Nearly a year after the Obama administration vowed to crack down on Border Patrol agents who use excessive force, no shooting cases have been resolved, no agents have been disciplined, a review panel has not issued recommendations, and the top two jobs in internal affairs are vacant, the Los Angeles Times reports. That suggests the difficulties of reforming the nation’s largest federal law enforcement force despite complaints in Congress and from advocacy groups that agents shot and killed two dozen people on the Southwest border over five years but have faced no criminal prosecutions or disciplinary actions.
Administration officials insist they are moving as quickly as possible in a federal bureaucracy, considering union rules and an internal culture that closes ranks around its paramilitary force. R. Gil Kerlikowske, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, the parent agency for the Border Patrol, told the Times he was reviewing 14 shooting cases for possible violations of agency rules on use of force. “I’m not sure we will reach a level of satisfaction with the public on every one of those cases,” Kerlikowske said. “But we will be much more thorough, much more accountable and we will be much more transparent … going forward.”