Borders

Border Patrol Use of Force Questioned in Report They Tried to Keep from Congress

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Los Angeles Times gets its hands on an investigation into border patrol practices by the Police Executive Research Forum, a "nonprofit research and policy organization in Washington that works closely with law enforcement agencies" that was "allowed to examine internal Border Patrol case files on 67 shooting incidents from January 2010 to October 2012."

Some findings from the Times:

roberthuffstutter / Foter / CC BY-NC

Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.

The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.

And our brave border protectors wanted to make sure we, or our elected representatives, never found out:

House and Senate oversight committees requested copies last fall but received only a summary that omitted the most controversial findings — that some border agents stood in front of moving vehicles as a pretext to open fire and that agents could have moved away from rock throwers instead of shooting at them.

The Times obtained the full report and the agency's internal response, which runs 23 pages. The response rejects the two major recommendations: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can't cause serious physical injury….

Mexican authorities have complained for years that U.S. border agents who kill Mexicans are rarely disciplined and that the results of investigations are not made public for years.

J.D. Tuccille blogged earlier today on Arizonans attempts to rid themselves of an internal "border checkpoint."

Just a thought: we could cut a vast number of the reasons any of these confrontations happen in the first place with saner drug laws and saner paths for the legal ability to work in this country.

NEXT: Venezuelans Organize Protests and Evade State Censorship With Walkie-Talkie App

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  1. I’m sure our diligent representatives in Congress would have been all over the findings of this report had they gotten it.

  2. Not surprised. Border controllers are tulpathetic.

  3. Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border

    we really need a one shoot and you’re retired rule, regardless of justification.

    1. “It’s coming right for us!”

      1. At the very least Askins was apparently aware he was evil.

  4. Wow, the comments on that article are horrifying. Apparently deliberately putting yourself into danger in order to have an excuse to kill people is a noble act.

  5. Them covering up the stepping in front of cars thing does not surprise me at all. Psychopathic pigs do that all the time, all around the nation, just so they can shoot the driver and occupants.

    The rocks thing sort of does, though. If someone started throwing rocks at my face or head I’d probably throw some rocks traveling around 1300 FPS right back at them.

    I’m guessing the rock throwers were actually out of range and the cops shot at them anyway?

    1. I’m guessing the rock throwers were actually out of range and the cops shot at them anyway?

      It really depends on whether they were getting pegged with them (and how large they were; a pebble or handful of gravel is unlikely to be a threat), or whether they just landed in the general vicinity. If you’re REALLY getting pelted with no nonlethal recourse I could see firing back, but the rock recommendation takes that into account, leading me to believe these were less than lethal situations (though an individual incident should be decided on it’s own merits):

      barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can’t cause serious physical injury….

    2. So our border patrol is now firing weapons into Mexico.

      I don’t remember Congress declaring war on Mexico. Of course, I don’t remember them declaring war on any country in the last 25 years. I do remember them declaring war on drugs, poverty, terrorism (not actual terroISTS). Our government only declares wars on concepts.

      1. Wars on ideas can’t actually be won or lost really so, it’s a pretty good jobs program.

        1. We seem to be doing a pretty good job of losing the wars on ideas. Losing petty wars on purpose seems to be the m.o. of our government, winning any wars would cause budgets to be slashed.

          1. We’re losing!?!?! DOUBLE DOWN! Jerbz.

  6. I put that in the AM links. Thanks for the hat tip.

    /sarc

    1. Nobody reads the AM links.

    2. If you want a hat tip you have to show fealty to a Reason staffer. And email the link to them.

      1. Show fealty? Is that like pulling a session on the blogging couch with one of the staffers?

        1. I imagine the Reason staff is like House Baratheon. Swear fealty to one and prepare to die at the hands of the other.

  7. Just a thought: we could cut a vast number of the reasons any of these confrontations happen in the first place with saner drug laws and saner paths for the legal ability to work in this country.

    No goddamnit! Its like you people don’t even listen. We need to double-down. If we eliminate drug-laws and loosen immigration restrictions then all the people breaking the law *now* will WIN!

    Do you really want to *reward* drug-dealers and illegal aliens?

    1. I’m fine with rewardingdrug dealers.

      As for illegal aliens, if we eliminated the minimum wage we would eliminate the desire to hire illegal aliens.

      1. And if you eliminate the WoD a large source of strife, instability, and corruption in Mexico starts to dry up.

    2. ^^THIS^^

      /derpling down

  8. Yes, I know I’m crazy, but maybe Mexicans should not be throwing rocks at people in the US?

    Pancho Villa it’s not, but it’s still an attack from over the border.

    Yeah, yeah, “true scotsman” libertarians don’t believe in borders or nations or cultures. Let them all in!

    1. You so cray!

      Plus – derp.

    2. So you are taking the childish Border Patrol excuse of “They threw rocks back at me first!”

      1. “They pelted us with rocks and garbage!”

        Anyone else remember when David Letterman had that one in the running to be the latest fad statement in the US? Anyone? Bueller?

        “I do and I do and I do for you kids – and THIS is the thanks I get!”

        That was another one.

        Why do I remember shit like this from 20, 30 years ago, but I can’t remember my 4:00 meeting?

        1. You’re more likely to remember funny stuff.

        2. Alzheimermania!

    3. Indeed, which should respond to this clear act of aggression that was undoubtedly authorized by the Mexican government.

      Cowards might suggest that we work with Mexican law enforcement to curb these incidents, but we all know what appeasement leads to.

      1. we all know what appeasement leads to.

        Border Patrol agents getting gunned down by U.S. trafficked guns? Oh wait, that’s what a law enforcement tactic leads to, my mistake.

    4. Correct me if I’m wrong, but throwing rocks isn’t an act of war. But firing guns at another country’s citizens while they are still inside their country is right?

      Also, as darius points out above, it really does depend on the size of the “rocks” and where they actually landed.

      Also also, king cake.

  9. When my people were to coming the this country people yelled “Woo woo!! at them at shot arrows.

    But nothing bad happened to my people!!!

    1. I like you, man. Stick around.

  10. Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers…

    Stand Your Ground!

    1. This is all Zimmerman’s fault. I knew those hispanics were up to no good.

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