Entries in Border Patrol (3)


Report: New Video Prompts Questions in Border Patrol Killing

Hemera/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- A new video, along with an eyewitness account, has emerged that appears to show the beating and repeated tasering of an illegal immigrant by a group of border patrol agents just hours before the immigrant’s death, according to a report airing Friday night on PBS.

The PBS Need to Know report, which was the result of a joint project with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute and has been reviewed by ABC News, features what PBS calls new video of the May 2010 beating of Anastacio Hernandez Rojas. Rojas, an illegal immigrant, was being transferred back to Mexico when the Customs and Border Protection said he became “combative” and officers had to use a taser to “subdue the individual and maintain officer safety.”

But the new video, taken from an overpass, appears to show a group of more than a dozen border patrol agents surrounding Rojas, who is already on the ground, as he is struck repeatedly by some officers and then tasered multiple times. Rojas would later die in a nearby hospital.  According to multiple purported eyewitnesses featured in the PBS report, it was clear Rojas was not resisting as he was beaten. In another video that captured the incident, a man identified by PBS as Rojas can be heard screaming for help in Spanish.

Though the death was ruled a “homicide” by the San Diego medical examiner and the incident was investigated by the San Diego Police Department, no border patrol agents were charged with a crime, PBS said.

The CBP declined an interview with PBS for its report and a spokesperson for the department declined ABC News’ requests for comment as well, citing an ongoing investigation. Instead, the spokesperson offered the following statement:

“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission. CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. We do not tolerate abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Man Claims He Used iPad to Cross Into US

Apple Inc.(DERBY LINE, Vt.) -- A Canadian man traveling by car to Vermont claimed his iPad helped save the day after he realized he left his passport, which is required to cross into the United States, at his home in Quebec.

Martin Reisch, 33, said he arrived at Canada’s Stanstead crossing and proceeded to the U.S. border post at Derby Line, Vt. He showed the U.S. officer his Canadian driver’s license, Medicaid card and a digital scan of his passport he had on his iPad on Dec. 30.

"He didn’t say much,” Reisch told ABC News. "He took it with a serious face and went into the border patrol house. Five minutes later he came out and said 'Merry Christmas. You can go through.'"

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Wednesday called Reisch’s story “false.”

“In this case, the individual had both a driver’s license and birth certificate, which the CBP officer used to determine identity and citizenship in order to admit the traveler into the country,” the agency said in a statement.

But Reisch isn’t backing down from his story.

“I can’t lie. I don’t even know where my birth certificate is,” he said. “Maybe they are making an official statement to help lessen the impact.”

The story went viral after Reisch’s friends retweeted his experience.

“I don’t want to start anything,” he said of all the attention he has received. “But this sounds like it’s taking a turn for the worse.”

He added that his experience does make him think about how technology can be used for identification purposes when traveling at some point in the future.

“I think mobile devices could develop applications with security protocols so it’s possible to bring your ID without having it stolen,” he said. “Obviously not just a jpeg scan of your passport.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Acting ATF Chief Faces Pressure to Resign over Botched Gun Operation

www[dot]ATF[dot]gov(WASHINGTON) -- Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Acting Director Kenneth Melson is facing pressure to resign over a poorly run gun-trafficking operation blamed for putting weapons in the hands of a border agent's killers.

One of the three ATF agents who blew the whistle on the program, dubbed "Fast and Furious," told a congressional committee hearing last week that rather than shutting down the illegal gun trade to drug cartels, the operation helped arm them.

"ATF is supposed to be the sheepdog that protects against the wolves that prey upon our southern border," ATF Agent John Dodson said. "Rather than meet the wolf head-on, we sharpened its teeth and added number to its claws, all the while we sat idly by -- watching, tracking and noting as it became a more efficient killer."

Under "Fast and Furious," ATF agents recorded and tracked straw purchases of weapons and allowed the guns to "walk" across the U.S. border into Mexico in an effort to locate major weapons traffickers, rather than catching the low-level buyers.

The operation took a tragic toll when two weapons found on the scene where Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was murdered were linked to the ATF program.

Melson has been acting director of ATF since April 2009.

Reports that Melson may be forced to resign were first reported Monday by The Wall Street Journal.

The ATF agents testified they had serious reservations about orders not to arrest known straw purchasers -- even though the guns were going to drug cartels -- and to stop monitoring individuals who had illegally purchased high-powered rifles including AK-47s and .50 caliber rifles. Heavily armed drug cartels have been blamed for the killings of more than 34,000 people in Mexico since 2006.

In November 2010, President Obama nominated Andrew Traver, the agent in charge of the ATF's Chicago office, to head the ATF, but the nomination has been held up in the Senate after the National Rifle Association spoke out against him.

The ATF has been without a confirmed director since 2006 due to political opposition and pressure from gun rights group.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio