The Department of Homeland Security received hundreds of complaints about civil rights violations last year that it did not investigate, Motherboard reported Tuesday.
Official records show that there were thousands of reports of detainees, prisoners, and suspects who suffered civil rights abuses in 2017, but because of "limited investigative resources," several hundred were left untouched. The complaints across all DHS agencies, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, and the Coast Guard, alleged sexual and physical abuse as well as discrimination and general mistreatment.
"The number of complaints that apparently went uninvestigated is quite surprising and it demands a closer look," Steven Aftergood from the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists told Motherboard.
The DHS's watchdog office marked hundreds of cases as "closed not converted," which means that they were not fully investigated before being considered a closed case. In other cases, allegations against DHS employees were called "unsubstantiated." A DHS representative told Motherboard that the agency focuses much of its investigative efforts on cases that allege "corruption or criminal misconduct on the part of DHS employees or contractors, misconduct by high-level DHS employees, [or] use of force by DHS law enforcement officers," so it is "unable to investigate" many of the civil rights-related cases. Read more at Motherboard. Summer Meza