I promised you more details on the brewing controversy within the Los Angeles field office of the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and here you go.
A high ranking union official for one of the largest federal employee unions representing officers, agents and employees who work for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) threatened to go to the media if the head of ICE didn’t investigate the writing of racial slurs on two African-American agents lockers.
I managed to get my hands on an email originating in Los Angeles to the former Director of ICE John Morton that says in explicit detail that if the agency didn’t have the July 9, 2013 incident investigated by the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and/or the FBI “then it will be brought to the attention of the media.”
The email was sent on July 11, 2013 two days after two ICE agents returned to the L.A. field office and found the words “monkey” and “liver lips” written on their lockers in the men’s locker room.
The email also goes on to say, “as an ICE employee I am very upset at the response from local management regarding this situation with their lack of concern and what seems to be content for this type of treatment.”
To date, while ICE continues to conduct numerous investigations involving civilians throughout the US, it has failed to conduct an internal investigation into which one of their own agents committed a hate crime and civil rights violation in their Los Angeles field office. The location of the lockers guarantees that only another ICE employee or employees would have had the access to write the racial slurs.
In another email (posted below story), the same union official requests that the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) which investigates misconduct allegations not be involved in the investigation because the wife of one of the suspect’s, Supervisory Detention & Deportation Officer (AFOD) Arturo Trevino works in the office which would be an obvious (but always) conflict of interest. Trevino has been accused of not taking the incident seriously.
We are fearful that if the Agency (ICE) does not investigate this matter and make the effort to find out who did this and then take the appropriate action, then it would create an environment of more hostility and animosity among the employees.
This is a law enforcement environment where every officer has weapons…
Union officials and others close to the situation believe that the agency is hoping this situation will go away quietly and without incident.
ICE has been in the news in recent weeks for releasing thousands of illegal immigrants, including over 600 who had criminal convictions, as a way to deal with budget shortfalls and for the lawsuit following the death of a 38-year-old undocumented immigrant who was housed at the downtown Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center when he died from complications from diabetes. The lawsuit alleges that inadequate medical care led to the untimely death Roberto Aguilar Bautista in March.
Images of the emails, defamed lockers, and letters from the agents targeted are below.