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ACLU wants Border Patrol held accountable for fatal shootings

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Aired 4/19/09

The ACLU is asking for independent oversight of federal law enforcement agencies in San Diego County. ACLU officials say the Border Patrol, in particular, must be held accountable in the wake of recent fatal shootings. KPBS Reporter Amy Isackson has details.

The ACLU's Executive Director in San Diego, Kevin Keenan, says he is deeply concerned about the increasing level of violence and antagonism focused on Latinos in the county. During the last few months, he's seen an increase in incidents involving the San Diego Police, the Sheriff's Department and the Border Patrol in which he believes excessive force may have been used.

Keenan is urging those agencies to exercise restraint and investigate incidents thoroughly.

Keenan: "When it comes to Border Patrol and other federal agencies, we see that these investigations just go into a black hole. It communicates impunity for people who do harm mostly again to Latinos and to immigrants, and that's just wrong."

Keenan says independent oversight will be even more important when National Guard troops and more Border Patrol agents arrive at the California Mexico border. Amy Isackson, KPBS News.

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