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Alaska border patrol officer pulls handgun on scout, confiscates camera, detains group.

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the border guard sounds like a complete tool.



Yes, if you listen to only one side of the story.


But, then, there's this:

DES MOINES  A nearly monthlong investigation about an incident between Boy Scouts from Grimes, Iowa, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers is coming to a close.

Robert Hopper, scout executive for the Mid-Iowa Council for Boy Scouts of America, said the investigation concluded no guns were drawn while the scouts crossed the border.

“I think it’s just an unfortunate something that happened and we’re all looking forward to moving on,†Hopper said.

Boy Scout Troop 111 crossed the border from Canada to Alaska in the beginning of July, when two scouts claimed they saw a Border Protection officer draw his gun.

The incident gained national attention shortly after.

The Office of Inspector General, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, investigated the incident.

Representatives from border protection and the Office of Inspector General met with Boy Scout leaders in Des Moines on July 30 and 31 to get statements and review border security tapes.

Public affairs for the Office of Inspector General said a statement about the investigation would be released August 18.

Hopper said Customs and Border Protection contacted him last week, letting him know they are closing the investigation. He said border protection told him they found no evidence of any border officers drawing a gun. The evidence included four border security cameras and interviews with Alaskan border agents and scout leaders.

Hopper said “they had no other trouble at any other ports and they made it back OK.†He added that he looks forward to focusing on the Boy Scout recruiting season and moving on from the incident.


And this by the Council:

Recently, there have been a number of news stories via television, newspapers, internet, and Facebook concerning Troop 111‘s recent trip to Alaska. Some of the information contained in those stories is incomplete or not completely accurate. I have communicated with scores of individuals via phone and email from across the country and Canada. Many have latched on to this to espouse their own viewpoints. Others were chiefly concerned for the Scouts’ safety. There certainly is a tremendous amount of rumor involved, which we would like to dispel.

This message is for the Scouting Community and is intended to provide information from Mid-Iowa Council’s perspective. I have visited with Troop 111’s Scoutmaster, Jim Fox, with government investigators who have reviewed the Troop’s border crossing experience, with other adult leaders on the trip, and have also viewed a video of the incident.

First, the trip leaders are certainly to be commended. 21 days with 18 teenage boys! Only those of us who have had the experience of taking a group of teenage boys on an extended trip can appreciate their contribution to these boys’ lives.

On July 7, Troop 111, traveling on the Alcan Highway, crossed through customs at the Alcan Port from Canada into Alaska. One of the Scouts in the four-vehicle caravan took a photo of the Customs & Border Protection Officer inspecting their documents. Photos of U.S. Officers are not allowed at U.S. Ports. The officer required the Scout to surrender his camera for inspection. The Scout did so and following that, the officer also inspected the vehicle that Scout was riding in and that Scout’s personal gear. The inspection was completed in about 50 minutes. With the exception of this incident, Troop 111 reports having a great time and no other border crossing problems. There is no doubt this was an experience none of them wish to repeat.

The following day, two Scouts reported to Mr. Fox that during the inspection an officer drew his sidearm and aimed it at a Scout. Mr. Fox posted this allegation on his Facebook page. Whether an officer did or did not draw his sidearm and aim it at a Scout has been the focus of a Customs & Border Protection and Homeland Security Inspector General investigation.

On July 30 & 31 two federal investigators were in Des Moines to interview individuals who were on Troop 111’s trip to obtain statements from them as to what they saw. The two investigators, one a Special Agent with Customs & Border Protection internal affairs, the other a Special Agent with the Homeland Security Inspector General’s Office, invited all trip participants to meet with them and tell what they saw. The Maytag Scout Center was made available for these meetings. The four adult trip leaders met with the investigators, however none of the Scouts did.

None of the adult leaders, including Mr. Fox, personally witnessed the Customs and Border Protection officer draw his weapon and aim it at a Scout. Mr. Fox’s Facebook postings and subsequent statements are based on his being told of the incident by Scouts.

The two federal investigators brought with them video showing Troop 111’s crossing of the border and the inspection of the vehicle and contents. I had the opportunity to review the security video from Alcan. It’s in color and includes four camera angles. The video supports everything the Troop’s individuals report with the exception of the allegation of the officer drawing his gun. At no time is a gun seen on the video. Mr. Fox also viewed the video and it is his opinion the video is inconclusive.

Since then, the investigators traveled to Alaska to interview the officers at the Alcan Port.

I found the investigators to be very respectful of everyone. They have never discounted Mr. Fox’s statements of the Scout’s claims. However, without the Scouts’ witness statements, all the investigators have are Mr. Fox’s statement of the Scout’s allegations, the adult leader’s statements, the video, and now the officer’s statements.

None of the adult witnesses who visited with the investigators reported personally seeing a gun, and no gun is actually seen in the video. The investigators have reported to me they have completed their investigation and there is currently no evidence that the Customs & Border Protection officer drew his sidearm and / or pointed it at a Scout.



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I find it interesting that the council spokesman quoted in the article (who, according to the council's web site, is the director of field service) does not seem very upset about the incident. He say

Another classic case of "we have investigated ourselves' date=' and found that we have done no wrong"[/quote']


So, you choose to believe that the 13 seconds that one officer was off camera over the course of a 50 minute inspection was when he drew his weapon?

And the Scouts were so upset by it that they mentioned it to their SM........ the next day?




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So, you choose to believe that the 13 seconds that one officer was off camera over the course of a 50 minute inspection was when he drew his weapon?

And the Scouts were so upset by it that they mentioned it to their SM........ the next day?



no, I just tend to lean against believing anybody that investigates themselves in general.

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I'm starting to wonder if no Scouts met with the investigators because no Scouts told their Scoutmaster that a gun was pulled.


I think I finished wondering that back in the summer, after the contents of the videos were revealed. :) It is definitely one of the three main possibilities. One of the others is that the Scout(s) completely made it up, which I think is the least likely. The last one - the one I lean towards - is a combination of overactive teenaged imaginations, and a Scoutmaster who misunderstood what the Scout(s) said, and what he thought he heard matched up with some of his ideological beliefs, so he didn't question it. I guess I'm trying to give everybody the benefit of the doubt, though the Scoutmaster doesn't get away without some blame under either scenarios. (Notice that none of my scenarios actually involve an officer pulling a gun on Scouts.)


Of course, this is just guesswork. We will never really know for sure.

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