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Tag: lawsuit

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

Teen Killed by Liquid Meth After Border Agents Tell Him to Drink It


By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Cruz Velazquez Acevedo was just 16 years old when he began screaming in pain and convulsing after drinking liquid methamphetamine shortly after crossing the U.S. Mexico border to San Diego.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn't have drugs in the bottle.

Teen drinks liquid meth after Border Patrol agents told him to prove he didn’t have drugs in the bottle.

According to a lawsuit filed about three-and-a-half years after his death, Border Patrol agents told Acevedo to drink the amber-colored liquid to prove it wasn’t laced with drugs, the Washington Post reports

A surveillance video shows Acevedo taking four sips from a drink he insisted was apple juice.

“My heart! My heart!” he screamed before dying two hours later, according to court records.

The U.S. has agreed to pay Acevedo’s family $1 million win the wrongful-death lawsuit filed against the agency and two border officers.

His family’s attorney, Eugene Iredale, acknowledged Acevedo broke the law, but he said, “It wasn’t a death penalty case.”

“To cause him to die in a horrible way that he did is something that is execrable.”

Congressional Democrats to Sue Trump over Foreign Payments to His Businesses

US CapitolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Nearly 200 Democratic members of Congress are planning to file a federal lawsuit today accusing President Trump of violating the Constitution by accepting money from foreign governments for his business empire.

The suit alleges Trump violated the Foreign Emoluments Clause, who prohibits the president from accepting payments from foreign governments without congressional consent, the New York Times reports. 

At least 184 members of Congress have already signed the draft complaint, as of Tuesday evening.

Among the allegations is that Trump is profiting from foreign diplomats who stay in his hotels.

“The founders ensured that federal officeholders would not decide for themselves whether particular emoluments were likely to compromise their own independence or lead them to put personal interest over national interest,” the lawsuit states. “An officeholder, in short, should not be the sole judge of his own integrity.”

It is the third such lawsuit alleging that Trump is using his leadership position to profit from foreign governments.

Twitter Sues Homeland Security to Protect Anonymity of Trump Critic

twitter-birdBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Twitter is suing Homeland Security after it threatened court action if the social media giant didn’t reveal the identity of a Twitter account – “@ALT_uscis” or “Alt Immigration” – that has been critical of the Trump administration.

The lawsuit alleges Homeland Security received a summons demanding the name, login information, phone number, mailing address and IP address of the Twitter user, NPR reports.

Twitter ignored Homeland Security’s request to not reveal the summons and instead wants a federal court to declare the summons “unlawful and enforceable.”

The account is one of several “rogue” accounts believed to be created by anonymous employees of the federal government, though that has not been confirmed. The Associated Press reports that they were told the account was run by “employees and former employees of the agency.”

Lawyers for Twitter said the summons violates the First Amendment rights of @ALT_uscis and is therefore unenforceable.

Ex-FBI Director Mueller III Appointed to Oversee Takata air bag claim fund

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — Former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has been appointed by a federal judge to oversee the disbursement of nearly $1 billion in restitution to victims of the deadly Takata air bag case, USA Today reports. 

U.S. District Judge George Steeh issued an order Thursday afternoon to appoint Mueller, who also played a role as settlement master in the Volkswagen diesel emissions case.

“In the end, the court determines that Mr. Mueller is the best candidate for the position, based in part on the parties’ support of his appointment, as well as the court’s comfort and trust in his impeccable credentials, his relevant experience in settlement negotiations, his familiarity with the automotive industry in general, and based upon his well-known reputation for integrity,” Steeh said in his order.

Mueller’s job includes recommending who receives restitution and how much they receive.

The Takata pleaded guilty to fraud in federal court, resulting in a $1-billion settlement with the U.S.

Air bag defects have killed at least 16 people worldwide and injured many more.

Family of Missing Former FBI Agent Sues Iran for Kidnapping, Torture

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The family of Robert Levinson, the former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran a decade ago, is suing the Middle Eastern country.

Levinson’s wife and children filed suit against Iran in U.S. District Court in Washington, CNN reports. 

The family filed suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, claiming “injuries suffered by each of them as a result of Iran’s unlawful acts of hostage taking, torture and other torts.”

If Levinson is still alive in Iran, he would be the longest held civilian by a foreign government. Iran continues to deny involvement in Levinson’s disappearance.

“Three weeks after his disappearance an Iranian government news outlet, Press TV, announced that he had been taken into custody by Iranian security authorities but was expected to be released shortly,” the complaint alleges.

“Despite this report, Robert Levinson was not released and the Iranian government began falsely denying any knowledge of his capture or whereabouts.”

Woman at FBI’s Philadelphia Office Claims Sexual Discrimination After She Was Demoted

Megan Lampinski is suing the FBI for sexual discrimination. Photo via Linked In.

Megan Lampinski is suing the FBI for sexual discrimination. Photo via Linked In.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A woman who previously headed the FBI Philadelphia office’s computer unit claimed Thursday that she was demoted and replaced with a male employee.

In a civil rights lawsuit, computer specialist Megan Lampinski was removed from her job as a supervisor the information technology division in 2008 because of sexual discrimination, Philly.com reports. 

“The government asserts she was a poor supervisor…. The evidence doesn’t back that up,” Lampinski’s attorney, Maurice R. Mitts, told a jury in the civil trial, noting glowing performance evaluations that Lampinski had received before she was demoted.

Lampinski, 52, was promoted to supervisor in the information technology unit in 2004. Then four years later, she said, she was given a nonsupervisory position in security screening, a job for which she had no experience.

The FBI asserts that Lampinski wasn’t performing well.

“There was no discrimination and no retaliation,” said government attorney Kelly A. Smith.

The trial continues Friday.

Judge Tentatively Approves $1M Settlement to Children in Border Patrol Lawsuit

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

Anastasio Hernandez Rojas.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Seven years of litigation may finally be over after a San Diego federal judge tentatively approved a $1 million settlement to the children of a Mexican man who was fatally beaten and shot with a Taser at a California port of entry.

The money will be split by the five children of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who was killed during the confrontation at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on May 28, 2010, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

“This agreement is not justice,” said Hernandez Rojas’ common-law wife, Maria Puga, at a news conference following the hearing. “My husband’s life does not have a price. The decision had to be taken and it was difficult. We had to turn the page.”

Two of the children are still minors.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Louisa Porter told the two 10-year-olds that he delayed signing the final order under to ensure the funds don’t need to go through probate.

“I hope you use the funds so you can have a good life going forward,” Porter told the two 10-year-olds. “He came to this country to improve his life, and he’d like to see your lives improved by virtue of all the sacrifices he made for you.”