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Tag: Excessive Force

Feds: Suspect Killed in Border Patrol Chase Was Unarmed But Gestured That He Had Gun

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A suspect shot in the head and killed by a Border Patrol agent was not armed, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

The agent fired nine times, he said, after the suspect, Jose Luis Armbula, 31, turned towards him and gestured that he had a gun.

Border Patrol has been criticized for its deadly shootings, especially following a report late last week that accused agents of using excessive force dozens of times.

The Tucson sector already had two fatal shootings this year.

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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.

Family of Man Fatally Shot by FBI in New Orleans Files Civil Rights Lawsuit

Steve Neavling
ticklethwire.com

The FBI used excessive force when fatally shooting a 37-year-old man during a drug sting at a New Orleans motel, a civil rights lawsuit filed Thursday by the man’s family alleges.

The Times-Picayune reports that the family of Allen Desdunes also claims that FBI agents and other law enforcement tried to cover up the details of the July 30 shooting.

In April, the Justice Department concluded its investigation of the shooting and said charges weren’t warranted. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office also declined to pursue criminal charges.

Family members said Desdunes was unarmed when he came under attack during a drug sting.

Letter by Jail Inmate Prompted Wide-Sweeping Investigation of L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What turned into the largest mass arrests of L.A. County sheriff’s officials in decades began with a single letter from a jail inmate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

FBI Agent Leah Marx testified that the probe began in June 2010 when a county jail inmate detailed a pattern of violence by deputies.

The letter prompted a joint civil rights and public corruption investigation after more inmates began describing excessive force, Marx said on the stand for one of the deputy’s trials.

One inmate told the FBI that deputies were offering contraband for a bribe.

Congress Introduces Bill to Increase Oversight of Border Patrol Following Deadly Confrontations

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A bipartisan bill in Congress is aimed at addressing questions about the use of force by Border Patrol agents.

AZCentral.com reports that the bill is designed to increase oversight of CBP and the Border Patrol following widespread criticism of deadly confrontations with immigrants at the border.

But political experts said the bill may not find traction.

According to AZCentral, the bill would:

  • Create an independent border-oversight commission.
  • Establish an ombudsman’s office within the Department of Homeland Security to handle complaints about border and immigration issues.
  • Create a liaison office to improve relations with border communities.
  • Require significantly more transparency about the outcomes of investigations of deadly use-of-force incidents; and provide additional training and resources to officers, agents and supervisors.

Will it pass? Unlikely, says some political observers.

“The Republicans control the House, this is an anti-immigration crowd and a pro-enforcement crowd,” said Michael O’Neil, president of Tempe polling firm O’Neil Associates. “Secure the border first, that’s their answer to everything.”

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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.

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.

Video: Border Patrol Denies Excessive Force Was Used in Arrest of Undocumented Immigrant

Controversy surrounds this video of a Border Patrol agent arresting an undocumented immigrant.

The video was captured by resident Jose Guzman, who was arrested after turning over his cell phone video to a TV new station.