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  1. #1
    Administrator Jean's Avatar
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    May 2006

    Lawsuit challenges Border Patrol rock throwing policy

    March 2, 2015
    Michael Chen

    SAN DIEGO - A unique local showdown could redefine the issue of rock throwing and when deadly force can be used by Border Patrol agents.

    In June of 2011, Jesus Yanez and another man crossed illegally into the United States, emerging from a culvert near San Ysidro. They were spotted by two Border Patrol agents.

    The other man, who has priors for smuggling activity, was tackled while Yanez climbed a tree near the fence. The agents claim Yanez threw two rocks and a board with nails before one of the agents noticed Yanez's hand.

    "He doesn't see anything in it, but he sees it go back. At that point, he determines he has to use deadly force, and takes out his service revolver, and shoot and kills Mr. Yanez," said attorney Gerald Singleton, who represents Yanez's family.

    Singleton says Yanez's shouts moments before his death appear to show he was holding a phone recording the incident and not throwing items.

    Even if he was throwing anything, Singleton believes Yanez was about 40 yards away and tossing small rocks, according to the agents' statements.

    "It's unconstitutional," said Singleton. "You can't use deadly force unless you're protecting yourself or someone else from imminent danger of death or serious injury."

    He says having the deadly force option whenever a rock is thrown goes too far.

    Singleton has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Yanez family to challenge that policy, naming top officials in the Department of Homeland Security and the Border Patrol for knowing about the practice and allowing it to continue.

    Since 2000, Singleton lists at least 12 deaths related to rock throwing claims.

    Last year, a new Homeland Security head emphasized new guidelines with limits on deadly force in response to rock throwing.

    Singleton hopes the lawsuit will ensure agents abide by those guidelines.

    "Our purpose is to shine a light on the rocking policy," he said.

    On Thursday, a judge will hear a motion to toss out the lawsuit against the top leaders. It is believed to be the first rock throwing suit where higher-ups have been named.

    Homeland Security officials declined to comment.
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  2. #2
    MW is offline
    Senior Member MW's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    North Carolina
    The following is a little old, but still applicable:

    Rocks are lethal weapons

    Letters to the editor on fatal shooting of rock thrower by Border Patrol agent, for Feb. 22, 2014

    7 A.M.FEB. 22, 2014

    Regarding “Agent kills man in rock attack” (Feb. 19), I was a Navy corpsman stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, from 1959 to 1963. The fence line ran along the side the road where Marines were driven by truck to their guard positions. Cuban soldiers would throw rocks at them and their vehicles as they drove down the road.

    I put young Marines in body bags with large holes in their heads. The worst I saw was when a rock hit and killed the driver of a truck loaded with Marines. The truck turned over, ejecting the Marines into a 6-foot trench. We not only lost the driver, but two other Marines were also fatally injured, plus there were broken arms, legs and head injuries.

    Don’t think these rocks can’t hurt you.
    Yes, it is unfortunate (a man was killed), but that person is just as deadly as if he had a gun. He can throw rocks from as far away as 50 feet, and you are dead or seriously injured. Let’s give Border Patrol agents support, not second-guesses from miles away safe in our homes.
    Charles Adams

    I am a Hispanic and not a violent person, but I have had enough of these people who disrespect U.S. authorities. Border Patrol agents have every right to defend themselves any way they can, whether open-border advocates, like Pedro Rios, like it or not.
    All these people who work for groups who promote and protect illegal immigration do not want the problem to end because it will terminate their jobs, but they should be at the front, instructing their co-nationals to respect U.S. authorities and stop coming here illegally if they really want to end deaths at the border.
    Ana Zuniga Maus
    San Diego

    It’s a shame that this man lost his life. Let’s look at the reported facts. He entered this country illegally, refused to follow a lawful order by a U.S officer and then attacked the officer with rocks.
    In this country, throwing rocks at another person can be considered an attack with a deadly weapon. The agent has a right to protect himself, and I applaud Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher for standing his ground on the use of deadly force against rock throwers.
    Pedro Rios, director of the American Friends Service Committee, said the shooting points to the need for President Obama to “rein in the out-of-control agency.” I think Mr. Rios is a little confused about just what is “out of control” here. If he really wanted to help his people, he would lobby the Mexican government to help stem the massive flow of illegal aliens entering this country every day through our southern border. Or maybe lobby President Obama to enforce our existing immigration laws. Maybe that would have saved this man’s life. But no, it’s the “out-of control” Border Patrol agent under attack who is at fault.
    Mike Verrett

    Immigrant advocate Pedros Rios complains that it is a disproportionate use of force for Border Patrol agents to shoot rock-throwers in self-defense. I would invite Mr. Rios to have someone start throwing rocks at his face, head and body, and then see how he feels about the matter.
    Patrick Bunch Park
    Rocks can be deadly weapons in the right persons hand and the use of them (rocks) against law enforcement should justify the use of lethel force when deemed necessary for the protection of life. Furthermore, the responsibility of determining exactly how lethel a rock can be in a particular persons hand shouldn't rest with the BP agent being attacked. His sole responsibility is to protect his life and the life of his fellow officers, not judge how effective at throwing rocks his attacker is. Law enforcement officials should always meet force with equal or greater force. IMO, more times than not, in an effort to reduce risk to personal life, greater force would probably be more appropriate. Just saying ..........

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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