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Caught on tape: Chilling new video of US border patrol beating immigrant to death

Published time: April 21, 2012 18:32
Edited time: April 21, 2012 23:11
A member of the US Border Patrol searches for illegal inmigrants in El Paso, Texas (AFP Photo / Jesus Alcazar)

A member of the US Border Patrol searches for illegal inmigrants in El Paso, Texas (AFP Photo / Jesus Alcazar)

A new video shows Anastacio Hernadez-Rojas lying on the ground in the fetal position, circled by at least a dozen federal agents as one repeatedly shocks him with an electric stun gun.

The video was shot by a passer-by and was obtained by the lawyer for the Hernandez-Rojas family as they push on with their wrongful death suit against the US government.

The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired the video and an interview with the woman who shot it as part of a new documentary. In May 2010, Seattle resident Ashley Young was crossing a bridge from Mexico to the United States. In the "Need to Know" report, Young said that she saw the man lying on the ground was handcuffed. She said she did not witness any evidence of Hernandez-Rojas lashing out at the agents, but they are clearly heard yelling in the video for him to stop resisting. He was then tasered five times while calling for help in Spanish.

She also said that a small crowd had gathered on the bridge and some yelled for the agents to stop. But the officers came along to tell the onlookers to keep walking. One officer demanded that witnesses hand over their cell phones or delete the video they had taken, she said, but she kept walking. Young told PBS she "felt like she watched someone be murdered."

Anastacio Hernadez-Rojas’ death was ruled a 'homicide' by the San Diego medical examiner and was investigated by police, yet no border control agents were charged for their part in the incident.

This will undoubtedly create even more tension, as public outcry about the case has been gaining momentum for two years. It raised serious questions about border agents and what they can potentially do without facing the repercussions of their actions.

The PBS documentary was attempting to draw attention to whether border control has been using excessive force on illegal immigrants after eight people were killed along the border in the past two years.


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