Last December a Border Patrol Agent was murdered after he was shot by an illegal immigrant after confronting five robbers near Rio Rico. Agent Brian Terry, 40, and three other agents had a gun battle with the robbers resulting in Terry’s death. Today, his family is calling for justice.
According to Fox News, Terry’s family is considering suing the federal government. Family attorney Paul Charlton told Fox News that “If the evidence shows Brian’s death was proximately caused by the negligence of the federal government, there may be a cause of action.” Usually government officials cannot be sued for damages yet there are exceptional causes when they can be. For instance, if the agency could have foreseen an issue and avoided tragedy this is considered negligence.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the head of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kenneth E. Melson, has told congressional investigators that some Mexican drug cartel figures targeted by his agency in a gun-trafficking investigation were paid informants for the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration.
Furthermore, the Los Angeles Times reports that Melson has recently been pressured to resign being that it recently came to the surface that the agency had allowed guns to be purchased in the United States in hopes that they would eventually be traced back to cartel leaders. However, under an operation known as Fast and Furious, the ATF lost track of the sold guns, and as a result many were found at crime scenes in Mexico.
Officials say the gun found at the crime scene where Brian Terry was killed has been traced to Operation Fast and Furious. For this reason, investigators believe that this could be a case of negligence on the part of the federal government. The Los Angeles Times reports that in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Senator Charles Grassley and Representative Darrell Issa wrote, “The evidence we have gathered raises the disturbing possibility that the Justice Department not only allowed criminals to smuggle weapons but the taxpayer dollars from other agencies may have financed those engaging in such activities.”