DHS finally investigates Border Patrol policies on deadly force

Image: DiAnn/Flickr It was reported last week that DHS’s Office…

Border Patrol
Image: DiAnn/Flickr

It was reported last week that DHS’s Office of the Inspector General was investigating charges of excessive force by Border Patrol guards at the Mexican border; to change the dysfunctional culture prevalent among some Border Patrol agents in certain border stations, however, will require much more than an investigation by DHS IG of policies regarding the use of deadly force; what is required at a bare minimum is more, not less, professional training at the national academy, a legitimate mentorship program for all new agents by experienced mentors, legitimate agency support for continued professional development of agents, promotions based on merit rather than paternalistic decision-making, and a number of other reforms neither DHS nor the CBP are willing to acknowledge

The Associated Press reported last week that the Department of Homeland Security’s own Office of the Inspector General was investigating charges of excessive force by Border Patrol guards at the Mexican border. According to the article, the investigation “….involves a review of accusations of brutality and excessive force as it works to determine whether reforms have been implemented” (Washington Post, 18 October 2012). Foremost among the cases presumably to be examined by DHS’s Inspector General is Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas, who died at the border near San Diego. A video recently emerged which depicts what looks like blatant brutality against Hernandez-Rojas as he is repeatedly tazered while lying on the ground, surrounded by Border Patrol agents. And last week at the border in Nogales, Arizona, a Border Patrol agent shot a young boy, aged 16, who allegedly was throwing rocks. There are, as well, a number of other cases since 2010 in which Border Patrol agents have used deadly force. To date there are, according to one independent report, eighteen individuals who have been killed by Border Patrol agents (Las Vegas Sun, 25 October 2012).

Read the rest of Lee Maril’s report at Homeland Security Newswire

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