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Saturday, July 13, 2024

ATF Agents Who Killed Clinton Airport Exec Won’t be Charged

'The state’s investigation didn’t attempt to make independent judgments about whether ATF violated the law when they broke down Mr. and Mrs. Malinowski’s front door. But that question should be a matter of grave concern for the rest of us...'

(Ken Silva, Headline USA) The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents who killed Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Executive Director Bryan Malinowski in a predawn raid won’t be charged, an Arkansas prosecutor said Friday.

Pulaski County Prosecutor Will Jones said in a letter to ATF that no charges in the shooting would be filed after reviewing the Arkansas State Police investigation of the shooting of Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport Executive Director Bryan Malinowski.

Malinowski died days after he was shot when ATF agents, who weren’t wearing body cameras, raided his home on March 19 at his home in Little Rock. The ATF said agents returned fire after Malinowski shot at the agents, striking and injuring one of them.

The raid on Malinowski was over what amounted to be a paperwork issue.

An affidavit released after the shooting said Malinowski bought over 150 guns between May 2021 and February 2024 and that he resold many without a dealer’s license. Malinowski would only be required to have an FFL if selling guns were his principal livelihood—though the Biden administration has recently changed that to cover potentially all private gun owners.

For his infraction, the ATF had Malinowski under surveillance for days, installed a GPS tracker on his vehicle, and had undercover ATF agents had made several controlled buys from him at gun shows.

Nevertheless, Jones said the agents had properly identified themselves with police running lights and sirens outdoors before they entered and announced their presence at the front door. Jones wrote that during the raid one of the agents saw another agent fall to the ground, heard a gunshot and saw Malinowski holding a gun.

“Given the totality of the circumstances, Agent 2 had a reasonable belief that deadly force was necessary to defend himself and Agent 1,” Jones wrote. “Therefore, the use of deadly force by Agent 2 was in accordance with Arkansas law and was justified.”

The shooting is now  now under internal review by the ATF.

The Malinowski family has called the ATF’s tactics in the raid “completely unnecessary” as the ATF has stonewalled them from receiving information about its investigation. An attorney for Malinowski’s family has said he was a gun collector and wasn’t aware he was under investigation for his reselling firearms at gun shows.

Bud Cummins, the family’s attorney, on Friday said questions about the raid were “far from over” despite Jones’ decision. Cummins noted that, according to Jones’ letter, ATF agents only waited 28 seconds after knocking on the Malinowski’s door before they began to ram it.

“The state’s investigation didn’t attempt to make independent judgments about whether ATF violated the law when they broke down Mr. and Mrs. Malinowski’s front door,” Cummins said in a statement. “But that question should be a matter of grave concern for the rest of us.”

Malinowski’s death prompted criticism from some Republican lawmakers in Arkansas who have called for more information from the ATF, and the chair of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in April asked the ATF to provide the panel documents and information about the raid.

“ATF seeks to drastically expand the universe of Americans who would be classified as a ‘dealer’ under federal law requiring them to obtain a license to become a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), subjecting them to a term of imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to $250,000, or both,” Jordan said in April.

“Mr. Malinowski exercised his Second Amendment rights and was a firearms enthusiast. Even if, as ATF has alleged, Mr. Malinowski violated federal law, it does not justify ATF’s actions that ultimately lead to the use of deadly force.”

Ken Silva is a staff writer at Headline USA. Follow him at twitter.com/jd_cashless.

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