Saturday, August 30, 2014

TX:Border Patrol Fires at Armed Citizen

The Border Patrol has had strict policies about the firing of weapons for decades.    In the most famous recent case, Border patrol agent Brian Terry was killed in a firefight in which the Patrolman used less lethal "bean bag" rounds.    Border Patrol agents I have talked to have always said that the mere presence of a weapon is not enough to justify shooting at someone.   This makes sense, because most people in the United States can legally possess weapons, and because the law is clear on what is required to justify the use of deadly force.   The mere presence of a weapon is not enough.    In border areas, where there is often rampant criminality, many people consider it foolhardy not to be armed.

The Arizona Supreme Court recently reiterated this maxim, when they ruled that the mere presence of a weapon is insufficient to allow a person to be detained.

Border Patrol spokesman Omar Zamora said agents had been chasing a group of immigrants east of Brownsville Friday afternoon when an agent saw a man holding a gun near the Rio Grande. The agent fired four shots, but did not hit the man.
The totality of the circumstances must be taken into account.   In this case, the agent was pursuing a group of illegal aliens when he saw the armed citizen.   However, the citizen never made any threatening moves, and never pointed his long gun in the direction of the agent.   Perhaps the shots were meant as a "warning".   I do not believe that this is Border Patrol policy, as it is a good way to instigate a gun fight.  The citizen in this case immediately dropped his weapon.

He very likely had seen the agent coming in his direction and knew that the person firing at him was a member of the Border Patrol.

I suspect that the Border Patrol agent will be in a lot of trouble for this breach of protocol.   He is very lucky that he did not hit the armed citizen, who was on private property, who had permission to be there, and who was not reported as doing anything wrong or illegal.   

Update from a post to this article on The Truth About Guns:


Posted to ACR by KC on the border in TEXAS about an clash between his group and Law enforcement agncies
30 Aug14
On or about Wednesday 27AUG14 at approx 18:00 Archie, a fellow teammate at Camp Lonestar, met Mr Aguliar curator of the wildlife sanctuary located on the Texas Border at a Gas Station named “Stripes”. After speaking with Archie, Mr. Agulair showed interest in having us patrol the sanctuary due to illegal alien incursions onto his property. He invited us to come speak with him.
On 29AUG14 at approx. 14:00 We (KC, Wolf, Jesus) went to speak with Mr. Aguliar about patrolling his property. After agreeing to his terms for patrol on his property, we set out to scout the new property along the river. After we cleaned up 3 crossing spots(we remove refuse to beautify our state and to allow us to monitor new traffic) we observed a dismounted Border Patrol Agent walking down the river road. We knew from working with BP when they are dismounted they are actively looking for illegals that have crossed into US territory. I approached the Agent and asked him what was going on. The BP agent informed us that they had illegals being pushed toward our location from other BP agents. We asked if we could help him and he said yes. We heard voices coming from the river so we deployed to the river approx. 75 yards apart, which was to the rear position of the BP agents position to cover his back. Wolf took the most Northern position I assumed the middle position and Jesus was in the southern position. While I was in a covered position on the river I observed a heavily tattooed late 20′s early 30′s Hispanic male hollering and whistling up and down the river. While observing suspect I heard a series of approx. 5 gun shots ring out. My first impression was, it was the cartel flexing their might to attempt to intimidate us as they had done previously to BP. I observed suspect until he got out of my visual range. When I went back up to the top of the ridge to reposition myself to further observe the suspect, my teammate Wolf informed me a BP Captain was looking for me. I immediately proceeded to meet the Captain on the border road. I observed the BP Captain coming toward me holding the AK Pistol Jesus was carrying and Jesus following behind the Agent. When the BP Captain and I got within speaking range he informed me that one of his agents discharged his firearm at my teammate(Jesus) approx. 5 times. He stated to me his agent mistook our teammate as an illegal and saw the weapon and he opened fire without provocation or without ordering Jesus to drop his weapon. I then observed the Agent who discharged his weapon and he was visibly shaken. His skin was flushed and his color appeared to be white. After about 20 minutes the Agent was back to a normal darker skin tone. The BP Captain then asked us to move out of the “HOT” zone for our security to further discuss the incidental discharge. We agreed and moved approx. 250 yards from the site of the shooting.
When we arrived at the new location the BP agent chose, we stopped approx. 30 yds. behind his vehicle. I disarmed and stowed my side arm in the glove box of the mule and left my rifle leaning on the gun rack mounted to the mule. Wolf left his rifle laying on the back seat of the mule and we dismounted. Wolf retained his pistol concealed under his blouse. We then approached the BP Captain and continued to discuss the incident. After approx. 15 minutes BP agents started to gather at our location to secure the scene for the ensuing investigation into the discharge of the BP agents firearm. The BP Captain asked us if he could secure our weapons since we did have illegals in the area and we were not in a position to protect the weapons from being used against us by an illegal. We consented to him securing the weapons in his vehicle. The BP Captain also took possession of my GoPro camera that was mounted to the mule.
After approx. 45 minutes a Charge Sargent of the Cameron County sheriffs office arrived and took possession of our identification and he proceeded to run our names and backgrounds. He also ran the numbers on our weapons which all came back clear. I had to scratch the paint off of my AK pistol for the BP and deputy to obtain the serial number. He also ran the VIN of my mule which was clear. Shortly afterwards top ranking Border Patrol commanders and investigators arrived. The FBI and Homeland security investigators arrived on the scene. I was questioned by Homeland Security agent and an FBI agent about what I knew and observed. I answered all questions posed to me truly and accurately. After approx. 5 hours being detained by Federal and county officials we were told we were free to go.
While we were waiting for our identification back we observed the Deputy Sheriff taking possession of our weapons. When I questioned why he was taking our weapons after they were cleared as not stolen and we had every legal right to possess them on the private property we had permission to be on, I was informed they were “Part of the investigation” into the discharge of a weapon by a federal agent. I again questioned why our weapons were part of an investigation that we had not committed and wrong doing. The Deputy asserted he was told to do so and I could retrieve my weapons Monday 1SEPT14 at the Sheriffs office. I was not given an inventory list of the weapons being held nor for my GoPro camera they refused to give back due to their investigation. I was just told to go to the Sheriffs office next week. The SSG with the Cameron County sheriffs office returned our identification and told us we were free to go. Again I asked about my weapons and camera and again I was refused access to my lawful property. We mounted up on the mule and departed to our base camp.
The statement reported by AP is completely false. We never identified ourselves as “Militia” as a matter of fact we all stated we are NOT Militia just Concerned Patriotic American Citizen here to help protect and serve our fellow Americans being victimized by these illegals aliens and support the Border Patrol in the deterring of illegal incursions onto American soil.
KC Massey
CO Camp LoneStar

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch


Unknown said...

FYI, the phrase is properly 'less lethal,' not 'less-than-lethal.' Anything that comes out of the barrel of a gun can kill. Unfortunately, things, including people, do die from being hit with rubber bullets, beanbags, SuperSocks, and even 'blanks.'

Sorry to nitpick, but I teach this stuff.

Dean Weingarten said...

Thank you for the correction.

Anonymous said...

It's not a BP Captain, the double bars is a Supervisor

Anonymous said...

Why did the BP Agent agree to let you help him? You do not have any arrest authority or law enforcement training. By detaining an individual, are you not violating that person's 4th Amendment right? If you say no, because you are not the government; then what would you call an armed subject who stops a persons freedom of movement? Are you not illegally detaining or even kidnaping? Seems like you are opening yourself up to a lawsuit.