March 27, 2014
Faced with Mounting Pressure over Violent Tactics, CBP and DHS Offer Empty Gestures, False Solutions
For years, Border Patrol agents have effectively acted with impunity along the southern border of the United States, shooting anyone — including Mexican nationals on the other side of the border — when confronted with the threat of a rock.
According to CBP’s own statistics, agents have opened fire on alleged rock-throwers at least 43 times since 2010, killing 10 people — some as young as 15 and 16 years old — and not once has an agent been publicly identified or faced any disciplinary action. As I’ve noted previously, in the cases of Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez and Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca, the available evidence indicates that neither child posed a threat or even threw a rock — Rodriguez likely laying submissively face down on the ground when executed.
In a move loudly praised across the media, the Border Patrol responded earlier this month by publicly releasing an internal memo addressing the issue, along with a redacted copy of their 2010 Use of Force Policy Handbook. Various outlets reported a great change in CBP policy, supposedly now restricting, even “banning,” the shoot-to-kill practice in the field and instructing agents to “show restraint.”
The reports are based on a quote by Michael Fisher, chief of the Border Patrol, who wrote the internal memo and stated “deadly force may only be used if an agent has a reasonable belief, based on the totality of the circumstances, that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the agent or another person.”
Are these news outlets suggesting that, prior to Fisher’s memo, it was the policy of the US Border Patrol to shoot and kill people along the border who did not pose an “imminent danger?”
Read the rest of the article on the PanAmerican Post—Border Patrol Throw Political Bone to Civil Libertarians; Will We Fetch?