo Blade reports

the Farm Labor Organizing Committee and Immigrant Worker Project claimed in a lawsuit that agents targeted Hispanics for stops and detention and uttered racist terms.

The Blade wrote:

o prove that the agency has such a policy, the plaintiffs needed to show that there was a formal policy, that there was a policy of inadequate training or supervision, that decision makers allowed illegal actions, or that it has a custom of “tolerating violations of federal law.”

The plaintiffs didn’t argue that there was a formal policy or inadequate training. But the court also ruled that high-ranking decision makers testified that they do not allow racial profiling. A pair of agents testified that they could use race as a factor, but not the only consideration for a stop.

“Neither of these agents, however, testified that he ratified anyone else’s use of race as a factor in determining whom to approach,” the court wrote.

The court also ruled that four encounters by Hispanic persons with Border Patrol agents were allowable, because other factors were used besides race to initiate the stop. 

Other Stories of Interest

College Student, Iraqi Refugee Removed from Plan for Using Traditional Arabic Greeting

Southwest Airlines plane.

Southwest Airlines plane.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A college student and refugee who fled Iraq after his father was killed by Saddam Hussein, was pulled from a Southwest flight and questioned by the FBI for using a traditional Arabic greeting, The Daily Californian reports. 

Khairuldeen Mahkzoomi was on a flight from Los Angeles to Oakland when it was reported that he said the phrase, “inshallah,” meaning “if God is willing,” to his uncle over the phone.

A passenger reported hearing Mahkzoomi say the word “shahid,” which means martyr.

Mahkzoomi was removed from the plane and interrogated by the FBI.

“The way they searched me and the dogs, the officers, people were watching me and the humiliation made me so afraid because it brought all of these memories back to me,” Mahkzoomi told the Daily Californian. “I escaped Iraq because of the war, because of Saddam and what he did to my father.”

The airline company responded: “We regret any less than positive experience on board our aircraft. … Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind.”

ICE Employees Complain of Pervasive Discrimination, Mismanagement, Harassment

ICE logoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The union representing ICE employees is asking the agency’s Office of Inspector General to investigate allegations of discrimination, mismanagement and harassment from top officials.

“We’ve begged ICE leadership to intervene but they refuse to clean up the agency,” Felix Luciano, a local president of the union in San Diego, said in a PR News Wire release. “If you’re a pregnant female, a veteran, a union representative, or person of color, you’re a target of ICE managers.”

The issues are so pervasive, the union argued, that ICE employees filed 18 discrimination suits in just San Diego.

“Union and non-union employees agree: ICE is a horrific place to work,” said Chris Crane, National President of the union representing ICE employees.

“Mission readiness falls apart when leadership fails, and morale hits rock bottom,” Crane said. “Discrimination, harassment and retaliation are a part of everyday life for ICE employees. Our managers act more like thugs than public servants entrusted to manage ICE’s critical public safety and national security missions.”

Crane said the pervasive issues are causing morale to continue to decline.

Other Stories of Interest

Appeals Court: Different Standards for FBI Fitness Test Is Not Discrimination

fbi logo largeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s physical fitness test has different standards for men and women. Men, for example, must do more than twice the number of push-ups as women.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit dismissed a challenge to the test by a man who was turned down to become special agent because he could only do 29 of the required 30 push-ups, The Washington Post reports. 

Jay J. Bauer filed a discrimination suit, saying he was held to a different standard than women.

But the appeals court said that’s not necessarily a problem because the “physical fitness standards suitable for men may not always be suitable for women, and accommodations addressing physiological differences between the sexes are not necessarily unlawful.”

Women are required to perform 14 push-ups.

Former FBI Agent in Charge of Seattle Quietly Dismisses Discrimination Lawsuit

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Laura M. Laughlin, the former special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle office before abruptly resigning last year, has dismissed her lawsuit against the bureau and Justice Department, King 5 News reports.

Laughlin filed a federal lawsuit in 2011, claiming she faced sex discrimination and retaliation.

“As the agent in charge of 300 agents in Seattle, she was one of the highest level FBI agents ever to sue the bureau,” King 5 News wrote.

It’s still not clear why Laughlin quietly dismissed the case. Neither she nor her attorney could be reached for comment.

The Justice Department released a statement.

“Ms. Laughlin dismissed her case with no settlement,” said Assistant US Attorney Marine Utgoff Braswell.

 Other Stories of Interest


Homeland Security Officer Accuses Police of Harsh Treatment Because He’s Muslim

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

At least a dozen officers swept into his Santa Clara home, their assault weapons and service guns drawn.

This wasn’t a drug bust. Police were looking for a stolen $300 dashboard camera that was never found.

The subject of the search, Homeland Security Agent Mohammed Moneeb, is accusing Santa Clara police of targeting him and using excessive force because he is Muslim, ABC7 News reports.

Police dismiss the claims, saying such a search isn’t unusual when a federal employee is accused of theft.

“This response was within our procedures in investigating law enforcement officers, especially in this case, being a federal law enforcement officer. We have the public trust in this case and we believe the public holds us to a higher standard and theft in this case is pretty serious,” Santa Clara Police Department’s Lt. Kurt Clarke said.

Federal authorities said an internal investigation is ongoing.

Moneeb said he was shocked by the police response.

“This has been a pretty traumatic experience for our family,” Moneeb said, who believes that the police were out of line.

Dogged by Controversy During First Term, Attorney General Holder Hits Ground Running in Second Term

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

After four years of attacks and controversies, Attorney General appears to be finally settling in during his second term under President Obama.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Holder “has tackled his responsibilities with newfound energy and determination, surprising critics and supporters alike by striking out on a broad, ambitious and unapologetically liberal agenda.”

Here’s what he’s done: shortened prison sentences, pursued mega-banks for fraud and plans to ban federal agents from basing investigations on discriminatory practices.

“I am focusing on issues — really focusing on issues — in these last few weeks that have been near and dear to me for as long as I’ve been a lawyer,” Holder said in an interview. “This whole notion of criminal justice reform, civil rights enforcement — all these are the kinds of things that animated me and that made me want to become a lawyer in the first place.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Department Sues State of Rhode Island Over Alleged Discrimination of Minority Applicants

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department has sued the state of Rhode Island for allegedly discriminating against black people and Hispanics in its hiring corrections officers.

The Providence Journal reports that the state discriminated against minority applicants for entry-level corrections officers jobs.

State officials fired back Tuesday, saying they did nothing wrong.

“The state does not agree with the DOJ’s preliminary interpretation of the data the complaint is based on … and will respond accordingly,” said Amy Kempe, spokeswoman for the attorney general.

The Justice Department alleges the state’s written and video examinations are biased toward white people.