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Border Patrol Tightens Use-Of-Force Rules

March 11, 2014  | 

New use-of-force rules that limit when weapons can be fired were issued Friday for Border Patrol agents, who have been under increasing criticism for their roles in more than 40 deaths since 2005, reports the Arizona Republic.

Border Patrol Chief Michael Fisher told agents not to shoot at moving vehicles that don’t pose a deadly threat, not to purposely place themselves in the path of moving vehicles and to avoid situations in which they have no alternative to using deadly force against rock throwers.

The Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection also publicly released the full text of their use-of-force policies, which had been secret until a copy was leaked to the media in January.

Agency officials have been under growing public pressure to address a lack of transparency and accountability in cases of questionable use of deadly force by agents who have been criticized for shooting at people in Mexico who were throwing rocks at them across the border fence.

Tags: U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Use-of-Force Policies


Comments (15)

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

TheRookie @ 3/11/2014 5:26 PM

Grant it shooting across the border beyond 20-25 yards is troubling. Getting hit by a rock travelling that distance with a strong arm throwing it your down and possibly out. Ask the Israeli Defense/Police Force about how dangerous rocks are. Glad I was active in the old days, and only worked with the feds. for a minute as a loaner. Nothing they have rule wise made sense to me then and still don't.

Boston @ 3/11/2014 5:29 PM

Glad I don't work there! Let have those rules apply to every Federal, State and Local police officers in the USA. This sounds like it originated from Mr. DOJ himself. Finally the ROE plan from the US Military/Afgan war its the home front.
US Border Patrol Officers should be issued a Good Humor Ice Cream Truck too. Well the positive to this is the ammo prices will go down.

Eric @ 3/11/2014 8:15 PM

I love the last part of this use of force policy as printed above..." and to avoid situations in which they have no alternative to using deadly force against rock throwers". How are you to know what situation will cause them to heave a rock , or brick or whatever is likely to crush your skull. Just come out and say what you really mean.... Don't do your job !

Archie @ 3/11/2014 8:19 PM

Two problems at work here:

First, the political correctness of the Federal Government in general and the Obama Administration in particular tend to favor the 'good will' of illegal entrants, felons and the Mexican Government over the morale of U. S. law enforcement officers and agencies.

Second, the fiction that a thrown rock is not a weapon or assault that will cause death or great bodily harm is simply stupid.

May I strongly suggest not only to vote conservative - which does tend to favor the Republican party at the moment - but to demand explanations from Union leaders about 'why' the Unions support liberals, leftists and - in the main - Democrats; who are staunchly against our missions and well-being.

mikeforce68 @ 3/11/2014 8:34 PM

Obviously the administrators have not been on the line or in direct contact with any perps along the border! Rules of engagement like these gets our troops killed in Afghanistan and our Border Patrol killed or injured on the Border. Stand up for the Border Patrol Agents instead of kowtowing to any one that complains because they think their rights have been violated and their illegal activities should be overlooked. For Shame Administration.

Patrick @ 3/12/2014 1:36 AM

Did you guys actually read the new policy? I retired from ICE after 33 years and am in communication with active officers. This memo doesn't change anything, but simply calls for smart policing of the border. Don't jump in front of cars (as a pretext), avoid rocks if you can, be smart. I can tell you that the Border Patrol Union generally supports conservatives and rightists. Finally, this is what the Patrol's union said about the new policy, "Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, called the forum’s criticisms “a misinterpretation of the situations in which agents used deadly force.” He said Fisher’s directive amounts to “a reminder to agents to seek alternatives.”

“We don’t view it as an outright restriction on agents’ use of deadly force,” Moran said."

Louie Enrique @ 3/12/2014 1:57 AM

Why do we even call these hard working men and women Agents? The administrators should just issue them new titles... U.S. Border Tour Guides... So they may show our "friendly and harmless, border, neighbors and border explorers, how, why and how not to get shot! Further, the spineless administrators might as well convert our Border Patrol Agents to London Bobbies... bravely unarmed LEOs. Taxpayers and the zillion ignoramus... arise, awaken and look out of your windows once in a while! Further, when the rock thrower got shot, the administrators turned the review to the local San Diego authorities. Why doesnt the administrators have their federal level neutral review board established? Instead of relying at a lower government. It seems to be their own political PR, to the local populace! Let's hear it!

