Border Patrol Develops New Guidelines for Dealing with Rock Throwers

We’ve all heard the stories of undocumented immigrants and drug smugglers making their way into the U.S. by throwing rocks at border patrol agents and the border patrol agents who are not allowed to respond with gun fire.

New Guidelines Detail Tactics to Diffuse Rock Throwing Incidences

However, the U.S. Border Patrol wants the public to know that, contrary to some media reports, border patrol agent guidelines do not forbid agents from defending themselves using deadly force when in the middle of such an instance. Even so, the Border Patrol has instituted new guidelines for their agents involved in rock throwing incidents.

In 2010, a particular rock throwing case made news after it was discovered that a Mexican teenager was shot and killed by border patrol agents when he approached the border fence and threw rocks. The case resulted in a lawsuit that called for the Border Patrol to review how they dealt with incidences such as this.

The new guidelines, which are already being implemented by border patrol agents in locations as the U.S. Border Patrol El Paso Sector, involve a directive that provides guidance for diffusing situations in which border patrol agents may feel that use of force may be necessary. In other words, border patrol agents should try to avoid firing at rock throwers, when possible.

Statistics Show Border Patrol Agents Have Historically Used Restraint

Although the new guidelines outline employing a number of methods to diffuse rock throwing situations, statistics actually show that the Border Patrol has been pre-emptive on this matter long before the adoption of the guidelines. Since 2010, there have been 1,700 incidences of agents being struck with rocks; however, agents responded with their firearms only 43 of those times, with just 10 people being killed as a result.

Although the Border Patrol recognizes that even one death is a tragedy, they also recognize that border patrol agents should not be required to be the recipient of assaults while doing nothing to defend or protect themselves.