In June of 2010 a Border Patrol officer patrolling the El Paso-Juarez border reportedly ran into Mexico while trying to arrest border crossers, and shot and killed Sergio Adrian Hernandez Huereca, a 15-year-old Mexican teen. On Friday, federal prosecutors announced that they didn’t have enough evidence to file criminal charges against the officer for the killing, the AP reported.
The officer violated Border Patrol policy regarding when the use of force is allowed, the Department of Justice acknowledged. However, Border Patrol agents are “generally” allowed to use lethal force when rocks are being thrown at them, as the government alleges Huereca was doing before he was killed.
The AP reports:
The U.S. Justice Department also concluded that no federal civil rights charges could be pursued, saying that “accident, mistake, misperception, negligence and bad judgment were not sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.”
The department said it conducted a thorough investigation, including interviews with more than 25 civilian and law-enforcement witnesses.
“This review took into account evidence indicating that the agent’s actions constituted a reasonable use of force or would constitute an act of self-defense in response to the threat created by a group of smugglers hurling rocks at the agent and his detainee,” the department’s statement said.