Marshal Fine @ 3/12/2014 6:49 AM

I don't know why they don't take our guys off the border? Just remove them. Political problem solved and 20 million new Democrat voters !! Our hard working brothers and sisters down there just continue to get a bad rap over protecting their lives and the border, for what??? Twenty MILLION illegal in this country and counting. I know some of them.. Very nice people. Hard working.... but are violating the laws of our country starting out here. It is a Felony to cross over into Mexico illegally.. Some countries.. it's death... Here it's all the advantages of our citizens?? Go figure... Oh yeah.. I love it when the Mexican President dogs us about the border !! Bwhahahahahah!! You're killing me, dude !!

reglaw @ 3/12/2014 7:04 AM

@Patrick - Don't confuse the residents with the facts. Every bit of news on this discussion forum is an invitation for a political diatribe. No one gives a s**t about what really happened. ;-0

Richard Hightower @ 3/12/2014 7:36 AM

To call what happens along the US-Mexio border in the innocent terms of "throw rocks" is the same kind of clap-trap that we hear from the Palenstian-friendly media outlets. Just like there these are not mearly "thrown rocks" but lethal missles out of powerful slings. IMO our Boarder Patrol personnel have show incredible restraint in the use of deadly force in the face of deadly attacks from the enemy on the other side.

TERRY F. ZECH @ 3/12/2014 9:01 AM

Way to stand behind your personnel that put themselves out there everyday. They are supposed to get in the way of the bad guys and you just make them look they are afraid of the bad guys. Way to go chief you and Obama need to come out there and do what they do and see how quickly you change your tune. Let some rock throwers hit you in the head a couple of times.

Capt. Crunch @ 3/12/2014 2:17 PM

@Patrick, you know as well as I that police officers already know about officer safety. I would must rather have a chief respond to the criminal community by telling them "if you kill or injure any of my officers more of you will die" If a chief can't say something like this then he/she should just keep quite.

Serpico @ 3/12/2014 4:52 PM

I agree with Archie on the border issue. However Bush II abandoned Border Agents Ramos & Compean. There are too many RINOs and NEOCONS in the GOP. They are a Globalist Cancer that sides with freaks like Pelosi, Reid, Holder, Obama, Illegal Aliens and the Muslim Brotherhood. Just ask John "Juan" McCain! Never will I support Republicans again! That's why I'm an Independent Libertarian. There are even Frauds in the Libertarians too! There are Trojan Horses in every party. So watch who you vote for! Rocks are a deadly weapon, one killed Goliath in the Bible. Rocks were man's "first projectile" followed by spears and arrows.
Not only do US Citizens have rights to defend themselves from THIRD WORLD DEGENERATES, so does the Border Patrol! No JUAN would throw rocks, if he ate a 40 s&w for LUNCH!

Patrick @ 3/12/2014 10:07 PM

@reglaw, you're absolutely right, it's clear that many respondents couldn't be bothered by reading the document, understanding its intent (to calm the discussion), and realize that nothing changed regarding officer safety. The Border Patrol Chief has been on the line so @Terry's remark is wrong. As for @Capt. Crunch, such a comment is a quick way to be removed. Have you heard about communication with the public? As for @Serpico, his comments are so far out of the mainstream that they can quickly be dismissed. To call elected official "freaks" and illegal alien border crossers "degenerates" servers no purpose in this discussion. Etc, etc for the off-topic comments.

Capt. Crunch @ 3/13/2014 12:39 PM

@Patrick, I feel that a chief should defend his/her troops especially if they are doing the job they were paid to do. If a chief cannot defend his troops then he/she should be removed as one who in ( your view) who uses harsh words should be removed.

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