Border Patrol Is Keeping Its Policy of Shooting People Who Throw Rocks

A US Border Patrol agent looks out over Tijuana, Mexico. A US Border Patrol agent looks out over Tijuana, Mexico. Gregory Bull/AP

Despite a government-commissioned internal review that recommended ending the practice of shooting people who throw rocks and bottles at agents, the Border Patrol has decided to leave its policy on the use of deadly force unchanged. "Just 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," Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher told the AP.

Border Patrol agents have killed 20 people over the last three years. Eight of those deaths, a little less than half, were in rock-throwing incidents with Border Patrol agents, the AP reports.  The death of Anastasio Hernandez in May 2010 spurred members of Congress to investigate whether Border Patrol was using excessive force. Now, after a year-long review from the The Police Executive Research Forum, Border Patrol has decided to ignore their recommendation — a ban on using deadly force against rock-throwing.

"You don't want to just start shooting indiscriminately at a vehicle and try to blow out tires like they do on TV, but our environment is totally different," Fisher said. "When you look at that environment, that workspace, I think our agents show a great deal of restraint when it comes to use of deadly force." 

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

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