US: Court Weighs Border Killing of Child

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Enforcement Should Follow International, Human Rights Standards

(San Francisco) – A United States Border Patrol Agent who shot an unarmed Mexican child in the back across the border should not escape justice if the shooting was unlawful, Human Rights Watch said in a friend-of-the-court brief.

In the brief, filed in a federal appeals court on Friday, Human Rights Watch says international standards require law enforcement officers to use force only when it is necessary and proportionate. The law firm Constantine Cannon LLP served as counsel on the brief.

 “On the facts in the complaint, this killing unambiguously violates international standards for the use of force by law enforcement officers,” said Sarah Poppy Alexander, an associate with Constantine Cannon. “An unarmed child standing on a public street would have posed no immediate threat to Agent Swartz, who was behind a border fence 40 to 50 feet above street level.”

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