Thursday, February 02, 2012

Agent Brian Terry's Family Files Wrongful Death Claim Against ATF

In August, 2011, I wrote a blog post about the memorial dedicated to the fallen Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.

The Border Patrol station in Bisbee, Ariz., will be renamed to honor the memory of agent Brian Terry who died December 15, 2010 after being shot in the line of duty. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), Chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, introduced the bill in the House of Representatives July 27.

Terry's family issued a statement, saying, "From the very start, Brian loved his job as a Border Patrol agent and loved his fellow agents. The new Naco Station named in Brian's honor will serve as a lasting memory for all those who knew Brian.

Prior to serving on the U.S. border, Agent Terry was a U.S. Marine and a police officer in Michigan.

The death of Agent Terry is linked to the Fast and Furious scandal. As I write this, Attorney General Eric Holder is headed to Capitol Hill to testify again on his department's involvement in the Fast and Furious operation. To say that he and his employees have not been forthcoming is an understatement. Agent Terry's family deserves better.

His family has now filed a wrongful death claim against the ATF.

The family of slain Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry filed a $25 million wrongful-death claim on Wednesday against the federal government, saying he was killed because U.S. investigators allowed weapons into the hands of criminals.

Terry died Dec. 14, 2010, when his special-operations unit got into a shootout with border bandits in a remote canyon area near Rio Rico. At the scene, investigators found two AK-47s that traced back to a gun-smuggling probe by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Congressional investigations and Department of Justice records have revealed that ATF agents allowed as many as 1,400 guns to be transported into Mexico, and that the AK-47s were purchased by a known firearms trafficker. The "gun walking" strategy used in Operation Fast and Furious remains the subject of inquiries by Congress and the DOJ's inspector general.

In the civil claim, which is a required legal step prior to the filing of a lawsuit, Terry's family says federal agents were not only negligent but acted "in violation of ATF's own policies and procedures."

A lawsuit doesn't bring home their son and brother, of course, but maybe it will help get to the bottom of this horrendous scandal. May his family find peace.

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