American Civil Liberties Union looking at U.S. Border Patrol rights violations in Arizona

PHOENIX - The American Civil Liberties Union is seeking a federal government probe into allegations of constitutional rights violations by U.S. Border Patrol agents in Arizona.

In a letter sent Thursday to the Department of Homeland Security, the ACLU cites five cases in which the group says U.S. citizens were subject to illegal searches, detentions and excessive force.

The group is asking for an investigation into the individual complaints as well as a comprehensive review of Border Patrol policies.

"These types of incidents and complaints can't go unanswered," said Alessandra Soler, executive director of the ACLU branch in Phoenix. "I think what's been happening is DHS has been simply ignoring them."

The complaint comes two weeks after the federal government settled an ACLU lawsuit filed over similar allegations in Washington state.

While admitting no wrongdoing in that case, Border Patrol agreed to retrain agents, among other things.

Border Patrol officials were not available for comment due to the partial federal government shutdown.

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