Border Patrol Kills Boy Unjustly, then Malign His Character

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Regarding  death of 15-year old Sergio Adrian Hernández Huereka, T.J. Bonner, president of the Border Patrol Union, absolved the agent who is alleged to have wrongfully shot and killed Hernandez: “It appears that he acted properly”, he said.

Curiously, Bonner went on:

Bonner said U.S. immigration-enforcement records show that the 15-year-old Mexican boy had been arrested six times on various charges related to human smuggling or illegal entry. Last year, Bonner said, the boy provided a sworn statement to investigators indicating that he was part of an organized smuggling ring.

The next quote is crucial:

He said there is no information to suggest that the agent was aware of the boy’s record at the time of the shooting.

Therefore, the information regarding the boy’s alleged criminal background is irrelevant. It is a smear campaign to deflect attention away from the central question of whether the officer used disproportionate force and in doing so committed some sort of crime.

The only bearing the background could have had is if the Border Patrol agent knew not only that the boy was part of a smuggling ring, but had known violent tendencies. Otherwise, the agent’s use of a firearm is clearly disproportionate to the alleged hurling of rocks.

This is an age-old tactic that is done to sway public opinion but has no impact upon whether a crime took place. With the rising climate of “death to the illegals preferable, jail time a barely sufficient substitute”, in the United States, the propagation of this clear red herring is likely a conscious tactic of the politicians up high to protect themselves from U.S.-public condemnation.

As to the Mexican public outrage, barring some self-damaging bold action by Calderon(like economic pressure), it’s likely that the agent will not be held accountable, even if after a thorough investigation of the facts it is determined that he committed a crime.

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24 Responses to “Border Patrol Kills Boy Unjustly, then Malign His Character”

  1. Dan Coleman Says:

    I don’t know when it was, or how it was, that rocks are no longer deadly weapons. They’re certainly not water balloons. In fact, some cultures use stones to execute people. Rock throwing at people is against the law in every country in the world, when it isn’t accompanied with legal authority, for instance, to execute folks(Jeez, what a nice thought that is). Have a crowd of people throwing them and you’ve got a situation similar to a military assault.

    Throw a rock, get your ass shot. It can’t be any plainer than that. The ones who don’t get it are learning disabled. Apparently, this young man who was killed was afflicted with that condition, since he was found to have been involved with criminal activity previously in the same area.

    Where were his parents? Across the border? Selling drugs? Throwing rocks with him? At home in their whorehouse? Bet they weren’t at work.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      Your comment is irrelevant and denotes disposition to believe any set of facts that comports with your knee-jerk conclusion.

      Duh, Rocks can be dangerous. It’s a question of proportion, which based on the evidence thus far(the video), it appears the agent used disproportionate force.

      Rock throwing for execution is a ridiculous analogy–when that happens, an individual is buried up to his/her neck in the ground and pelted with rocks at their head from close range.

      Where his parents were is also irrelevant; the central question, which you would probably not address since you have about zero decency(parents in their whorehouse), is whether the officer was reasonably, both subjectively and objectively, in fear of his life when he discharged his firearm.

      And good to see that you believe “records” that haven’t been confirmed.

  2. Dan Coleman Says:

    You’re trying to make your argument like you’re in some sophomore philosophy class(Oh, we’ll break it all down, like in law school). Who are you to decide if the officer was in fear of his life? It’s his call, not yours, nor the moron who threw the rocks.
    It would amaze me, if I also once hadn’t been so young and idealistic, that one can know all the answers, see all the light, make all the decisions, with out any experience. You’re obviously young and naive.

    There’s an old saying: If you’re not liberal before you’re thirty, you have no heart. But if you’re not conservative after you’re thirty, then you have no sense.

    I know you fit in there somewhere.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      That’s all you got? So you think if the agent did, in fact, commit a law(i.e. manslaughter), that it only matters what his subjective belief was?

  3. Dan Coleman Says:

    Yes, if he’s in fear of his life or well being at the moment, that and how he immediately reacts is all that counts. It is why some people shoot children in a combat zone. It’s not pretty, but it’s the truth. We all have the right to self-preservation.

    The self-perception of events, for example, is why some people you think ought to be in jail forever are still on the streets: because of some fear at the time of some perceived threat. People get away with killing others all the time. The victim’s supporters never seem to accept it, but all others do.

    One of the things that comes with experience is the ability to strip away the bullshit and see things for what they are.

  4. bjohns15 Says:

    You see, your conclusion is solely your personal opinion on how things should be. And that’s fine if this was your world.

    But self-defense, according to the law on the books, requires not only that one was in fear of their life, but that it was reasonable via an objective standard.

    And if Mexico Jurisdiction reigns, then who knows what their law is on self-defense.

  5. Dan Coleman Says:

    No, it’s a fear of life and/or bodily harm. You have as much right to kill someone who’s chasing you with a chain saw and saying he’s going to chop off your leg as you would if he’s saying he’s going to kill you. You have a right to do what’s necessary to STOP that individual, up to and including death. No one thinks DEATH at the point of being threatened. It’s only STOP, because it’s fear, not hate at the moment. And death sometimes occurs. So be it if it stops the threat. Lucky you, if you’re the intended victim.

