A Lesser Justice

A Mexican family has received approval to move forward with their lawsuit against a Border Patrol agent who killed their son.

José Antonio Rodríguez was 16-years old and unarmed when he was shot 10 times by a Border Patrol agent despite the fact that he was walking on the Nogales side of the border.

A federal jury acquitted the accused agent of second-degree murder back in April and is now facing a retrial on charges of manslaughter.

The federal appeals court has ruled that the Rodríguez family can move forward with a lawsuit for damages against the agent, Lonnie Swartz.

Rodríguez was shot through the border fence itself, the fatal bullet lodging itself in his skull.

While we are of course thrilled that the federal courts have ruled that Swartz does not have immunity as a Border Patrol agent and that he can be sued for violating Rodríguez’s civil rights, we can’t help but wonder how he escaped the murder charges to begin with.

Ten shots with one to the head through a border fence at a young, unarmed boy on the right side of the line seems a lot like a clear-cut murder in the first degree to us.

But, as in so many other instances, the Rodríguez family may have to settle for a lesser justice.

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Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.


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