Between 2 shootings, ICE agents struggled over gun

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Agent Garcia was a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department after he and another immigration agent claimed they were roughed up by officers while doing undercover work. A federal jury found in the police officers’ favor in 2005, saying they did not use excessive force.

The lawsuit alleged that officers handcuffed and threatened to shoot the other agent and put Agent Garcia in a headlock, handcuffed him and forced him into the back of a police car, despite his cries of agony because of an old shoulder injury. Agent Garcia was hospitalized for cuts, bruises and treatment of his shoulder.

“If this could happen to me, then ordinary citizens have even more reason to fear for their own safety,” Agent Garcia told the Los Angeles Times when the lawsuit was filed in 2000. “The situation within the LAPD is clearly out of control.”

Doug Walters, an attorney who represented Agent Garcia, said he was shocked by his death.

“During the time I worked with Zeke, his supervisors were very supportive of him and the case,” Mr. Walters said. “Some of his supervisors traveled some distances to testify.”

Ms. Kice said she didn’t know what job performance issues Agent Garcia was counseled about before the shooting, and she couldn’t disclose them if she did.

A federal official with knowledge of the investigation has told the Associated Press that Agent Kozak had denied Agent Garcia’s request for an internal transfer. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

ICE routinely reallocates resources in line with priorities but does not disclose details for security reasons, Ms. Kice has said.

Elliot Spagat reported from Murrieta, Calif. Associated Press writer Greg Risling contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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