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Border & Immigration

Border Patrol Limits Use Of Force Against Rock Throwers, Moving Vehicles

Border Patrol Use-Of-Force Memo
U.S. Border Patrol announced on Friday that it is changing its policy on using deadly force against moving vehicles and people who throw rocks.
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U.S. Border Patrol announced on Friday that it is changing its policy on using deadly force against moving vehicles and people who throw rocks.

The agency's chief, Michael J. Fisher, sent a memorandum to employees in which he said the policy is designed to help agents avoid dangerous situations.

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Border Patrol agents must not step in the path of vehicle to open fire at a suspect and must refrain from shooting rock-throwing suspects unless the rocks or objects "are large enough to cause serious injury or death."

"As our operational environment changes, we too much change, adapting our methods in executing our border security mission while minimizing risk to ourselves and others," Fisher wrote.

Earlier last month, a Border Patrol agent fatally shot a man along a rugged section of the Otay Mountains in southeast San Diego.

The agent said he feared for his life after the suspect allegedly hit him in the face with a rock.

Since 2010, Border Patrol agents have shot and killed nine people in response to rock throwing.

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Last year, a government-commissioned review of the agency recommended that it stop responding to rock throwing with deadly force, but the border agency rejected the recommendation.