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Appeals Court: Mexican Boy’s Family Can Sue Border Patrol Agent in Fatal Shooting

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a decision that could have widespread consequences for federal law enforcement, an appeals court ruled Monday that a Border Patrol agent can be sued for fatally shooting a 15-year-old Mexican boy across the border, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The three-judge panel in New Orleans said the 2010 shooting of Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca contain allegations that, if true, would amount to “an official abuse of power so arbitrary as to shock the conscience.”

It’s rare for a court to extend constitutional protections to non-citizens.

“It’s a huge human rights victory,” said attorney Robert Hilliard, who represents the boy’s family. “It gives you a voice inside a U.S. courtroom. They have to focus on, ‘Did the border agent do something wrong?'”

The lawyer for the accused agent said the case may go before the full appeals court.

“Classifying it as a leap is an understatement,” said attorney Randolph J. Ortega. “They have extended the protections of the U.S. courts into foreign countries where the U.S. does not have any jurisdiction.”


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