March 6, 2014


A scathing report of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) has revealed that agents have adopted a devious technique for justifying shooting at drivers. The findings show that agents have deliberately stepped in front of cars to manufacture an excuse to open fire, or have claimed that moving vehicles were an imminent threat when they weren't.

The agency has attempted to whitewash the findings by omitting the most damaging portions when submitting the report to congressional oversight committees, the LA Times reported.

“It is suspected that in many vehicle shooting cases, the subject driver was attempting to flee from the agents who intentionally put themselves into the exit path of the vehicle, thereby exposing themselves to additional risk and creating justification for the use of deadly force,” the report reads. In some cases, “passengers were struck by agents’ gunfire.”

The report stated that agents have purposely stood in the road in front of people trying to avoid arrest; drivers who posed no direct threat to agents or others.

The report points out that opening fire on a moving vehicle is dangerous to passengers, bystanders, and the agents themselves. It stated: “It should be recognized that a half-ounce (200-grain) bullet is unlikely to stop a 4,000-pound moving vehicle, and if the driver … is disabled by a bullet, the vehicle will become a totally unguided threat.”

Additionally, the agency was ripped for keeping its offending agents anonymous and rarely disciplining them after a shooting. It was said that CBP exhibits a “lack of diligence” in investigating its own wrongdoing.

Valeria Alvarado did not leave her car alive when she encountered U.S. Border Patrol. (Source: ABC News) Valeria Alvarado did not leave her car alive when she encountered U.S. Border Patrol. 
A Border Patrol agent observers a vehicle checkpoint.  (Source: Josh Denmark | Flickr)One of Border Patrol’s recent exploits was the shooting of a 32-year-old mother of five from California. The woman, Valeria Alvarado, was killed when a federal agent unloaded a magazine into her face and torso through her windshield while driving. Officials said that the unnamed agent was “hit” and “carried several hundred yards” on the hood of Alvarado’s car. But several witnesses say the exact opposite — that the woman was moving in reverse, away from a man wearing plain clothes and threatening her with a gun. They say the man opened fire on her as he advanced toward the car.

“From my apartment I could see a car stop in the middle of the street, and a guy coming and walk in front of the car and shooting about 12 times. It was a horrible thing to see,” a female witness named Prince Watson told CBS-8 News. “He just went up, shot her, in plain clothes with no identification, no badge, nothing.” Watson said that she believed the woman was scared of the aggressive behavior of the unidentified man. “Without her even able to say a word — I didn’t hear anything — he just came across and shot, many times,” she explained.

The multiple witness accounts were ignored and the “oncoming vehicle” defense was accepted as truth from the agent whose identity remains concealed.

The independent report recommended that CBP teach its agents to get out of the way instead of standing firm and opening fire on a moving vehicle, and that it should ban shooting at cars unless the occupant was actually trying to kill them through other means. Border Patrol rejected the recommendations to change policy, stating that drug smugglers would purposely try to run over agents if they knew that agents were not supposed to shoot at cars.

The report also delves into the issue of Border Patrol agents shooting up Mexican kids and claiming that they threw stones. One boy was found riddled with 8 bullet holes in the back. The killer CBP agent was given a pass, and remains anonymous and at large.


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