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Border Patrol agent who shot rock-thrower faces lawsuit

Otay Mesa site of latest "rocking policy" suit

The family of a Mexican man shot by a Border Patrol officer last year is seeking at least $10 million in a newly filed lawsuit, Courthouse News Service is reporting.

Rocks the size of basketballs

In February 2014, agent Daniel Basinger was reportedly attempting to apprehend three men attempting to cross the border illegally near Otay Mesa, among them Julian Ramirez Galindo, identified at the time by the Border Patrol as Jesus Flores-Cruz, who identified him postmortem by fingerprints from a previous deportation. Ramirez was allegedly throwing rocks at his pursuer "the size of a basketball."

Basinger responded to the rock-throwing by opening fire, fatally striking Ramirez twice.

After a brief investigation, Basinger was returned to duty less than a week later.

Did Border Patrol violate the Bane Act?

The family's complaint makes no mention of the alleged rock-throwing, instead insisting Basinger denied medical treatment after shooting and subduing Ramirez. They accuse the agent and the U.S. government of "assault and battery, unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force, denial of medical attention, government liability, negligence and violation of California's Bane Act."

Previous rock-thrower hid in tree

The case is not the first Border Patrol-involved shooting to stem from a rock-throwing incident to elicit legal action. In 2013, the widow of another man attempting to cross the border illegally sued the agency and its agents for killing her husband, who had allegedly hidden in a tree and attempted to throw rocks at agents in the process of arresting a companion.

Years later, the prior case is still awaiting trial after a judge refused to exclude both the agent involved and federal officials.

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The family of a Mexican man shot by a Border Patrol officer last year is seeking at least $10 million in a newly filed lawsuit, Courthouse News Service is reporting.

Rocks the size of basketballs

In February 2014, agent Daniel Basinger was reportedly attempting to apprehend three men attempting to cross the border illegally near Otay Mesa, among them Julian Ramirez Galindo, identified at the time by the Border Patrol as Jesus Flores-Cruz, who identified him postmortem by fingerprints from a previous deportation. Ramirez was allegedly throwing rocks at his pursuer "the size of a basketball."

Basinger responded to the rock-throwing by opening fire, fatally striking Ramirez twice.

After a brief investigation, Basinger was returned to duty less than a week later.

Did Border Patrol violate the Bane Act?

The family's complaint makes no mention of the alleged rock-throwing, instead insisting Basinger denied medical treatment after shooting and subduing Ramirez. They accuse the agent and the U.S. government of "assault and battery, unreasonable search and seizure, excessive force, denial of medical attention, government liability, negligence and violation of California's Bane Act."

Previous rock-thrower hid in tree

The case is not the first Border Patrol-involved shooting to stem from a rock-throwing incident to elicit legal action. In 2013, the widow of another man attempting to cross the border illegally sued the agency and its agents for killing her husband, who had allegedly hidden in a tree and attempted to throw rocks at agents in the process of arresting a companion.

Years later, the prior case is still awaiting trial after a judge refused to exclude both the agent involved and federal officials.

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Comments
7

How about some info on the Bane Act? Would it even apply to a federal officer?

Aug. 4, 2015

https://oag.ca.gov/civil/htm/laws

The Bane Act "provides protection from interference by threats, intimidation, or coercion or for attempts to interfere with someone's state or federal statutory or constitutional rights . . . and protection from bodily restraint or harm."

There's a caveat that a violation must be in some way hate-fueled, so I'm not sure how much the plaintiffs have to go on to prove this - it could have been just one additional charge to create the broadest possible arguments, the merits of each to be determined later.

Aug. 4, 2015

Some sort of state civil-rights law, I'd suppose. But I doubt that the federal government or its agents can be held to a state law. Then again, ya' nevah know.

Tort lawyers invoke just about everything under the Sun in filing such suits, just in case one of them sticks. Usual suit strategy, I'd assume.

Aug. 4, 2015

"Tort lawyers invoke just about everything under the Sun in filing such suits, just in case one of them sticks."

This.

Aug. 4, 2015

Never bring a rock to a gun fight.

Aug. 5, 2015

That border zone is a sort of no-man's land, but it has never been declared a gun- or weapon-free zone. (The treaty that established it had provisions to keep the border from being militarized. But circa-1847, nobody imagined this degree of urbanization and desire to cross the border.) If I were trying to cross illegally and was challenged by anyone, I'd be inclined to give it up, do nothing aggressive, and head back where I'd come from. There have been rock throwers who have seriously injured Border Patrol officers and others, and rocks are lethal weapons. So, nobody should be surprised to learn that the cops sometimes shoot back, or just shoot. Bullets know no borders, and they can hit persons or property south of the line. I'd guess this suit has little chance of success.

Aug. 5, 2015

Men in group were committing a federal felony. The shooting should enable prosecution of the other two men under the felony-murder doctrine. Should operate the same as a 7-11 robbery where anyone is shot while illegality is underway.

Dec. 30, 2015

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