Border Patrol Tightens Use-of-Force Rules

Mar 11, 2014

The U.S. Border Patrol has issued new rules on when agents can use lethal force. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan report, this comes amid controversy surrounding the agency’s actions.


Agents were told by Chief Michael Fischer not to shoot at vehicles that are not a deadly threat, or to put themselves in front of moving vehicles that could provoke a shooting. According to the Arizona Republic, orders have also been given for agents to stay out of situations where lethal force is required against rock throwers.

These new rules come on the heels of an investigation by the newspaper into at least 42 use-of-force deaths that Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection agents were involved in since 2005. There are no records of agents being disciplined for these actions. Some of these actions have been controversial.

In 2012, a teenager was shot and killed through the border fence despite witnesses saying he was doing nothing suspicious. Other people were also shot from the other side of the border for throwing rocks at agents.

Organizations such as the Border Action Network and the American Civil Liberties Union are calling for the Border Patrol to begin an independent investigation. The Border Patrol Union feels agents must protect themselves when being attacked.