SAN DIEGO -- A dramatic increase in deaths at the hands of the Border Patrol along the U.S.-Mexico border has prompted the Department of Homeland Security to review its use of force guidelines. The announcement was released in the wake of recent death of a Nogales teenager, who was fatally shot after allegedly throwing rocks at an agent.
The move was first reported by the Los Angeles Times, and comes after a formal request by members of Congress, who said there appears to be a disturbing trend of excessive use of force by Border Patrol agents.
Two-and-a-half years ago, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas died after being tazed multiple times by border agents trying to deport him from San Diego.
Since 2010, at least 15 additional civilians have been killed by border agents.
Activists along the southwest border have been relentless in calling for more oversight of the Border Patrol, and got members of Congress to request the review.
DHS’s inspector general listed the investigation in a summary of the work his office plans to complete in the coming year.
It will include an investigation of alleged brutality by border agents, an analysis of reforms that Customs and Border Protection has put in place to address the use of force by its agents, and an analysis of whether a recent hiring spree by the agency has had any impact on agent training or professionalism.
Updated 10/18/12 at 7:19 p.m.