US Border Patrol Agent Shot Across Border And Killed Teen Who Threw Rocks – Child Was Hit By 7 Bullets And Died On Sidewalk Just Across Arizona/Mexico Border

October 13, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A teenage boy apparently killed this week by a U.S. Border Patrol agent was hit seven times by gunfire and died on a sidewalk just across the Arizona-Mexico border, a mayor in Mexico said Friday.

“It was a burst of gunfire,” Nogales Mayor Ramon Guzman Munoz told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “It was a hail of bullets.”

Guzman called the episode “deplorable” and urged a thorough investigation by both U.S. and Mexican authorities.

Meanwhile, the Border Patrol had not yet confirmed anyone was struck by the agent’s bullets, only that “it appeared someone had been hit,” agency spokesman Victor Brabble said Friday.

The Border Patrol said several agents responded Wednesday night to reports of suspected drug smugglers in Nogales, Ariz. The agents watched two people abandon a load of narcotics, then run back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol. They were then pelted by rocks thrown from across the border. The agency said the people ignored orders to stop, and an agent open fire.

The Sonora state attorney general’s office in Mexico said in a statement Thursday that Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, from Nogales, Sonora, was found dead at the border from gunshot wounds about midnight Wednesday.

However, the office didn’t definitively confirm the boy had been shot by the Border Patrol, only noting that police received reports of gunshots, then found his body on a sidewalk near the border barrier.

A Mexican official with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed the boy was shot by the agent, and said authorities were meeting Friday in Mexico City to discuss the case. The person also said the teenager had been shot multiple times in the back. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to discuss details of the case.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement Thursday saying it “forcefully condemned” the shooting and calling such deaths “a serious bilateral problem.”

Border agents are generally allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers, and there are several ongoing investigations into similar shootings in Arizona and Texas.

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US Border Patrol Agent Shot Across Border To Kill Teen Boy In Mexico Who Threw A Rock Into US

October 12, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – A U.S. Border Patrol agent opened fire on a group of people throwing rocks from across the Mexican border, killing a teenage boy and eliciting outrage from the Mexican government over the use of lethal force, authorities said Thursday.

The agents in Nogales, Ariz., had responded to reports of two suspected drugs smugglers near the border at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. The agents watched the two abandon a load of narcotics, then run back to Mexico, according to the Border Patrol.

As the agents approached to investigate, people on the Mexican side of the border began throwing rocks at them and ignored orders to stop, the agency said.

One agent opened fire. A Mexican official with direct knowledge of the investigation said Thursday a 16-year-old boy was killed in the shooting. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not yet authorized to discuss details of the case.

The Sonora state attorney general’s office in Mexico said in a statement Thursday that Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, from Nogales, Sonora, was found dead at the border from gunshot wounds about midnight Wednesday.

However, the office didn’t definitively confirm the boy had been shot by the agent, only noting that police received reports of gunshots, then found his body on a sidewalk near the border barrier.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement later saying it “forcefully condemned” the shooting and calling such deaths “a serious bilateral problem.”

“The disproportionate use of lethal force during immigration control actions is unacceptable under any circumstances. The repeated nature of this type of cases has drawn a reaction of rejection from Mexican society and all of the country’s political forces.”

The department said it had asked U.S. authorities for a “exhaustive, transparent and timely investigation” of the shooting.

The Border Patrol declined to comment further and would only say in a statement that one person “appeared to have been” shot by the agent. The FBI was investigating.

Ricardo Alday, a spokesman for the Mexican Embassy in Washington, said in a statement that Mexican authorities will also investigate.

Border agents are generally allowed to use lethal force against rock throwers.

In 2010, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed by a Border Patrol agent firing his weapon from El Paso, Texas, into Juarez, Mexico. Some witnesses said people on the Mexican side of the river, including the teen, were throwing rocks at the agent as he tried to arrest an illegal immigrant crossing the Rio Grande.

A federal judge in El Paso last year dismissed a lawsuit by the family of the boy because the teen was on the Mexican side of the Rio Grande when he was shot. U.S. law gives the government immunity when such claims arise in a foreign country, the judge noted.

A U.S. Department of Justice investigation, which included interviews with more than 25 civilian and law-enforcement witnesses, determined no federal civil rights charges could be pursued because “accident, mistake, misperception, negligence and bad judgment were not sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.”

In 2011, a Border Patrol agent shot and killed a man climbing a fence along the Arizona-Mexico. Cochise County sheriff’s investigators said at the time there was no indication the 19-year-old assaulted or tried to assault the agent when he was shot three times in the back while climbing a ladder trying to cross the border back into Mexico.

Investigators later found 48 pounds of marijuana in the back of the man’s truck. An investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

Another investigation also remains active into a shooting last month by an agent patrolling the Rio Grande.

The Border Patrol said agents were aboard a boat near Laredo, Texas, when a group of people began throwing rocks at them. One of the agents fired shots across the border toward Nuevo Laredo. The agency said it wasn’t clear whether anyone had been hit by bullets, but Mexico’s Foreign Relations Department issued a statement saying a Mexican citizen had been fatally shot.

