Following the passage of California’s SB54 “sanctuary” law, Border Patrol agents were reportedly forced to release a suspected drunk driver after local police refused to take them into custody.
In a declaration submitted in the case of United States of America v. State of California, San Diego Sector Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott revealed that the Indio Police Department refused to dispatch officers to take custody of a suspected drunk driver because Border Patrol agents initially stopped the driver for an immigration inspection, court documents obtained by Breitbart Texas revealed.
Border Patrol agents from the Indio Station conducted a traffic stop under their immigration enforcement authority, Scott stated.
“As the officers approached the vehicle, it was obvious that the driver was intoxicated,” he said. The agents determined there were no immigration-related issues and contacted the Indio Police Department to send an officer to take charge of the suspected drunk driver. Police officials replied that they “would not respond because the initial vehicle stop was immigration based,” the chief said.
Border Patrol agents were forced to release the “obviously intoxicated” driver onto the public roadways, Scott explained. Further, he said Indio police officials notified the agents they would only respond to Border Patrol calls based on “Officer Safety” concerns.
Chief Scott said the SB54 law creates numerous situations that put the public, his agents, and local police officers in danger because of the refusal to cooperate.
He described a second situation where the El Cajon Police Department refused to send units to assist Border Patrol agents who were engaged in a high-speed pursuit.
Chief Scott reported:
Border Patrol Agents from the Campo Station attempted a vehicle stop on February 12, 2018. The vehicle failed to yield on Interstate 8 in California and fled west, traveling a distance of more than 20 miles, while being pursued by Border Patrol. Eventually, Border Patrol Agents assigned to the El Cajon station successfully deployed a controlled tire deflation device, and the vehicle came to a stop on Highway 67 in the city of El Cajon, California.
Three people fled the scene after the stop. Agents arrested two of the subjects while the third escaped.
Scott said the agents requested assistance from the El Cajon Police Department during the pursuit. At the time, the agents had no knowledge of the driver’s identity, immigration status, or why he chose to flee. “The El Cajon Police Department declined to assist,” Scott stated. “After the event, it was determined that the officer declined the request to assist presuming it was an immigration matter as opposed to a fleeing subject whose identity/immigration status was not known at the time of the incident.”
The Border Patrol sector chief said the declination by the El Cajon put the public and his agents at risk by failing to help stop a high-speed pursuit “on a California Interstate and highway within their jurisdiction.”
Scott said prior to the passage of SB54, his agents and local law enforcement officials enjoyed good relationships between the agencies and cooperation on matters like these were commonplace.
“In the law enforcement community, Border Patrol is committed to strong working relationships with state and local law enforcement partners,” Chief Scott explained. “Given the nature of itsmission, Border Patrol often acts within the same geographic area as state and local law enforcement entities, and relies heavily on these partnerships to ensure officer safety and public safety.”