From the LA Times:
Border Patrol agents have deliberately stepped in the path of cars apparently to justify shooting at the drivers and have fired in frustration at people throwing rocks from the Mexican side of the border, according to an independent review of 67 cases that resulted in 19 deaths.
The report by law enforcement experts criticized the Border Patrol for "lack of diligence" in investigating U.S. agents who had fired their weapons. It also said it was unclear whether the agency "consistently and thoroughly reviews" use-of-deadly-force incidents.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which had commissioned the review, has tried to prevent the scathing 21-page report from coming to light.
The report's findings are shocking, but the agency's handling of the findings are just as worrisome. According to the LAT piece, CBP deliberately hid information from the House and Senate oversight committees that requested the findings:
House and Senate oversight committees requested copies last fall but received only a summary that omitted the most controversial findings — that some border agents stood in front of moving vehicles as a pretext to open fire and that agents could have moved away from rock throwers instead of shooting at them.
And CBP is ignoring the report's major recommendations.
The Times obtained the full report and the agency's internal response, which runs 23 pages. The response rejects the two major recommendations: barring border agents from shooting at vehicles unless its occupants are trying to kill them, and barring agents from shooting people who throw things that can't cause serious physical injury.
Jeh Johnson, DHS' new secretary is said to be reconsidering the response to the recommendations. Nothing like a little sunshine to force government agencies to do the right thing. Kudos to reporter Brian Bennett for bringing this story to the public's attention.