Author Topic: A softer border patrol encouraged/mandated  (Read 1907 times)


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A softer border patrol encouraged/mandated
« on: March 08, 2014, 04:54:38 AM »
Not sure if anyone has any thoughts on this. I have mixed feelings.

WASHINGTON — The Border Patrol on Friday instructed its agents to show restraint when people on the border throw rocks or flee in cars, after a series of fatal shootings by agents provoked outrage from human rights activists and the Mexican government.

“Agents shall not discharge firearms in response to thrown or hurled projectiles” unless they have reason to believe there is “imminent danger of death or serious injury” based on the size or nature of the projectile, the chief of the Border Patrol, Michael J. Fisher, wrote in a memo to his staff.

Mr. Fisher wrote that agents should try to take cover in such situations. The memo also instructed them not to shoot at fleeing vehicles and reiterated a policy that forbids officers to place themselves in the path of moving vehicles — an apparent response to accusations that agents had stood in front of vehicles to justify firing their weapons.

Agents have been assaulted with rocks 1,713 times since 2010 and have responded with deadly force 43 times, resulting in 10 deaths, according to Mr. Fisher.

The memo set out to change the mind-sets of border patrol agents, who often operate in rural settings where cover and backup can be scarce.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to physically and mentally prepare yourselves, so that when dangerous situations arise, you increase your chances of survivability while limiting unnecessary risk to others,” Mr. Fisher wrote. “It is anticipated that these initial steps will help reduce the likelihood of assaults against our agents.”

The new instructions, which officials said amounted to a clarification rather than a set of new rules, appear to be a response to two major criticisms in an external investigation, commissioned by the Border Patrol in October 2012 and completed early last year by the nonprofit Police Executive Research Forum. The study of 67 instances of force that resulted in 19 deaths on the Southwestern border has not been released, though members of Congress have been briefed on its findings.

Human rights advocates and congressional critics of the Border Patrol questioned how much practical change would result from the instructions, calling them, at best, a positive first step.

“Effectively, this is just the beginning of the process,” said Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, an immigration advocacy organization, adding that “it looks good on paper, but it also needs to look good while being implemented.”

New recruits are already receiving training to help them keep confrontations from escalating, according to a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. Veteran agents will be briefed on the new instructions over the next several days and receive more guidance during annual training.

The secretary of homeland security, Jeh Johnson, also released redacted versions of the use-of-force policies that apply to all of his department and specialized policies for two of its agencies, Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“Transparency is essential to the credibility of a law enforcement agency within the communities it operates,” Mr. Johnson said in a statement.

But some critics said it was impossible to assess the agency’s efforts to improve without the release of the independent report.

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Re: A softer border patrol encouraged/mandated
« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2014, 09:19:29 AM »
The majority of 'illegals' whom catch the attention of our border patrols in the UK usually end up with a free pair of Nikes, a mobile phone and, within three months, a tax-payer funded house with benefits!

For my part, I much prefer the US approach.