- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 12, 2016

PHOENIX (AP) - The commissioner for U.S. Customs and Border Protection says he will retire in December.

Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske told the newspaper Monday that he plans to retire after more than two years on the job, the Arizona Republic reported (https://bit.ly/29KYizt).

Kerlikowske was appointed after an investigation by The Republic found that Border Patrol agents and CBP officers were involved in nearly 50 deaths from the use of force since 2005. The newspaper said many of the cases were cloaked in secrecy and no agent was known to have faced disciplinary action for such incidents.

Kerlikowske has been credited with helping change CBP’s policies on use of force, making those policies and other reports public and providing at least limited information in cases when an officer used deadly force.

CBP’s use-of-force policy now instructs agents not to step in front of or block the path of a moving vehicle as a pretext to fire at it, according to the newspaper.

Agents also are not to fire at rock-throwers unless they have a reasonable belief that there’s an imminent danger of serious physical injury or death. When possible, agents are to seek cover or move back out of danger.

Mitra Ebadolahi, border litigation attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union in San Diego, acknowledged that Kerlikowske has made positive steps forward with agency regarding transparency.

Kerlikowske was a former police chief in Seattle for nine years and a police commissioner in Buffalo, New York.

He worked in the police department in St. Petersburg, Florida, and served as the deputy director for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.


Information from: The Arizona Republic, https://www.azcentral.com

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