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Fatal Shooting Of Arizona US Border Patrol Agent And Wounding Of Another Said To Be “Friendly Fire”

October 5, 2012

ARIZONA – This week’s fatal shooting of a U.S. Border Patrol agent and the wounding of another in Arizona was likely the result of friendly fire, the FBI said late Friday.

“While it is important to emphasize that the FBI’s investigation is actively continuing, there are strong preliminary indications that the death of United States Border Patrol Agent Nicholas J. Ivie, 30, and the injury to a second agent was the result of an accidental shooting incident involving only the agents,” James Turgal, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix division, said in a statement.

“At the appropriate time further information will be provided, but while the investigation continues it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this time,” he said.

Earlier, a law enforcement official said investigators at the scene had not found shell casings except those believed to have been fired by the Border Patrol agents.

Investigators are awaiting results of ballistics tests, said the official, who was not authorized to speak for attribution about the investigation.

“We have much to learn and conclude from this incident, and I ask for the public’s patience and understanding during this difficult time,” Jeff Self, commander of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Arizona field joint command, told reporters late Friday.

He remembered Ivie for his character, kindness and loyalty.

“Agent Ivie gave the ultimate sacrifice and died serving his country. … He died in the line of duty and will be honored as such for his final act of service,” said Self.

Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Arizona on Friday to express her condolences to the fallen agent’s family and to meet with local officials.

“This tragedy reminds us of the risks our men and women confront, the dangers they willingly undertake, while protecting our nation’s borders,” she said. “Together, we stand in solidarity with their families and friends, and pray for the continued safety of all who serve our country.”

Napolitano was in Arizona one day after Mexican authorities questioned two men in connection with the shooting near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Mexican army handed the two over to local authorities in Sonora and they were being detained near the American border, the Mexican attorney general’s office said Thursday. The two were in possession of drugs and guns when they were detained, said a source in the same office.

Ivie, a Provo, Utah, native who joined the Border Patrol in January 2008, is survived by his wife and two young children.

He was killed near a border station recently named for Brian Terry, whose 2010 death led to the public disclosure of the botched Fast and Furious gun-smuggling sting.

Ivie was the 14th agent killed in the line of duty since 2008, including three this year.

The agent who was wounded has not been identified. After the shooting, he was airlifted to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and later released.

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US Begins To FLY Wetbacks Home To Mexico – Illegal Immigrants Previously Bussed To Mexican Border Towns, Now Thousands – Many Of Them Criminals, Will Be Flown In Luxury To Mexico City At US Taxpayer Expense

October 4, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. government began flying Mexican deportees home on Tuesday in a two-month experiment aimed at relieving Mexican border cities overwhelmed by large numbers of people ordered to leave the United States, some who fall prey to criminal gangs.

The flights will run twice a week from El Paso, Texas, to Mexico City until Nov. 29, at which time both governments will evaluate the results and decide whether to continue. The first flight left Tuesday with 131 Mexicans aboard.

The flights are not voluntary, unlike a previous effort from 2004 to 2011 to deport Mexicans arrested by the Border Patrol during Arizona’s deadly summer heat. The U.S. government will pay for the flights, and the Mexican government will pay to return people from Mexico City to their hometowns.

Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretary said late Tuesday that more than 2,400 passengers will be flown to Mexico City during the next two months. Mexicans from the country’s northern border states are not eligible.

The experiment comes as Mexican cities along the U.S. border are grappling with large numbers of deportees who have no roots, few job prospects and sometimes limited Spanish. Many are deported to cities that are among the hardest hit by organized crime in Mexico, particularly across the border from Texas in the state of Tamaulipas.

“The newly repatriated, often with no means to return home, are susceptible to becoming part of criminal organizations as a means of survival,” Gustavo Mohar, Mexico’s interior undersecretary for population, migration and religious affairs, said in a statement released by ICE.

ICE Director John Morton said the flights “will better ensure that individuals repatriated to Mexico are removed in circumstances that are safe and controlled.”

ICE, which is managing the flights, said passengers will include Mexicans with criminal convictions in the United States and those who don’t have any. They will be taken from throughout the United States to a processing center in Chaparral, N.M., before being put on flights at El Paso International Airport.

President Barack Obama’s administration has made migrants with criminal convictions a top priority among the roughly 400,000 people of all nationalities who are deported each year. The Department of Homeland Security said nearly half of the 293,966 Mexicans deported in its last fiscal year had criminal convictions in the United States.

The policy has fueled concern in Mexican cities along the U.S. border that deportees are being victimized, turn to petty crime or are recruited by criminal gangs. In February, Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Mexican Interior Secretary Alejandro Poire announced plans for a pilot program, which was to begin April 1, but negotiations delayed the start until Tuesday. Homeland Security officials said the time was needed considering the complexities and logistics of the effort.

The Border Patrol will not participate in the flights, which is called the Interior Repatriation Initiative, said ICE spokeswoman Nicole Navas.

