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Border & Immigration

Border Patrol Shooting At Fence Prompts Criticism

While policing along the Imperial Beach border fence, residents of Tijuana can be seen on the other side of the wall.
Ruxandra Guidi
While policing along the Imperial Beach border fence, residents of Tijuana can be seen on the other side of the wall.

Forty-year old Alfredo Yañez Reyes was one of three men who were spotted allegedly trying to cross from Tijuana at the border fence about 7:30 last night.

As a Border Patrol agent tried to apprehend one of them, one threw a rock at a second agent. An agent fired, shooting Yañez Reyes in the face; he fell from the fence and died.

In response to news of the killing, Border Patrol's San Diego Sector released a statement to the media, saying that the last seven months have seen many assaults against Border Patrol agents.

"There have been a total of 52 assaults on Border Patrol agents in San Diego sector," said Rodolfo Zuñiga, a spokesperson for Border Patrol. "Agents are authorized to utilize deadly force when they believe their life or the life of another is being placed at risk."

But the American Civil Liberties Union has called this incident disturbing, a sign of "the recurring disproportionate use of force" on the part of Border Patrol.

“We simply cannot allow our law-enforcement agents to use lethal force when confronted with rock throwers,” said Kevin Keenan, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego & Imperial Counties. “Shooting someone accused of throwing rocks should not be part of the U.S. policy playbook.”

The FBI is investigating the details of the shooting.

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