    You see, the law doesn’t evolve out of some college social science class, armed with a whole bucket of what ifs by people who never have, who want to have the warm and fuzzy feeling of cuddling with the world. It evolves from EXPERIENCE. The reasonable assumption is that if you feel in fear by the action of another, then you fear for your life. You’re the only one who can make the call from a truthful reference. No one else can. They can burn your ass for it in court, maybe, but they can’t know the truth like you can.

  6. bjohns15 Says:

    Glad you are THE legal expert, idiot.

  7. Dan Coleman Says:

    I don’t agree with you, bjohn, so I must be an idiot. You remind me so much of Glenn Beck, except that I lean more with him than you. Both of you are too far out for me, though in opposite directions. You remind me so much of myself forty years ago. Believe me, you’ll change.(In 1970, I would’ve gone underground but couldn’t find the door).

    What I never hear in all this is an examination of the motives, reasons and excuses for the behavior of those who are the aggressors, the ones throwing the rocks, in this case. You never addressed this when I asked. Why was he throwing the rocks? Where were the kid’s parents or guardians? And do you not see a pattern in his behavior, now that you know of his past? I mean, since you did the research. With someone like this, its probably going to happen, sooner or later, maybe in a drug-related thing, since the druggies are the ones he allegedly worked with. His head might be chopped off. Why not direct your spirited drive at the drug lords? Are you afraid of them. Fuck them. I’m not afraid of them. Or do you not see them as culpable, worthy of restraint?

    Look, it’s a tragedy when any kid is killed. It shouldn’t happen. But if he were forty, you’d still be making excuses for him, I’m certain. Why not question his intention? One throws a rock at someone else, not to get his attention, but ONLY to do him physical harm. It’s not a complicated issue. Makes no difference to his target what brought him to that point. Makes no difference the politics. The politicians aren’t getting rocked.

    Let me test your intelligence with two examples, see if I, or anyone reading this, can trust your judgment regarding the reality of the world in which we all live, hence your opinions, not the pie-in-the-sky one you’d like to impose on the rest of us. These are from my own experience.

    #1: When I was eleven(early ’50s), a group of boys I knew from my neighborhood, all white, led by a 15-year-old boy I knew, went to play on a sawdust pile at a lumber yard, from where they’d been run off previously. It was marked Private Property, No Trespassing. The security guard, a black man who lived on the property and was charged with keeping them out, challenged them again, ordering them off the premises. The leader refused to leave, called the guard names, and threatened him, threw rocks at him, in fact. The guard, armed with a pistol, drew and fired on him, killing him. He bled out in minutes. This was in the South.

    What do you think should have happened? What do you think actually happened?

    #2: I the early ’50s, a group of teenage boys, some I knew, crossed the railroad tracks from a white neighborhood and passed by a black neighborhood. The leader, eighteen years old and white, threw rocks at the house on the edge of the lack community. A black man came out and challenged them. The white kid/leader cursed him, called him the N word, and the black man shot him, killing him instantly. This was in the deep South.

    What do you think should have happened? What do you think actually happened?

    Not trying to be cute with you here, just want to see how your brain works. I guarantee you the experienced brain works differently from the inexperienced one. There is scientific evidence the youthful brain doesn’t process information and reason the same way as does the mature one.

    Please understand, though, it is a good thing that we have idealistic young people. My children are so. It gives us new blood, gives us hope that there is still hope, because we see their idealism, their humanity in their behavior and values, and it infects us. But they, too, will change with time when the real world bites them in the ass.

    Go ahead, take a shot at the scenarios.

    But you’ve got a long way to go before you have your own Allen Combs(sp) show. He can support his positions because he has both experience and reason. You have only reason, and that’s not enough.

    Can you imagine living in a world led by 25-year-olds?

  8. Jude Says:

    Mr. Coleman,

    If you can make the blanket statement that one’s young age equals inexperience, then I can make the blanket statement that your 70+ year old brain has succumbed to dementia.

    This isn’t really that hard of a question and answer. Hypo for you: so if a senile 70 year old man starts throwing rocks at me, I should be legally justified in shooting him multiple times for fear of my own life (even though I could walk away, fire a bullet into the air, fire a bullet at the old man’s leg, etc.). Again, rocks v. guns.

    By the way, there is scientific evidence that the senile brain cannot comprehend the sound judgment of the youthful brain.

  9. Dan Coleman Says:

    We’ll leave it at that Look forward to your next post.

  10. Dan Coleman Says:

    No, Jude, you cannot make that assumption correctly because not all persons in their 70s have dementia, but all persons in the twenties are relatively inexperienced, with exceptions, you not being one of them, I suspect. I happen not to be senile. Senility isn’t a requirement in old age, but inexperience is a fact for twenty-somethings. You can tell by the way they talk and reason. Nor do we all eventually suffer from dementia. Sometimes our bodies die long before our minds might wither.

