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Editorial: Border Patrol Made Right Decision to Restrict Use of Deadly Force by Agents

By The Sacramento Bee
Editorial Board 

Crossing into the U.S. illegally is not a capital crime. Yet since 2010, some 20 people have been fatally shot by Border Patrol agents along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The head of the Border Patrol has taken the correct and necessary step of making clear to his agents that using deadly force should be a last resort. On Friday, Chief Michael Fisher ordered agents not to step in front of moving vehicles in order to open fire, and not to shoot at fleeing vehicles. He also directed agents to seek cover or move away from rock throwers, and not to shoot unless in imminent danger.

No doubt, agents should be able to protect themselves or the public. But it’s also clear that more intensive training is needed to make sure this reasonable policy is followed.

The new rules bring the patrol more in line with the nation’s major law enforcement departments. The changes come after scrutiny from civil rights groups and the Mexican government, and follow eye-opening reports a week earlier by Tim Johnson of McClatchy’s foreign staff and by the Los Angeles Times.

To read more click here.

 


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