Looks like I’m not the only Arizonan fed up with armed Border Patrol agents seizing folks absent suspicion along public roads inside the country to interrogate, search and generally harass them absent individualized suspicion of wrongdoing.
Showing both courage and integrity, the video above depicts an active duty Border Patrol agent speaking out against the unlawful actions of fellow agents at so-called internal immigration checkpoints in Southern California.
Mike Flanders went public with his allegations of Border Patrol misconduct at internal checkpoints after his attempts at redress within CBP (Customs and Border Protection) were rebuffed. Not only were his concerns marginalized by his chain of command but his duties at the Interstate-8 checkpoint near Pine Valley were suspended and he was reassigned to roving patrol while an internal investigation and other adversarial actions were initiated against him.
In other words, Agent Flanders was retaliated against for daring to question the illegal actions of the agency. Something Customs & Border Protection and the Department of Homeland Security are obviously quite good at – retaliation that is as opposed to Border Protection or Homeland Security.
Not content to harass domestic traffic absent individualized suspicion of wrongdoing at roadblocks inside the country, Border Patrol agents are now storming private homes to seize video evidence of their own wrongdoing.
The folks over at Photography Is Not a Crime bring us a story about seven Border Patrol agents who hunted down a man in Escondido, California who had taken video of an agent and an undercover police officer beating a suspect laying on the ground. After discovering where the videographer lived, the agents stormed & searched his house hours after the incident without a warrant. They then seized his cell phone, also without a warrant, containing video of the incident. See:
CBP corruption (formerly U.S. Border Patrol and U.S. Customs) has been an ongoing trend I’ve been watching for the better part of the last decade so it’s good to see main stream media outlets starting to cover this issue in greater depth as well.
In December of last year, I reported on a story involving Canadian science fiction author Peter Watts. Mr. Watts was assaulted by overzealous Customs & Border Protection Officers along the Northern border while attempting to return to Canada.
In this article, I highlight a reported assault of a U.S. citizen by a Customs and Border Protection officer along the Southern border while attempting to return to his country through the Port of Entry in Calexico CA.
In the news recently was yet another story of rampant corruption within the ranks of Customs & Border Protection agents. For those who pay attention to such things, this is nothing new. I’ve been linking to similar news articles and Inspector General reports for years when I come across them.
The article I’ve included below provides us with a glimpse of just how bad the problem may be. It would appear that of all applicants for agency positions who undergo thorough background checks, 60% are turned away due to questionable motives and backgrounds.
I noticed an increase in network traffic to the blog recently so took a closer look. What I discovered was that Peter Watts, an award-winning Canadian science fiction writer, was recently roughed up close to the Canadian border by U.S. homeland security goons with Customs and Border Protection.
It appears that Mr Watts was attempting to return to Canada via the Blue Water Bridge in Michigan when he was selected by Customs and Border ‘Protection’ agents for extra special attention in the form of a random vehicle search prior to leaving the country. That’s right, Mr. Watts wasn’t attempting to enter the United States. He was attempting to leave.
I’ve reprinted an article below regarding the recent conviction of Blaine Sector Border Patrol Deputy Chief Joseph Giuliano for child rape. Amazingly enough, the prosecutor in the case, Mac Setter, is attempting to keep Giuliano out of prison on supervised work release.
In light of this, it’s worth noting again that Giuliano was the second highest ranking Border Patrol agent in the Blaine Sector. He was a career ‘law’ enforcement officer in a position of substantial influence, authority and responsibility. The child he raped had been living in his and his wife’s home for several months.
Several months ago, I came across an entry on the local Border Patrol union’s website where the union was complaining about the use of DPS photo radar cameras in Arizona. Since Arizona photo radar is a topic of interest to me, I read on and learned that union leadership was claiming photo radar was interfering with field agents doing their job.
In followup to my May 2008 blog entry regarding two Border Patrol agents retaliated against for whistle blowing, the agents have been fully reinstated by the agency.
Problems for the agents started in late 2006 when the ex-wife of one of the agents, along with his minor children, were stopped by a Border Patrol roving patrol near Rodeo, New Mexico. During the stop, agents searched the vehicle and found marijuana. Agent Curbelo’s ex-wife was arrested and his children detained.