By Joseph Tanfani
In rural Arizona, a border agent shot at and missed a migrant who had cocked his arm to throw a rock. At a California border station, a man died after being hit with a Taser three times.
Neither time did agents breach Customs and Border Protection policy, according to a board set up this year to provide accountability and oversight for how agents deploy force in their often dangerous border confrontations. So far, the board has considered eight cases, and it has cleared agents each time.
The latest four case reviews, released last week, illustrate the challenges for an agency struggling to overhaul its practices after a string of alleged abuses including high-profile cross-border shootings, sometimes in response to thrown rocks. The board’s creation was the latest step in a four-year effort to modernize policing standards at Customs and Border Protection and in particular in the Border Patrol, with its rough-edged, military-style culture.