Border Patrol Tightens Rules Amid Complaints Of Excessive Force

A section of the old border wall rises over a hill along the US - Mexico border Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Diego.  Illeg
A section of the old border wall rises over a hill along the US - Mexico border Thursday, June 13, 2013, in San Diego. Illegal immigration into the United States would decrease by only 25 percent under a far-reaching Senate immigration bill, according to a recent analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

As the U.S. Border Patrol grapples with complaints of excessive force, a new policy has emerged that will tighten restrictions on agents.

The Arizona Republic reports that the new use-of-force policy will require agents to avoid situations where deadly force may be necessary. Examples include refraining from blocking moving vehicles' paths or firing at rock-throwers unless in imminent danger. Additionally, agents will be trained on how to carry and use lighter weapons, while also facing restrictions on taser use.

"This is a monumental victory for border communities advocating for transparency and policy reform," Andrea Guerrero, co-chair of the Southern Border Communities Coalition, told the Arizona Republic.

The new rules are in response to a critical report that was first obtained by the Los Angeles Times and released Friday, showing that agents were deliberately engaging in those aforementioned types of actions. Since January 2010, at least 20 people have been killed in Border Patrol incidents, according to the Times.

The Associated Press broke down how the report was conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit group that advises law enforcement agencies. In total 67 case files, were reviewed on deadly force use from January 2010 through October 2012. Administrative action was taken against employees in two of those cases, while 10 investigations remain open, and the other 55 cases went without any disciplinary action. Additionally, 14 cases saw disciplinary action from 2010 to 2013, with eight employees being suspended and five more being reprimanded.

For more on "Force At The Border," check out the Arizona Republic's project here.



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