Stop Border Patrol Agents from Engaging in Excessive Use of Force

Target: US Department of Homeland Security

Goal: To demand a new policy that protects immigrants and members of border communities from excessive displays of violence at the hands of Border Patrol agents.

Two years ago, 15-year-old Sergio Hernandez-Gueraca was killed by Customs and Border Protection agents at the US border. According to the allegations made by the US government, Hernandez-Gueraca started throwing rocks at the agents from the Mexican side of the border as they engaged in a confrontation with a smuggler attempting to enter the US illegally.

The Department of Justice’s investigation into the shooting resulted in a decision not to charge the agent responsible for Hernandez-Gueraca’s death because agent Jesus Mesa Jr.’s actions constituted a “reasonable use of force.”

The Mexican government said in a press release that it “deeply regrets and strongly rejects the decision by the Department of Justice of the United States.”

Hernandez-Gueraca’s family will continue to pursue charges against Mesa. Their attorney Robert Hilliard recently stated that there is no evidence that Hernandez-Gueraca was throwing rocks at Mesa before Mesa shot him.

The facts of the incident remain unclear as to whether Hernandez-Gueraca engaged in displays of violence against Border Patrol agents and whether he intended to try to enter the US illegally. According to his family members and friends, he was making a game out of running to the border, touching the fence on the US side, and running back into Mexico.

Hernandez-Gueraca was 15 years old and in Mexican territory when he was shot. It is worrisome to think that his death resulted from a “reasonable use of force.” And his case is far from the only one that questions the conduct of Border Patrol officials. Since 2010, agents have been responsible for the deaths of at least seven members of border communities – half of them minors. Customs and Border Protection has failed to take action against any of the agents involved in the killings.

We must call for the Department of Homeland Security to review and modify its use of force policy. Sign the petition below to call for a new policy that protects immigrants and members of border communities from excessive displays of violence at the hands of Border Patrol agents.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Department of Homeland Security,

15-year-old Mexican citizen Sergio Hernandez-Gueraca was killed by Border Patrol agents in 2010. According to allegations, Hernandez-Gueraca was throwing rocks at agents from the Mexican side of the border while they attempted to detain two smugglers. Agent Jesus Mesa Jr. reacted by shooting him in the face. The Department of Justice’s investigation into the shooting resulted in a decision not to press charges against Mesa because his actions constituted a “reasonable use of force.”

Since 2010, agents have been responsible for the deaths of at least seven members of border communities – half of them minors. Customs and Border Protection has failed to take action against any of the agents involved in the killings.

Hernandez-Gueraca was 15 years old at the time of his death. There is not sufficient evidence to conclude that he intended to try to enter the US illegally. And according to witness reports, it is likely that he was playing a game with his friends that involved touching the fence at the border and running back into Mexico.

The events surrounding the shooting of Sergio Hernandez-Gueraca are indicative of a use of force policy that fails to protect immigrants and members of border communities from displays of excessive force at the hands of Border Patrol agents. I urge you to review and modify the policy in order to prevent similar incidences of injustice from occurring in the future.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Sign the Petition

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42 Signatures

  • Lea Faulks
  • Nikki Owen
  • Ana Maria Mainhardt Carpes
  • ORPHA WILSON
  • Darlene Roepke
  • Lynn Juozilaitis
  • Ann Blank
  • Eveline Mutsaerts
  • tam O
  • Mary-Carol Gales
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