The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has launched a comprehensive review of its officers’ use of force amid a sharp increase in fatal confrontations along the Southwest border, the Los Angeles Times reports. The initiative, which appears to be the most far-reaching of its kind in recent years, seeks an assessment of current tactics and the participation of an independent outside research center.
Mexican government officials, who have condemned the shootings, will be provided briefings on closed investigations involving force. Since 2010, 16 people have been killed in fatal confrontations with Border Patrol agents and customs officers, prompting unprecedented levels of scrutiny and criticism from some members of Congress and border activists. Agency guidelines permit agents to fire weapons against people suspected of throwing rocks, a practice that critics consider excessive.