Imagine that: America shoots Mexicans who throw rocks across the border. (Via Jungle Trader)
So, I guess we can’t criticize anyone else in the unenviable position of having to protect themselves from hostile stone throwers, should that occasion ever arise.
The Department of Homeland Security is examining its policy on deadly force along the U.S.-Mexico border. In less than two years, U.S. Border Patrol agents have killed 18 Mexican citizens there — including eight people who were throwing rocks.
Last month, Border Patrol agents responded to a report of two drug smugglers jumping the fence between the twin cities of Nogales, Ariz., and Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora. As the agents approached, a group of people on the Mexican side began throwing rocks. The Border Patrol says the agents told the people to stop. When they didn’t, one agent opened fire.
Within days, news outlets in Tucson and Phoenix identified the victim: 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodríguez. The teen, who was not one of the smugglers, was shot numerous times through the fence, on Mexican soil.
It was not an isolated incident. Since 2010, six of the eight people killed by Border Patrol agents while throwing rocks were on the Mexican side of the border.
Border Patrol didn’t respond to a request for comment, but it says rocks have caused hundreds of injuries to agents in just the last year. The agency is on the record saying it considers rock-throwing to be deadly force, which sometimes demands the same in response.
The Border Patrol has vehicles reinforced with cages to protect agents from rocks. Critics question why agents don’t use rubber bullets or just get out of range of the rocks.
Maybe the shootings were justified, maybe they weren’t; I wouldn’t know. But to tell border agents to leave the vicinity of the border—the patrol and defense of which is their sole job—is absurd. How about not throwing stones, Mexicans?
And any other people who routinely put others (and themselves) in danger by engaging in such a reckless activity?