Report Recommends Limiting Border Patrol’s Use Of Deadly Force
February 27, 2014 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON, Del. (UPI) — The U.S. Border Patrol needs stricter standards on the use of deadly force by its agents, an independent review commissioned by the agency said.
The 21-page report prepared by the Police Executive Research Forum in Washington suggested border agents sometimes get in the way of moving cars to give them justification to open fire, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday. It also said agents should be barred from responding with gunfire when objects unlikely to cause serious harm are thrown at them.
The review covered 67 cases of deadly force that killed 19 people.
The Border Patrol has had the report for months but has tried to keep it and its response under wraps, said the Times, which obtained a copy. Congressional committees that requested copies got summary versions that omitted the finding of agents getting in the way of cars.
A Homeland Security official said Wednesday the new secretary, Jeh Johnson, is considering the report’s recommendations. The agency in its response said that barring agents from firing at people throwing rocks and limiting when they can fire at moving cars would put them at risk.
The Mexican government charges that the Border Patrol operates with little oversight on the southern border and delays investigations when Mexican nationals are killed. Some experts agree.
“There needs to be a level of accountability if you want to change the culture and the pattern,” Christopher Wilson, a U.S.-Mexico relations analyst at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, told the Times. “People are being killed that don’t need to be killed.”