Click here to read the ACLU's original complaint.
Whatever the motive, the agents should have been commended for speaking up. Instead, they were punished for "divulging sensitive Border Patrol information." That's right -- an officially sanctioned by a law enforcement agency for complaining that agents weren't following the law.
Cops need reasonable suspicion to pull a vehicle over in a traffic stop, but "shotgunning" blows through that constitutionally based legal balancing weight. It's easy to imagine how such a practice might result in racial discrimination and the abuse of civil rights -- as happened, it seems, in the case of Curbelo's ex-wife. Compound that with the agents' punishment and it was a case tailor-made for the ACLU.
ACLU lawyers George Staff and Phoenix's own Dan Pochoda served as counsel and co-counsel in the agents' lawsuit againt the government. Pochoda, if you'll recall, has both his legal education and experience to guide him in cases of abuses of police power.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
The reinstated agents probably won't get invited this year to the chief's holiday party. But the actions of agents Curbelo and Leafstone ought to be celebrated by the public, who will benefit from their bravery.