ACLU Calls for Probe in Border Shooting

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Jun 22, 2011  |  Updated 2:28 PM PDT
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Agent Shoots, Kills Man at U.S-Mexico Border: Images

Telemundo

Images show the scene of a shooting involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

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ACLU Rep: Congress Needs to Step In

Kevin Keenan, executive director of the ACLU of San Diego and Imperial Counties, believes the larger problem is the lack of accountability when it comes criminal investigations involving federal law enforcement officers in border communities.
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Civil rights activists are calling for an investigation into the shooting death of a  man along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jose Alfredo Yañez Reyes was shot and killed Tuesday night along the fence near the San Ysidro Border Crossing. San Diego police and U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents say Reyes was attempting to cross into the U.S. illegally moments before the shooting.

An American Civil Liberties Union representative identified Reyes citing witness reports he was with his wife and baby on the Mexican side of the border before the shooting around 7 p.m.

He was one of two suspects that, upon meeting agents on the U.S. side of the fence, fled back into Mexico. A third suspect was stopped before returning to Mexico and resisted arrest officials said.  

During the scuffle, one suspect started throwing rocks and a piece wood with nails at the agents from the other side of the fence, striking one of the agents San Diego police said.

As the suspect began to throw another large rock at the agents, the first Border Patrol Agent fired his service weapon at a suspect, striking him once, police said.

It is not clear if Reyes was the suspect throwing rocks at the agents.

“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.

“We’re still waiting to hear all the facts," Keenan said in a news release Wednesday. "There are numerous versions of the incident being recounted but regardless, our law enforcement agents need to find new ways to deescalate such situations.

"Shooting someone accused of throwing rocks should not be part of the U.S. policy playbook,” Keenan said.

San Diego police got involved in the shooting after agents called for backup.

The suspect in the agents’ custody was arrested.

The agent who fired the shots is a 3-year-veteran of the U.S. Border Patrol, according to a police news release. The second agent who was injured during the incident was treated at a local hospital and released.

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