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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral. ” – Paulo Freire, Educator

Obama Administration approves pro-murder Border Patrol policy

Here's the message we sent to our members. After you've read it, please add your voice.

Border Patrol agents killed José Antonio for throwing rocks across the border.

Tell President Obama to end Border Patrol’s pro-murder policy

Dear Friend,

President Obama’s Border Patrol just announced that when its agents encounter people throwing rocks across the US-Mexico border, the agents will be allowed to use deadly force against the rock throwers. That’s right -- the Obama Administration just approved of murder at the US-Mexico border, so long as Border Patrol agents are the ones doing the killing.1

It’s clear that responding to rocks with deadly gunfire is nothing more than an excuse for Border Patrol agents to kill -- something that’s happened eight times since 2010.2 Some of the victims have been minors on the other side of the border.

President Obama needs to rein in the murderous tendencies of his Border Patrol. Please join us demanding that he prevent Border Patrol from using deadly force in response to rock throwing at the border.

Last year, Border Patrol killed a 16 year old Mexican boy named José Antonio Elena Rodríguez who was accused of throwing rocks over the fence at the US-Mexico border. Local police said there was little chance the rocks ever would’ve hit someone on the other side, but that didn’t stop Border Patrol from shooting him 11 times -- at least 10 of those times in the back.3

Since 2010, Border Patrol killed Jose Antonio and seven other people in rock throwing incidents. They’ve killed 18 people total in alleged excessive force incidents in the same timeframe. Border Patrol has a serious problem, and it’s time for President Obama to take control of the out of control agency.

Firing bullets when rocks are thrown is a false choice -- in the face of a rock attack Border Patrol agents have numerous options including tactical engagement so that agents can be safe when approaching a scenario or control the area from further back. This keeps agents safe until they are out of range of the rocks, allowing engagement of the rock throwers with nonlethal force.

When the Administration agreed to review its use of force policies earlier this year, it seemed like real change was imminent. Now it just looks like another cheap public relations move. The Obama Administration’s decision threatens to destroy the thin trust developed between border communities and the Department of Homeland Security.

We want real change at the border -- the Obama administration must respect human life. Please sign our petition calling on President Obama to stop Border Patrol from using deadly force against rock throwers at the border.

Thanks and ¡adelante!
Arturo, Roberto, Jesús, Erick, Erica and the rest of the Presente.org Team

P.S. Can you donate $5 to support our work? We rely on contributions from people like you to see campaigns like this through.

Sources:
1. AP Exclusive: Border Patrol rejects curbs on force." Associated Press, Nov. 5 2013.
2. Border Patrol Refuses To Revise Policy Of Shooting People Who Throw Rocks At Them." ThinkProgress, Nov. 5, 2013.
3. Report: Teen hit from behind in Border Patrol shooting." USA Today, Feb. 6, 2013.