US Customs and Border Protection Test Body Cams to Reduce Use of Force

(NEW YORK) — It’s the largest police force in the country with about 60,000 employees, and now U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the first to conduct a massive experiment to test the use of body cameras along the United States borders. Agents have been testing different models of body cameras as part of an initiative to reduce use of force — and it’s these cameras that are the most controversial part of a new 18-month retraining program ordered by reform Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske. Continue reading

Border Patrol must have body cameras

  The recently published editorial “Border Patrol resistant to body cameras,” rightly concluded that U.S. Custom and Border Protections (CBP), which includes Border Patrol, should be held to the same standards of accountability and transparency as local police. We agree and have urged CBP to implement body-worn cameras with privacy protections since October 2012. Since January 2010, CBP — the largest law enforcement agency in the country — hasclaimed the lives of at least 42 people without consequence. Many of those killed by Border Patrol were unarmed civilians, at least 18 were U.S. citizens and six were standing in Mexico, like teens Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca or Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez. Continue reading

San Diegans Dismayed over Rep. Peters' Vote Against Syrian Refugees

  San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium Leaders toReturn Proclamation Issued by Rep. Peters San Diego - Today, the House of Representatives passed a bill that unfairly targets Syrian and Iraqi refugees fleeing violence by increasing the roadblocks they must overcome before seeking refuge in the United States. H.R. 4038, the so-called "American Security Against Foreign Enemies (SAFE) Act. Despite the repeated calls by refugees, faith leaders and community groups to oppose this shameful legislation, Representative Scott Peters voted in favor of H.R. 4038. If this legislation passes the Senate and becomes law, it would halt refugee resettlement for families fleeing Syria and Iraq, including individuals who served alongside U.S. troops. Continue reading

Human Rights Activists Call on President Obama to Control Border Patrol

  Washington D.C. - Human rights activists with the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) are in Washington D.C. this week to continue advocating for oversight and accountability of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).  Andrea Guerrero, Executive Director of Alliance San Diego and Co-Chair of the SBCC, and Christian Ramirez, Human Rights Director at Alliance San Diego and Director of the SBCCC are leading voices on border issues with years of experience advocating for border communities and families. Their visit to DC comes on the heels of an announcement by CBP to reject the use of body-worn cameras as an oversight mechanism to control an agency that has proven to be incapable of resolving its systemic problems with abuse, corruption and impunity. Continue reading

CBP Fails to Move Forward on Body Worn Cameras

    SBCC Responds to Announcement and Calls for Implementation Timeline and Budget Southern Border/Washington DC: After years of being in the national and international spotlight for abuse and impunity, today's announcement by Commissioner Kerlikowske of more study and delays is unacceptable. Instead of setting goal posts and timelines for implementation, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is choosing to expand its review and consider upgrading cameras where they already exist. Continue reading

Lo último sobre el caso Anastasio Hernández

  Entravision(SAN DIEGO).-Esta mañana nos acompaña el activista y director de la coalición de comunidades al sur de la frontera, Christian Ramírez para platicarnos sobre la resolución del tema de Anastasio Hernández Continue reading

US: No charges in death of Mexican man at California border

  By: Erin Tucker an Julie Watson  SAN DIEGO (AP) — The Justice Department will not bring criminal charges in the death of a man from Mexico who was shocked by U.S. border authorities with a stun gun five years ago, federal officials announced Friday in closing their investigation. The 2010 death of 42-year-old Anastasio Hernandez-Rojas raised complaints of excessive force from the then-president of Mexico and others, and investigators with the Justice Department examined the case for evidence of a civil rights violation. Continue reading

Shocking: DOJ will Not Prosecute Agents who Murdered Anastasio Hernández Rojas

  San Diego -  In a shocking turn of events in the case of Anastasio Hernández Rojas, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today that they will not prosecute the agents involved in his death. The DOJ cited a lack of evidence to meet the standard for federal criminal prosecution. Despite eyewitness testimony and video, DOJ concluded they were unable to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the agents committed homicide or civil rights violations. Following are statements from the family of Anastasio Hernández Rojas along with representatives from the Southern Border Communities Coalition. Continue reading

U.S. border agency staff rejects body cameras

  Customs and Border Protection staff concluded after an internal review that agents and officers shouldn’t be required to wear body cameras, positioning the nation’s largest law enforcement agency as a counterweight to a growing number of police forces that use the devices to promote public trust and accountability. The yearlong review cited cost and a host of other reasons to hold off, according to two people familiar with the findings who spoke on condition of anonymity because the findings have not been made public. It found operating cameras may distract agents while they’re performing their jobs, may hurt employee morale, and may be unsuited to the hot, dusty conditions in which Border Patrol agents often work. Continue reading

Civil Rights in the Southern Border Region: Focus of Hill Briefings

  Washington D.C. - Human rights advocates with the Southern Border Communities Coalition (SBCC) and border residents affected by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) abuses are in Washington D.C. this week for briefings in the House and the Senate.  The briefings taking place on Thursday, November 5, are sponsored by the offices of Senator Tom Udall and Representative Beto O'Rourke. Details about the briefings are as follows. Continue reading

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