The US Border Patrol will continue using lethal force against people throwing rocks, as well as people inside vehicles—ignoring a set of recommendations from an independent review of lethal force practices at the agency.
Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher told the Associated Press in an interview that the recommendations were “too restrictive” and that “[j]ust to say that you shouldn’t shoot at rock-throwers or vehicles for us, in our environment, was very problematic and could potentially put Border Patrol agents in danger.”
Twenty people have been killed by Border Patrol since 2010, and last year sixteen members of Congress demanded an investigation into the death of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, an undocumented immigrant who was tased and beaten by Border Patrol agents.
Often times, people on the Mexican side of the US border will toss rocks at agents in order to create a diversion and open space in a nearby border area. The use of deadly force against people throwing rocks is an unfortunately common theme in these deaths; eight of the twenty people killed by Border Patrol since 2010 were accused of throwing rocks at agents
This is exactly the kind of scenario where Obama can unilaterally order a review of tactics along the border. This is simply unacceptable behavior on the behalf of the Border Patrol to use lethal force in areas where it is completely uncalled for. Once again, Obama’s record on immigration is not very good at all, even outside of the inability of Congress to pass immigration reform legislation. This has to stop, like yesterday.