SAN DIEGO — U.S. Border Patrol agents may continue to use deadly force against people who throw rocks and other objects at them, according to Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher.
The agency upholds the policy despite a government-commissioned review recommending that it stop.
“We’ve said from the beginning that rocks are deadly force and if you throw a rock at a Border Patrol agent. They may very well shoot you defending themselves,” said Shawn Moran, Vice-President of the National Border Patrol Council.
Moran said agents are reluctant to use deadly force, but if assaulted — must take action.
“Every single one of these encounters – there’s a choice to be made. These people choose to assault Border Patrol agents. Unfortunately, in some of these cases, people died,” said Moran.
According to the ACLU, agents have killed 20 people since 2010. That year, an unarmed Anastasio Hernandez died from stun gun wounds at the San Ysidro port of entry.
Hernandez’s death raised concerns in Congress and led to an internal review.
“There’s a pattern of case after case in which Border Patrol agents shoot and kill – and ask questions later,” said Christian Ramirez with Alliance San Diego.
Activists like Ramirez believe the Border Patrol should reconsider changing its policy.
“The ‘rockings’ will not stop, no matter how much special interest groups cry about it and how much they try to restrict Border Patrol agents. We’re just reacting to a situation that is being forced upon our agents,” said Moran.