    And, yes, if someone who obviously is perceived as having the ability and intention to harm you throws rocks at you, you have every right to blow his ass away. We’re not talking about a case wherein the guard was walking by a grammar school with a yard full of six-year-olds. Violence begets violence.

    It is so obvious you have never faced some of the kinds of situations that cause these tragic events. But there are people in their youth who have and are.

  11. Dan Coleman Says:

    And I’m not in my 70s, Jude, another incorrect presumption on your part. Your math might be weak, too.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      I’ve actually had rocks thrown at me, and it was not in a friendly manner. While it was alarming, if I had a gun, I do not think I’d use it.

  12. Dan Coleman Says:

    And as I’ve said, it is the perception of the intended victim that counts, whether or not he actually feels threatened. Two guards can be together and have rocks thrown at them by the same person, and one might not feel so threatened, but the other might.

    • bjohns15 Says:

      Listen, yo, I’m studying for the bar exam right now. I am going to extricate the law for self-defense.

      “If a person has a* reasonable belief* that he is in imminent danger of unlawful bodily harm, he may use that amount of force in self-defense that is *reasonably necessary* to prevent such harm…The force must be proportional to the initial attack and the initial attack must be wrongful”

      Also, It is not reasonable to kill to retaliate or seek revenge *for a wrongful attack once the attack is over.”*

      If the victim was the one throwing the rocks, and if the victim was still throwing the rocks at the time of the gun shot, and if the officer did not have another means to avert the danger, then perhaps the force he used was justified. But the way you put it does not consider any contingencies, which is crucial.

      Thus, if a jury found that the agent’s force was not reasonably necessary, or that the force was disproportionate, he could be guilty of manslaughter.

  13. Dan Coleman Says:

    Yes, but no contingency was insinuated in your argument. And true, if the rocks stop coming, with no apparent further attack imminent, then one may not legally use injurious force against the attacker. Understood. But please understand, too, that the fear and emotion of an attack on one’s life and limb generates a huge amount of adrenalin and reaction, along with the possibility that the attacker might continue his attack, so one, if a victim, is within his rights to use what measures necessary to protect himself. This is a slit-hair kind of scenario wherein a court must decide. It ain’t automatic, just because the code says this or that.

  14. Hector Najera Says:

    This story is sad because it is indicative of ubiquitous abuse of authority. Examples range from a police car parking illegally to ticket a citizen for parking illegally to the events that led to the Rodney King Uprising in L.A. But they include things like Obama’s authorization to kil a U.S. citizen by drone attacks. We claim it to be necessary for national security, but it is a police state that we are authorizing. Today the blood flows from a Mexican kid whose death will be forgotten in a few weeks by averyone who could do something about it. But if we do not pay attention to the abuse of authority, who will be next?

  15. Raul Says:

    Mr. Coleman, the only way you would understand is if i was to shoot your kid in the forehead and told you i felt threatened by him throwing a rock at me (which has not yet been proven that HE was the actual one throwing rocks).

    This is not a matter of colateral damage. If he felt threatened for his life, then why did he shoot time, and time… and time again, while still holding a subject to arrest. He was clearly not in fear of his life, he was trying to kill his target!

    Even in a world of survival of the fittess, it is known for an animal(the cop) to run first, then attack. He chose to kill a KID!!!

  16. Dan Coleman Says:

    Then you need to stipulate these qualifiers in your argument. Certainly, shooting just anyone, once or a hundred times, without feeling threatened by him is a travesty. But if one is a member of a group engaged in violent behavior toward others, then he might have to answer for his deeds or his association with them.(See the scenarios above, wherein people I knew personally were involved in violent situations).

    Personally, having raised three children, all adults now, I would not raise a child who would provoke violence against others. And mine didn’t. But I can assure you, if either of my children had tried to harm another person, without provocation, and paid the price for it, then I would have eaten it, like it or not. One cannot refuse to accept the truth, no matter if it hits home. It simply comes down to a matter of values. And there are conflicts in values, depending on the culture in which you’re raised, usually, but more on which side of the issue you’re on, as in this case.

    A classic case of a travesty occurred at Kent State in 1970, when four students were gunned down by National Guardsmen. You could argue that one all day, but I think hindsight makes us all regret that incident. A well-armed Guard unit is not threatened by a group of students with rocks, but one or two guards attacked by the same group of students might very well be.

    Anyway, it’s not that I don’t, or can’t, appreciate your side of the argument. I can. But this is a real world, not a lab experiment, and shit happens, as the saying goes. And it’s usually bad.

    And like I said, when the adrenaline is flowing, watch out.

  17. Ed Beagley Says:

    Dan Coleman, it’s idiots like you that are a danger to society. Your reasoning is so out of line with what a sane person would do in that situation. You remind me of that person we read about in the paper, that shoots another in traffic because they gave you the finger. (..he felt threatened and had to defend himself) I do so hope that you live far far away from me and my family.

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