Union rep, attorney respond to statements from Border Patrol sho - Tucson News Now

Union rep, attorney respond to statements from Border Patrol shooting investigation

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Border Patrol agents acted professionally at the scene of a deadly officer-involved shooting in Green Valley, according to the local union leader.

Statements from investigators included in documents recently released by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department say that some agents questioned what detectives were doing and upset with their treatment.

“There was some questioning on our part from the union and the attorneys stand point as to why these agents weren’t being allowed to talk to the attorneys,” said Local 2544 President Art del Cueto.

Investigators mentioned in their reports that explanations were given to some agents, but del Cueto said he never received a clear answer. Detectives did not allow the two agents involved to speak with anyone until the Officer-Involved Shooting Team arrived, according to the report.

Sean Chapman, an attorney for one of the agents, said he asked to see his client but had to wait hours before it happened.

“In my 25 years of practice, I’ve never seen somebody denied access to their attorney, as was done in this case,” said Chapman. “That’s a violation of constitutional law.”

In regards to statements that agents admitted to having no training about what happens after firing their weapons in the field, del Cueto said no agent would have said such a thing because they go through rigorous training.

“We definitely have a procedure for what to do after we’ve been involved in a shooting,” he said. “We’re not out there riding roughshod, we’re a federal agency.”

Agents have quarterly firearms training, which includes scenarios, situations and what to do after firing a weapon in the field, according to del Cueto.

He said supervisors are notified within the hour and they coordinate with the investigating agency about what happens next. Del Cueto directed specific questions about policy and procedure to Border Patrol.

A message into the agency about officer-involved shooting policies has not been returned at the time of this report.

The investigation is in the hands of the Pima County Attorney’s Office, where it is under review.

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