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Hullabaloo


Sunday, June 01, 2014

 
Border control

by digby

Surprisingly, this actually had to be written down:
The federal agency in charge of U.S. border security on Friday issued a revised handbook on when its agents may use lethal force, adopting changes aimed at reducing dozens of killings that have generated a handful of lawsuits and cast agents as quick to pull their triggers.

Customs and Border Protection Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske also released a blistering report that had been kept secret for more than a year that lays out how some agents had taken actions to justify firing their weapons, including placing themselves in the path of moving cars or failing to retreat from rock throwers.

Kerlikowske released the revised handbook and the once-secret report in a move he said would address the “need for openness and transparency” at his agency — the largest federal law enforcement arm — and bring about “better public trust.”
Specifically:
The February 2013, 21-page report by the non-profit Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) looked at all CBP “deadly force events” from January 2010 through October 2012.

According to the report, “The case reviews raise a number of concerns, especially with regard to shots fired at vehicles and shots fired at subjects throwing rocks and other objects at agents.”

The report recommended “significant” changes in two areas:

1. “...officers/agents should be prohibited from shooting at vehicles unless vehicle occupants are attempting to use deadly force — other than the vehicle — against the agent...”

2. “...officers/agents should be prohibited from using deadly force against subjects throwing objects not capable of causing serious physical injury or death to them.” 
The report was commissioned by the CBP, and border activist groups had been pushing for its public release for more than a year. Both reports are available online at gvnews.com.

Some of you may be surprised that it took an investigation and a "scathing report" to make those recommendations --- or that decent people didn't already follow such policies just out of common sense. But the report indicates border killings without cause are shockingly common.

This happened just hours after these new policies were released:
The Pima County Sheriff's Department on Saturday continued its investigation into a fatal shooting by a Border Patrol agent in Green Valley just hours after the Border Patrol released a 2013 report critical of its handling of several incidents involving deadly force.

The agent on Friday shot and killed the driver of a vehicle packed with 21 bales of marijuana after the man drove across Torres Blancas Golf Course, became stuck in a wash and fled on foot into the pecan grove.

The driver was identified Saturday as 31-year-old Jose Luis Arambula, a U.S. citizen from the Tucson area. Sheriff's officials said Arambula was involved in a similar incident April 4.

The PCSD said Saturday that Agent Daniel Marquez fired multiple shots at Arambula. A spokesman declined to say whether Arambula was armed or if he fired a weapon. He said two agents were on the scene but only one fired.
They killed a marijuana smuggler. And yeah, it's possible that he was firing a gun at them although it's unlikely that wouldn't have been indicated in the initial reports. But even beyond that, considering the fact that his crime was smuggling pot across the border --- a substance which is completely legal in two states and partially legal in a bunch of others --- it's hard for me to understand why they needed to give chase in the first place. He left the product behind, after all.

In case you were wondering what the right wingers think about it, this is a fairly good example of the commentary over at Fox:
Build a small fence out of dead mexicans with holes in them, and there'll be no more problems at the border.


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