Today I've been reading at Yahoo News about the 15 year old male fatally shot at the Texas border this past Monday and a cell phone video of this event.
There's a lot of people upset at the border patrol agents. These folks are saying that the youth who was shot was on Mexico's side of the border, that he had not been part of the group throwing "rocks" at the border patrol agents. Reports are that this was a good kid, a straight A student. Some are even saying that the youths involved just appeared to be playing some sort of cat and mouse game with the agents, trying to get across the border, but that they did not throw anything and had no weapons.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman Mark Qualia told CNN Thursday that "The 15-year-old Mexican youth who was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent had a history of involvement with human smuggling and was on a list of repeat juvenile offenders". Rock-throwing can be considered a dangerous assault, Qualia said: "They're not chunking pebbles." T.J. Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, an advocacy organization for agents, was previously attacked by people from Mexico with rocks, said it has become the most common way in which agents are assaulted. The El Paso Times reports that Border Patrol agency statistics show that there have been 29 rock-throwing attacks on Boarder Patrol officers in El Paso since October.
Because the patrol officer who fired the shot was on American soil, and the youth killed was on Mexico soil, both the FBI and Mexican authorities are investigating. In the FBI's account, the teens surrounded the agent and continued to throw rocks at him after he told them to stop and retreat — and at that point, the feds say, he used his gun.
I watched the cell phone video that I've got linked at the top here that some people are saying proves the officer was in the wrong for shooting. I can not tell a thing from this specific video.
My heart goes out to the parents of this 15 year old boy. Be he a wonderful kid and straight A student, or a human smuggler, or both, it's a tragedy any way you slice it.
But I frequently find myself wishing that law enforcement agents would be given the benefit of the doubt. That they would be afforded the same respect of innocent until proven guilty as everyone else. I really see the men and women who choose to be police or deputies or border patrol agents, or any other kind of law enforcement jobs, as there to serve us. While there are some bad ones, and I believe those should receive the legal consequences of their actions, I believe most are good people who keep the rest of us safe. The strongest feelings I have toward law enforcement officers are ones of gratitude.
What about you, what's your take on Monday's shooting? Or on how law enforcement officers are treated when they have to shoot in the line of duty?
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