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Tag: rock-throwing

Lawsuit Seeks to Name Border Patrol Agent Who Shot, Killed 16-Year-Old in Nogales

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Civil rights lawyers are suing federal government to force the disclosure of the name of the Border Patrol agent who shot and killed a 16-year-old teen in the back.

“This is an extraordinary request by the government and just one more example of how the Border Patrol attempts to shield its unlawful actions from the public. The rule of law demands transparency—that’s all we’re asking for,” said Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project in a news release.

The body of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was found about 40 feet from the border near the port of entry in Nogales.

Border Patrol said the agent was responding to rock throwers, but a witness disputes that.

CBP has agreed to release the name of the agent, but only if the identity is kept hidden from the public.

“The public interest in knowing the identity of a federal agent sued for the use of deadly force during his official duties is paramount,” attorneys wrote.

Report Finds Border Patrol Agents Used Excessive Force in 67 Cases Involving Rock Throwers, Others

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol agents used excessive force in 67 cases, firing guns when it wasn’t necessary, according to an internal report, the Associated Press reports.

The Police Executive Research Forum questioned the shootings of rock throwers, especially when the attacks come from the Mexican side of the border. The 21-page report indicated that some agents may shoot at rock throwers out of frustration.

The report also found that some intentionally got in the escape route of assailants before opening fire, the AP wrote.

Border Patrol released revised guidelines about the use of force, saying not to shoot at drivers or rock throwers unless there is “imminent danger of serious physical injury or death” to them or someone else.

Border Patrol Chief: Agency is Unfairly Criticized for Using Excessive Force

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher said his agency is unfairly criticized for using excessive force, the Associated Press reports.

Fisher said it’s a mischaracterization to describe his employees as “indiscriminately” opening fire on immigrants.

“If you are like me, there’s nothing more terrifying than fighting for your life when you’re alone with no communication, and the thought for a split second that you may never get home at the end of that shift to see your wife and son again,” Fisher said. “The only thing that is equal to the ripple of fear is thinking of having to use deadly force against another human being.”

Fisher was speaking at the annual Border Security Expo in Phoenix.

Border Patrol Chief Says Agents Can Still Shoot Rock Throwers, As Long As They Pose Threat

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol has been under fire recently for using lethal force on people who throw rocks at agents near the U.S.-Mexico border, Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher said in a new directive Friday, according to the Washington Post.

“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles unless the agent has a reasonable belief, based on the totality of the circumstances, to include the size and nature of the projectiles, that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious injury,” Chief Fisher said in the directive.

The decision by Fisher roiled critics who say Border Patrol agents often are too quick to shoot.

“Border Patrol Chief Fisher’s new guidance on use of force leaves much to be desired. It is largely a restatement of existing policy, which is a shame because clearly existing policy isn’t working,” said Chris Rickerd, policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union.

Rickerd is calling for an investigation into the past five years of deadly force by the Border Patrol.

NBPC Defends Border Patrol Agents’ Use of Lethal Force Against Rock-Throwers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Facing mounting criticism over its use of force, Border Patrol agents are defending opening fire on suspects who throw rocks at law enforcement, Government Executive reports.

Coming to the support of agents is the National Border Patrol Council, which represents about 17,000 agents and support staff.

Border Patrol has come under fire for using lethal force on rock-throwers.

“Rocks can maim and kill just as easily as a knife or a firearm,” NBPC said in a statement. “Every day on the border between the U.S. and Mexico, Border Patrol agents are assaulted with rocks, bricks, and other projectiles. These weapons are readily available and have the potential to do great harm.”

L.A. Times Editorial: It’s the U.S.-Mexico Border, not the Wild West

By L.A. Times
Editorial 

Now we have an idea why the U.S. Customs and Border Protection service was keeping secret an independent report of its encounters at the Mexican border. Because it has something to hide.

As The Times’ Brian Bennett reported last week, an independent report by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum sharply criticized the agency for a “lack of diligence” in investigating fatal encounters involving its agents. The report, based on internal case files of 67 shooting incidents leading to 19 deaths between January 2010 and October 2012, also faulted some of the agents’ practices, including positioning themselves in the “exit path” of fleeing vehicles apparently as a pretext for opening fire in self-defense. Not only is that contrary to commonly accepted policing practices, but it endangers passengers in the car as well as the agents, since a dead driver can’t control a moving vehicle.

The report also reinforced earlier findings by the Department of Homeland Security’s Inspector General on the even more bizarre practice of agents firing across the border when people on the other side throw rocks at them. Yes, a thrown rock can cause significant damage, including death if it strikes an unprotected head. But to respond to rock throwing with live ammunition across an international border — on 22 occasions in 2012 — strikes us as excessive. Was there really no other way to address the problem?

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a division of the Homeland Security Department, is the biggest police agency in the nation. It has doubled in size since 9/11 and now employs more than 43,000 Border Patrol agents and customs officers.

Certainly there are dangers involved in patrolling the border, and agents must be able to protect themselves. But the agency must also train its employees to operate professionally and not to respond to aggression with excessive force.

Click here to read more.

Border Patrol Agent Who Fatally Shot Rock-Throwing Suspect Had Just Over 2 Years on Job

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The Border Patrol agent who pulled the trigger in a deadly shooting along the California-Mexico border last week had just over two years on the job, ABC 10 News reports.

Agent Daniel Basinger is now back on duty.

The shooting happened around 6:40 a.m. on Feb. 18 after two agents split up to capture fleeing suspects who were trying to cross the border into the U.S. That’s when a third suspect was spotted.

Basinger “ordered the man to stop in English and Spanish but he fled on foot,” Giannantonio said. “The agent chased after him, following him down a ravine and back up the opposite hillside.”

The agent then came under attack from fist-sized rocks thrown by the suspect.

“One of the larger rocks struck the agent in the head,” he said. “Fearing that another rock strike to the head could kill or incapacitate him, the agent fired his duty pistol at least twice at the man, striking him.”

Does Border Patrol Overreact to Assaults by Migrants? Question Reignited After Deadly Encounter

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Border Patrol has been under fierce criticism for its use of force.

That criticism is only expected to get louder after a Border Patrol agent trying to avert an illegal crossing at the Mexican border Tuesday shot and killed a man after being struck in the head with a rock, the Associated Press reports.

The agent’s injury was minor enough that he declined to be treated at a hospital.

According to a Border Patrol statement, the agent feared for his life.

Neither the agent nor the man who died who died has been identified.

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