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Archive for March 23rd, 2022

Border Patrol Sued After Agents Fatally Shot Unarmed U.S. Citizen

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

A federal lawsuit alleges Border Patrol agents fatally shot an unarmed U.S. citizen who posed no danger. 

The wrongful death lawsuit was filed by the mother and son of Silvestre Estrada Vargas, 26, who was shot during a traffic stop on May 14, The San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The suit also alleges excessive force, assault and battery and negligence. 

CBP has not publicly commented on the lawsuit. 

The incident occurred when Border Patrol agents tried to stop the car after believing it was involved in migrant smuggling. A brief pursuit ensued after the driver failed to stop the car .

“A confrontation ensued, resulting in three agents discharging their firearms,” sheriff’s investigators said at the time.

The lawsuit claims Estrada was holding a cell phone in one hand and the steering wheel in the other. 

“The vehicle was stationary, and did not attempt to run down the agents,” the lawsuit states. “The vehicle’s egress was blocked.”

At that point, two backseat passengers “saw and heard bullets whizzing by them and were afraid they would be shot and killed,” according to the lawsuit.

The passengers, who authorities say were in the country illegally, were taken into custody. 

Split Verdict Rendered for Second Defendant to Stand Trial in Jan. 6 Attack

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

The second defendant to be tried for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol received a split verdict from a federal judge Tuesday. 

Couy Griffin, a 48-year-old county commissioner from New Mexico and “Cowboys for Trump” founder, was found guilty of breaching the grounds of the Capitol, Poltico reports.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden found him not guilty of disorderly conduct, saying there was insufficient evidence to prove that Griffin intended to disrupt Congress from certifying the election.

During the trial, the Secret Service was forced to reveal where former Vice President Mike Pence was taken during the insurrection. Testifying during the trial on Monday, Secret Service Inspector Lanelle Hawa said Pence remained at the loading dock for several hours. 

An oil field worker from Texas was the first defendant to stand trial. A jury found him guilty of all charges.