Tuesday, November 5, 2013



Note: rocks have a very long history as lethal weapons, vehicles with a much shorter history can also be quite lethal when used as weapons. Agents are very aware that DC, DHS, DOJ, et al, does not have their back.

AP Exclusive: Border Patrol rejects curbs on force
Source: Arizona News
Originally published: Nov 5, 2013 - 7:43 am


FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2008, file photo, migrants look at a U.S. Border Patrol car from the Mexican side of the U.S.-Mexico border in Tijuana, Mexico. The Border Patrol's parent agency decided to continue allowing agents to use deadly force against rock-throwers and assailants in vehicles, despite recommendations of a government commissioned review to end the practice. (AP Photo/Guillermo Arias, File)

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Border Patrol agents will be allowed to continue using deadly force against rock-throwers, the chief of the agency said, despite the recommendation of a government-commissioned review to end the practice.

The Police Executive Research Forum, a nonprofit group that advises law enforcement agencies, recommended that the Border Patrol and its parent agency, Customs and Border Protection, stop the use of deadly force against rock throwers and assailants in vehicles, Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher said.

CBP rejected both recommendations, which were part of a broader internal review of the agency's use-of-force policies and practices that began last year. The measures were not included in a revised policy announced on Sept. 25 that calls for more training and better record-keeping.

CBP considered the proposed curbs "very restrictive," Fisher told The Associated Press.

Under current policy, agents can use deadly force if they have a reasonable belief that their lives or the lives of others are in danger.

"We shouldn't have carve-outs in our policy and say, except for this, except for that," Fisher said. "Just to say that you shouldn't shoot at rock-throwers or vehicles for us, in our environment, was very problematic and could potentially put Border Patrol agents in danger."

CBP has not released the full findings of the Police Executive Research Forum. Fisher's comments are the most publicly detailed about them.

The internal review began last year after 16 members of Congress raised concern about the May 2010 killing of Anastasio Hernandez, an unarmed Mexican who died from stun gun wounds at San Diego's San Ysidro port of entry. Authorities have said he was being combative while being returned to Mexico. The Justice Department is investigating that killing.

Hernandez was one of 20 people killed by CBP officials since 2010, including eight who died in rock-throwing incidents with Border Patrol agents, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.

Fisher repeated the agency's long-standing position that rocks are lethal weapons. Smugglers have long pelted agents with rocks, bottles and other objects- often from Mexico- hoping to create an opening elsewhere along the border when agents rush to assist colleagues being pelted.

Agents were attacked with rocks 339 times in the 2011 fiscal year, more than any other type of assault, according to the Department of Homeland Security inspector general. They responded with gunfire 33 times and with less-than-lethal force- a category that includes pepper spray and batons- 118 times.

Rock attacks fell to 185 in the 2012 fiscal year, the second most common type of assault. Agents fired a gun 22 times and responded 42 times with less-than-lethal force.

The proposed ban on firing at vehicles would have brought the Border Patrol in line with some metropolitan police departments, Fisher said. But he pointed out that the federal agency operates in much different terrain.

"You don't want to just start shooting indiscriminately at a vehicle and try to blow out tires like they do on TV, but our environment is totally different," Fisher said. "In many cases, unlike a concrete jungle, you have a very narrow trail and the Border Patrol agent doesn't always have the ability to get out of the way."

Activists were disappointed that CBP rejected the recommendations.

"We've long held that deadly force should be limited to the most exceptional circumstances," said Andrea Guerrero, executive director of Alliance San Diego, who attended a meeting with Obama administration officials at the White House in September that covered the topic.

"The Border Patrol has yet to demonstrate that that's the appropriate level of force in the cases that have happened," Guerrero said.

Shawn Moran, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, the union representing Border Patrol officers, welcomed the agency's position.

"Almost every Border Patrol agent has been rocked at one point or another," Moran said. "I know agents here that have had vehicles accelerate toward them, attempt to run them down."

Fisher rejected any suggestion that Border Patrol agents were trigger-happy.
"When you look at that environment, that workspace, I think our agents show a great deal of restraint when it comes to use of deadly force," he said.


Note: a interesting post from BP Local 2595 Yuma sector. Manages to cover several issues.


FACEBOOK: Would you friend me?
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We can all remember the day when we took our oath, we stood tall and raised our right hand and took our pledge proudly.

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

A recent decision from an arbitration case in Yuma questions our leadership's ability to defend the Constitution or apply it fair and equitably to its Rank & File. We have many other horrors stories where being an Agent you're excluded from having a 4th Amendment right. We don't recall giving up that right when we took our oath. (Maybe it was in the microprint)

Some may not agree with Facebook's concept in general; however, it is a pillar of social communication and thus it cannot be ignored. As a sworn law enforcement agency we have rules to follow regardless of likes or dislikes for them. For instance, the user agreement for Facebook of not using a false name or using the information for malicious reasons (see attached Facebook EULA 4.1)

Portion of the AGENCY'S proposal for a recent removal

"…Your statements on Facebook, a public forum, MAY have negatively impacted CBP's public image, because your "postings" evinced poor judgment and inattention to duty, as a CBP employee."

Management failed to investigate this properly as the employee did not violate any known policy that expressly covers having a personally owned Facebook account. This is a repetitive style of make the rules up as you go scheme, to justify managements poor actions.
Furthermore, this employee had the settings adjusted to PRIVATE and management, from the first line supervision to the Chief blindly ignored how the evidence was illegally obtained.
Moreover, the ineptness from the first line Supervisor and lack of leadership from the Patrol Agent in Charge (PAIC) Justin Bristow that allowed one of his subordinates to create a fake Facebook account with an attractive female's picture to lure the Agent in befriending him and using the illegal information for malice.
(Yes, I said him a male posing as a female to obtain information for an administrative case) (see attached memo to Bristow)(WEL) 08122011 Bristow Layla Shine


Neutral Arbitrator's FINDINGS

"…Supervisory Border Patrol Agent Michael Bodes illegally obtained Grievant's Facebook postings in violation of the ESCA (Stored Communications Act (SCA, codified at 18 U.S.C. Chapter 121 §§ 2701–2712). The appropriate remedy in this arbitration proceeding is to suppress Grievant's Facebook wall postings. Therefore, Charge II and its Specifications, which are based upon the illegally obtained Facebook postings, and all the evidence pertaining thereto, are excluded."

Don't worry SBPA Bodes I am sure they will promote you for this as they routinely reward bad decisions by managers (illegal ones albeit). All the while the service has to spend 1,000's of dollars in back pay fees & lawyers' fees. Good work in saving the government money in such tight times.

Facebook users heed this warning as you could be next as the Agency doesn't care how many times they lose as they believe money grows on trees.

P.S. a special thank you to Lauren Barefoot, Office of Assistant Counsel, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

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