FBI agents instruct East Texas officers on protecting civil rights

Marshall PD Civil Rights Training

MARSHALL, Texas (KLTV) - Some valuable instruction has gone on that last two days for some East Texas peace officers, courtesy of the ‘FBI’.

The focus is on reinforcing the training officers have on the respecting and protection of people’s civil rights.

“Officers are held to that standard of civil rights. Protect peoples civil rights, so the last thing we want to do is to violate that,” says Marshall police chief Cliff Carruth.

At Marshall Police Department, FBI instructors were invited in to train officers on use of force, and the protection of those civil rights.

“Specifically on what we call ‘color of law’ violations, which are violations involving when someone in a position of trust such as a police officer misuses their position to violate someone’s constitutional rights,” says FBI field agent in charge Matt DeSarno.

A retired FBI agent himself, Carruth saw the need to be proactive.

“The FBI’s mission is to protect the people and uphold the constitution. The vast majority of police contact with citizens are completely lawful. But there are instances where that’s not the case,” DeSarno says.

When the chief reached out to the FBI three weeks ago, the timing could not have been more important.

“In light of the environment we’re in, we wanted to make sure our officers had as much training as they could receive in civil rights training,” Carruth says.

The goal is better understanding by law officers and gaining public trust.

“To ensure that’s there’s an understanding among local officers on what is and isn’t a violation of federal law,” the FBI agent said.

“Showing that transparency, making sure the public knows we can do our jobs correctly and better protect the public,” chief Carruth says.

The FBI regionally partners with local law enforcement to instruct officers to understand how to ensure protection of individual civil rights.

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