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Tag: Excessive Force

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.

 

Was California Man Retaliated Against for Shooting Cell Phone Video of Border Patrol Agent?

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A California man says he was arrested in retaliation for shooting cell phone video of a Border Patrol agent appearing to use excessive force while trying to arrest an undocumented worker, ABC 10 News reports.

“I think this is a classic example of what we call excessive use of force in its literal definition,” said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Mitra Ebadoulahi. “The force is excessive, it’s uncalled for.”

After capturing the video, agents demanded and retrieved the video from Jose Guzman, who said he handed it over without a search warrant because he was a parolee and didn’t want trouble.

But trouble is what he got.

Two days later, Guzman’s probation officer called to say that his GPS ankle bracelet wasn’t working properly. When he brought it in for inspection, he was arrested.

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Border Patrol Agent Sues Sheriff’s Office After Police Dog Severed His Artery

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A Border Patrol agent who says he was abused by police when they responded to a report that he was threatening to kill himself is suing the Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw and five deputies, the Palm Beach Post reports.

Luis Rodriguez, 56, said law enforcement unlawfully arrested him and used excessive force after they fired at him and he was bit by a sheriff K-9.

A veteran of the agency for more than three decades, Rodriguez said the dog bite severed his artery, forcing him to take two years off of work.

Few Border Patrol Agents Are Ever Disciplined for Using Deadly Or Questionable Force

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Border Patrol agents rarely face repercussions for using deadly force, even when the shootings are questionable, the Arizona Republic reports.

At least 42 people, including 13 Americans, have been killed by on-duty Border Patrol agents and CBP officers since 2005.

The deaths range from justifiable to highly questionable, the Republic wrote.

Although CBP official insist agents are disciplined when they use excessive force, they won’t provide any details.

What’s concerning, according to the newspaper, is that none of the 42 deaths appears to have yielded consequences for offenders.

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FBI Agent Testifies About 2 Police Officers Using Deadly Force on Homeless Man

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI agent John Wilson didn’t have to see much.

“That would not be good proper police procedure,” Wilson testified after watching a surveillance tape of the deadly police encounter, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Wilson provided expert testimony in the trial of two Fullerton police officers who are charged in the beating death of a mentally ill homeless man, Kelly Thomas.

The video showed the homeless man being struck on the head by an officer’s gun.

“Those strikes to the head would be in excess of what a reasonable officer in this position would use to gain control of the situation.”