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After ICE officer Thomas Malandris struck an 18-year-old pedestrian as he was responding to a call in National City in 2014, he dragged the teenager 30 feet away, moved his vehicle and misled his supervisors about what really happened that night.
Those are some of the explosive details to come out of a civil trial for the lawsuit filed by the family of the teenager, Ali Mendoza, reports VOSD’s Maya Srikrishnan. The case is awaiting a judge’s decision.
“Though some details of the case have been public since the 2014 incident, court documents and testimony have showed that even Thomas Malandris’ supervisor was concerned about the officer’s ‘lack of candor’ regarding the accident,” Srikrishnan reports.
Court documents show that because Mendoza had long hair, was carrying a guitar when he was struck and appeared dazed after being hit by a car, Malandris told his supervisors the teen was a drug user. Though National City Police determined Malandris was the one at fault for the incident, the government continued to bring up Mendoza’s marijuana use to paint him as not credible.
Malandris has since retired from ICE. He was suspended for five days following the incident, but was later promoted.
Many politicians in recent years, including some in San Diego, have publicly advocated for U.S. military veterans who’ve been deported to be able return to the country and earn their citizenship.
But the family and friends of Jose Segovia Benitez, a Marine veteran who’s currently in immigration detention and is facing deportation, say it’s been a struggle to get anyone with power to take interest in his case.
That’s because some of the crimes for which Segovia has been convicted include serious offenses like domestic violence. Yet they say he’s been failed by a system that didn’t properly treat his PTSD and other issues caused by his service in Iraq.
In the latest Border Report, Maya Srikrishnan delves into Segovia’s case and what his supporters say are the reasons why he should be allowed to stay in the country.
The Morning Report was written by Sara Libby and Megan Wood.