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Tag: lawsuit

Retired Cop Claims in Lawsuit That Border Patrol Assaulted Him in Southern California

courtroomBy Steve Neavling

A retired police officer claims that Border Patrol agents arrested him on bogus charges after assaulting and macing him in southern California, Courthouse News Service reports. 

Donald Lumn, who retired from the Chula Vista Police Department, filed suit in federal court against Border Patrol Agent Alejandro Martinez and his supervisor Pete Burgos.

“He used to like the Border Patrol before all this happened,” Lumb’s attorney Mary Prevost told Courthouse News in an interview.

Lumb said he was traveling on Interstate 8 with his fiancé’s son when he was motioned to stop at a checkpoint.

Lumb said he was obeying orders.

“Supervisor Burgos began yelling at Lumb to get back in the vehicle,” the complaint reads. “Lumb attempted to comply but as he placed his hand on the car door handle to open it – and without warning – he was sprayed with a chemical agent. Lumb was shoved from behind and slammed against the car, and then slammed to the ground. Approximately four to five sets of hands were grabbing at Lumb and one agent was kneeling on his back.

“Lumb began pleading that he wasn’t resisting. The agent on his back (Doe 1) was screaming ‘Shut up! Shut the fuck up!’ The agents forced Lumb into a single set of handcuffs causing instant pain to Lumb’s shoulder. Another agent was yelling for agents to take Lumb’s watch, and another screamed, ‘He’s got a gun.’ As this was happening, the agents were causing more pain to Lumb’s wrist and shoulder by rolling him side to side on the ground.”

About 90 minutes later, Lumb was arrested for assaulting a federal agent and resisting arrest, which Lumb says are bogus charges.

Man Loses Lawsuit That Claimed DEA Supplied Him with Crack for Help in Investigation

220px-Crack_street_dosageBy Steve Neavling

A New Mexico man who claims federal agents gave him crack cocaine in exchange for help in an undercover investigation lost a lawsuit against he agency.

U.S. District Judge Martha Vazquez dismissed the suit, which alleged that the plaintiff’s crack addiction was reignited, saying damages can’t sought when the person’s own wrongful conduct caused the injury, the Associated Press reports. 

The lawsuit claims Aaron Romero was given crack cocaine to help in a case known as “Operations Smack City,” an alleged violation of DEA policy.

Romero, 39, was seeking $8.5 million in damages.

Other Stories of Interest

Judge Dismisses Wrongful-Death Lawsuit Against Border Patrol in Taser Explosion

courtroomBy Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent whose use of a Taser caused a deadly car explosion acted reasonably, a judge ruled in dismissing a wrong-death lawsuit against the agency, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. 

Alex Martin died after his car exploded when the agent used the Taser following a chase.

U.S. District Court Judge Larry A. Burns said the agent responded in a reasonable manner given the tense situation.

The incident happened after Martin, 24, initiated a chase in San Diego that ended after his tires were flatted by a spike strip.

When agents surrounded Martin’s car, he appeared to reach in the center console, prompting one of the agents to fire a Taser through the window, causing an explosion.

Government Lawyer: Don’t Discipline Border Patrol for Erasing Videotapes

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling

The lawyer for federal government acknowledged that Border Patrol erased videotapes that captured allegedly deplorable conditions at several Arizona detention centers but urged a judge not to discipline the agency, the Arizona Capitol Times reports. 

Assistant Attorney General Sarah Fabian said the agency was under no obligation to save the recordings is taking “Herculean efforts to comply at great expense to the agency, both financially and in man hours.”

She added that the recordings are “being preserved to the fullest extent possible in light of technical challenges.

The videotapes are at the center of a lawsuit by immigration rights group who claim Border Patrol was confining people to inhumane conditions.

Border Patrol Accused of Erasing Evidence of ‘Unconstitutional Conditions of Confinement’

border patrol 3By Steve Neavling

Border Patrol has destroyed tapes that show “unconstitutional conditions of confinement” and even ignored a judge’s order to preserve the evidence, lawyers for migrants contend, Capital Media Services reports. 

Lawyers for migrants who sued the agency said people apprehended by Border Patrol were treated cruelly, denied access to adequate food and were confined to unsanitary conditions.

Late last month, Border Patrol acknowledged it was routinely recording over used videotapes, erasing evidence.

The federal government would not say why it disobeyed a judge’s orders.

Federal Judge Criticizes DEA Agents for Questionable Tactics Dealing with Pipe Shops

DEALetterHatBy Steve Neavling

A judge admonished questionable tactics by the DEA to shut down a dozen pipe shops in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, the owners of Ziggyz pipe shops said the DEA threatened his landlords in an attempt to force the stores to close, the Tulsa World reports. 

The judge did not like that tactic.

“The government may not attack what it views as illegal activity by simply putting someone out of business, through ‘leaning’ on their landlords or customers or other backdoor means,” U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton wrote in an order dated Aug. 18.

Under the judge’s order, federal agents are prohibited from contacting Ziggyz landlords or seeking forfeiture proceedings.

Mother Sues Border Patrol After Son Fatally Shot in Back of Head

Jose Arambula/Pima County Sheriff's Department

Jose Arambula/Pima County Sheriff’s Department

By Steve Neavling

A mother is suing Border Patrol after an agent killed her son south of Tucson last year.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that Elisa Beckel filed suit in federal court Friday, claiming she “has lost the love, affection, companionship, care, protection and guidance since the death” of Jose Luis Arambula.

Arambula was shot in the back of the head by Border Patrol Agent Daniel Marquez during a chase through a pecan grove.

The agent said he fired the gun because Arambula gestured as if he, too, had a gun and was about to shoo.

Marquez struck Arambula once, firing nine times.

Arambula died at the scene.

Six Men on No-Fly List Want Judge to Examine FBI’s Terrorism Assessments

Airport crowdBy Steve Neavling

How does the FBI decide who goes on the no-fly list?

That’s the question at the center of a lawsuit by six men who were placed on the no-fly list, The Oregonian reports. 

Their lawyers are asking a judge to review how the federal government determines who is placed on the list and whether that determination aligns with threats to commercial airlines or national security.

The government “offers no evidence whatsoever about the accuracy of their predictive model, any scientific basis or methodology that might justify it, or the extent to which it might result in errors,” the lawyers argue.

The Justice Department in late May said the determination to place people on the no-fly list is based on “reasonable suspicion” that they pose terrorism threats.

“The government has taken concrete steps to balance the liberty of suspected terrorists with the serious national security concerns protected by the No-Fly List,” they wrote.