Lethal Force Unacceptable
By Sandra Sanchez, Program Director, AFSC Iowa Immigrants Voice Program
Bullets vs. stones can only have one outcome: innocent dead people. Whether the story of throwing of stones at border patrol officers is true or not, the use of lethal force against those who reportedly threw stones at border agents is unacceptable. Jose Antonio Rodriguez and more recently two Guatemalans, as reported by The Monitor’s October 26, 2012 edition, are the latest deaths at the hands of border agents using lethal force against unarmed immigrants either in the Mexican or American side of the border. This policy should end, and the incidents’ investigations should be expedited and make public. Read below an excerpt of these tragedies at the border.
The most recent death in Nogales was also blamed on rocks. Sixteen-year-old Jose Antonio Rodriguez was either part of a group throwing rocks at a border agent in Nogales or he was an innocent boy walking along the sidewalk 40 feet away from the border. He was found lying on the ground in a pool of his own blood.
"Seven times, two through his head. And seven through his body," said Luis Parra, a lawyer hired by Rodriguez' family.
A bullet also hit the boy in the arm. Another eight bullet holes peppered the wall over and around his body.
The bullet holes that struck the walls of the building have created much controversy. The building is set at a 45 degree angle to the border wall. Half the bullets face the wall, but the other half would have had to come from further away.