Under a previous effort, some Mexicans who were arrested by the Border Patrol in Arizona’s stifling summer heat were offered a free flight to Mexico City, but they could refuse. The Mexican Interior Repatriation Program flights carried 125,164 passengers at a cost of $90.6 million from 2004 to 2011, or an average of $724 for each passenger, according to ICE.

The flights became a key piece of Border Patrol enforcement in Arizona as the agency moved to end its decades-old, revolving-door policy of taking migrants to the nearest border crossing to try again hours later.

Doris Meissner, who headed the former U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service in the 1990s, said the pilot program was an encouraging sign that that two governments are working together to address the large number of deportees in Mexico’s northern border cities.

“It makes it less likely these people will try to renter the U.S. … and it creates some chance that they are in an environment where they actually have some ties,” she said.

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Hundreds Of Thousands American Veterans Still Waiting For Health Benefits

September 30, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Mike Rioux can’t go to the grocery store without making a list, even for a single item.

He can’t drive without gripping the steering wheel so hard his knuckles turn white. And he can’t stand any longer than 30 minutes because of severe back pain.

This is Rioux’s life after Afghanistan, where firefights and a roadside bomb blast left him with a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder.

His ears still ring from the explosions. He suffers from vertigo, headaches, insomnia and nightmares. He has terrible anxiety, evident in an interview with CNN — Rioux could hardly sit still, and his memory loss and inability to concentrate meant questions had to be repeated at times.
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Phoenix Arizona National Memorial Cemetery Workers Tell Visitors To Buy Dollar Store Flowers That Thieves Won’t Want To Steal – No Fences, Limited Surveillance, And No Permanent Security At Site

September 23, 2012

PHOENIX, ARIZONA – Twice a month, Margo Dorrough places silk flowers beneath her husband’s marker at the Phoenix National Memorial Cemetery.

She fusses over the arrangements, choosing flowers that her husband would have liked, carefully securing them to containers that are planted into the ground.

Unlike real flowers, the silk ones don’t quickly lose their luster; the bright, cheerful colors offer a vibrant challenge to the austere desertscape of the cemetery where 57,000 service members are laid to rest.

But Dorrough said the flowers have attracted the attention of thieves along with visitors. After two of her arrangements disappeared in the past few months, she said cemetery staff warned her that flowers were being stolen from grave sites.

Dorrough, 63, said staff members advised her to buy cheaper flowers in order to dissuade thieves from taking them, possibly to resell them online.

“When I called to complain, (a staff member) said I should buy flowers at the Dollar Store, to buy something that somebody won’t want to steal,” Dorrough said. “I was aghast.”
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Glendale Arizona Desert Sage Elementary School Features 5×6′ Padded Prison Cell For Students

September 20, 2012

GLENDALE, ARIZONA — The Deer Valley Unified School District calls it a cool-down room. But Leslie Noyes calls it a prison cell.

“It’s like five by six, padded walls, no windows. It is definitely like a cell,” Noyes told 3TV when we sat down in her Glendale home.

“He was put in a cool down room,” Noyes said of her son. “And he asked to leave to use the restroom. They said no and he held it as long as he could and ended up wetting himself.”

Leslie and Eric Noyes have filed a lawsuit for an unspecified amount against the district because they say their son – then seven years old – suffered emotional and physical injuries after being restrained and secluded in this room at Desert Sage Elementary School.

“The seclusion room is something we didn’t know about. We feel they kept it from us until we discovered it by accident,” Noyes said.

She tells 3TV that she received a call that her son was acting up but she claims no one told her he was placed in seclusion. Noyes said she went to the school to see what was going on and that’s when she found out about this room.

Their son was having ongoing behavior issues at Desert Sage – the family says brought on by intense food allergies.

“He will become fidgety, he can’t stand still,” said Noyes.

Using seclusion rooms is perfectly legal in Arizona. Each school district determines its own policies.

3TV obtained a copy of Deer Valley’s policy and it says, in part:

If seclusion is necessary, parents and administrators must be notified within the same school day and a written notice that includes the circumstances that preceded the behavior, the behavior, the length of time the student was secluded, the location of the seclusion and the person who observed the student during the seclusion must follow. When a student has been in seclusion for longer than one hour, parent contact must be initiated immediately.

The Noyes’ attorney, Hope Kirsch, said that policy was not followed.

“Even though Deer Valley has a restraint and seclusion policy, they were not complying with it and the only thing districts understand is a lawsuit,” Kirsch said.

Because of this legal action, the school district said it cannot comment on the allegations.

“Restraint and seclusion is an overwhelming problem,” Kirsch said. “We are looking to make this district and all districts in Arizona aware that you cannot lock children in rooms. There has to be something to address their behaviors.”

3TV reached out to numerous sources including several teachers and the Department of Education. They tell us it is not unusual for schools to have cool-down or time out rooms.

Arizona is one of six states with no law about seclusion or restraint.

Congress is now looking at this issue to determine if more oversight is needed.

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