Border Patrol Fatal Shooting Renews Debate on Use of Force


On Tuesday, three men crawled through a drain and jumped the border fence, determined to get into San Diego. U.S. Border Patrol agents captured one man and were pelted by rocks and sticks, says the Los Angeles Times. An agent shot one of the rock-throwers in the head, a fatal wound that knocked him off the fence and back into Mexico.

The case renewed the debate over the proper use of force along the increasingly fortified U.S.-Mexico border. It was condemned by the Mexican government and immigrant rights groups, who have long protested what they consider excessive tactics by U.S. Border Patrol agents. U.S. authorities said the agents were acting in self-defense, pointing out that rock attacks have resulted in disabling injuries for agents. “Agents don’t shoot their weapon unless they fear for their lives or the lives of their partners or innocent third persons,” said Justin De La Torre, a patrol agent in San Diego.

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