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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Border Patrol agent who fatally shot Mexican teen avoids charges

    Border Patrol agent who fatally shot Mexican teen avoids charges

    The Department of Justice announced on Friday that it was closing an investigation into the shooting death of a Mexican teen by a U.S. Border Patrol agent near El Paso on the grounds that there is insufficient evidence to further pursue criminal charges.

    In other words, prosecutors are saying they do not believe they could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the agent broke the law on June 7, 2010, when he shot Sergio Hernandez Guereca.

    The federal government does not usually issue a news release to announce it has completed an investigation and is not going ahead with criminal charges, but this case is different as it involved a U.S. federal agent and definitely stoked emotions in Mexico and along the border.

    The lengthy statement notes in part:


    “The team of experienced prosecutors examined the shooting as a possible violation of U.S. criminal civil rights laws and as a possible violation of federal homicide statutes. With regard to the federal homicide statutes, the team of prosecutors and agents concluded that there is insufficient evidence to pursue prosecution of the (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) agent for a federal homicide offense. This review took into account evidence indicating that the agent’s actions constituted a reasonable use of force or would constitute an act of self defense in response to the threat created by a group of smugglers hurling rocks at the agent and his detainee.”

    It notes that 25 law enforcement officers and civilians were interviewed during the investigation and that in addition to collecting and analyzing evidence at the scene of the shooting, they reviewed law enforcement radio traffic, 911 recording, surveillance video and other material such as the agent’s disciplinary record.

    Border Patrol agent who fatally shot Mexican teen avoids charges | Narco Confidential | a Chron.com blog
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    Super Moderator nomas's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I find this disgusting! More freakin' appeasement for Messico... this was open and shut and should have been settled a long time ago. Two years to settle this is 23 months too long...

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    It notes that 25 law enforcement officers and civilians were interviewed during the investigation and that in addition to collecting and analyzing evidence at the scene of the shooting, they reviewed law enforcement radio traffic, 911 recording, surveillance video and other material such as the agent’s disciplinary record.
    Glad to see that they did a good thorough investigation to prove this Border Patrol Agent did nothing wrong.
    Jean likes this.
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Department of Justice
    Office of Public Affairs
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Friday, April 27, 2012

    Federal Officials Close Investigation into the Death of Sergio Hernandez-Guereca

    The Justice Department and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas announced today that there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal charges against a U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Border Patrol agent for the fatal shooting of the late Sergio Hernandez-Guereca, a 15-year-old Mexican national shot within a spillway of the Rio Grande River along the United States – Mexico border on June 7, 2010.

    The Justice Department conducted a comprehensive and thorough investigation into the shooting, which occurred while smugglers attempting an illegal border crossing hurled rocks from close range at a CBP agent who was attempting to detain a suspect. In conjunction with agents from the FBI and Department of Homeland Security, Office of the Inspector General (DHS-OIG), prosecutors from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office interviewed more than 25 law enforcement and civilian witnesses. In addition, they collected, analyzed and reviewed: evidence from the scene of the shooting; civilian and surveillance video; law enforcement radio traffic; 911 recordings; volumes of CBP agent training and use of force materials; and the shooting agent’s training, disciplinary records, and personal history. Also, they conducted site visits and analysis and consulted with the International Boundary and Water Commission concerning jurisdictional issues.

    The team of experienced prosecutors examined the shooting as a possible violation of U.S. criminal civil rights laws and as a possible violation of federal homicide statutes. With regard to the federal homicide statutes, the team of prosecutors and agents concluded that there is insufficient evidence to pursue prosecution of the CBP agent for a federal homicide offense. This review took into account evidence indicating that the agent’s actions constituted a reasonable use of force or would constitute an act of self defense in response to the threat created by a group of smugglers hurling rocks at the agent and his detainee. The investigation also revealed that, on these particular facts, the agent did not act inconsistently with CBP policy or training regarding use of force. Based on a careful review and analysis of all the evidence, the team concluded that evidence would not be sufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the CBP agent violated the federal homicide laws in the shooting of Hernandez-Guereca.

    The Justice Department also concluded that no federal civil rights charges could be pursued in this matter. Under the applicable civil rights statutes, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a law enforcement officer willfully deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids. This is the highest standard of intent imposed by law. Accident, mistake, misperception, negligence and bad judgment are not sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation. After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors and FBI agents determined that the evidence was insufficient to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the CBP agent acted willfully and with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids, as required by the applicable federal criminal civil rights laws. Moreover, a prosecution under the federal criminal civil rights statutes would be barred because the investigation determined that Hernandez-Guereca was neither within the borders of the United States nor present on U.S. property, as required for jurisdiction to exist under the applicable federal civil rights statute.

    Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without prosecution.

    The U.S. government regrets the loss of life in this matter, and the Civil Rights Division, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas, the FBI and DHS devoted significant time and resources into conducting a thorough and complete investigation. The USG commits to continue to work with the Mexican government within existing mechanisms and agreements to prevent future incidents. The Justice Department is committed to investigating allegations of excessive force by law enforcement officers and will continue to devote the resources required to ensure that all allegations of federal civil rights violations are fully and completely investigated. The department aggressively prosecutes criminal civil rights violations whenever there is sufficient evidence to do so.

    12-553 Civil Rights Division

    USDOJ: Federal Officials Close Investigation into the Death of Sergio Hernandez-Guereca
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    Super Moderator working4change's Avatar
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    Border agent won’t be charged in teen’s killing
    Feds cite insufficient evidence


    By Jerry Seper
    The Washington Times

    Monday, April 30, 2012


    The Justice Department and federal prosecutors in Texas say there is insufficient evidence to pursue federal criminal charges against a U.S. Border Patrol agent who fatally shot a 15-year-old Mexican national along the Rio Grande near El Paso in June 2010.

    After what the Justice Department called a “comprehensive and thorough investigation” into the shooting, prosecutors and federal investigators concluded Friday that there was insufficient evidence to pursue a criminal case against Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. in the shooting death of Sergio Adrian Hernandez-Guereca.

    More than 25 law enforcement and civilian witnesses were interviewed by prosecutors and investigators from the FBI, Homeland Security, the Office of the Inspector General, the Justice Departments Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorneys Office in Texas.

    The Justice Department also concluded that no federal civil rights charges could be pursued in the case since there was no evidence the agent had willfully deprived anyone of a constitutional right.

    An attorney for Hernandez-Guereca’s family said he will press on with a lawsuit against the agent despite the decision not to charge him. Attorney Robert Hilliard told reporters Sunday that there is no evidence the boy threw rocks at the agent before he was fatally shot.

    A Texas judge last year dismissed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the U.S. government but allowed the lawsuit against Mr. Mesa to proceed.

    The Mexican government condemned the shooting and some Mexican politicians demanded that Mr. Mesa be extradited to Mexico to stand trial.

    After the shooting, the National Border Patrol Council, which represents all 17,000 of the agency’s nonsupervisory personnel, accused the Mexican government of “grandstanding,” adding that Mexico bore “quite a bit of responsibility” for the fatal shooting since it refuses to police its northern border.

    Hernandez-Guereca was among a group of illegal immigrants attempting to gain entry to the United States when he was shot. Just after the shooting, Mexican federal police arrived and, at gunpoint, ordered the Border Patrol agents out of the area.

    Under existing Homeland Security policy, Border Patrol agents are allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers. Hundreds of agents have been assaulted along the border in the past two years, mostly with rocks, and many of them have been seriously injured.

    Border agent won't be charged in teen's killing - Washington Times
    The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. Plato

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