Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Mexican Family’s Lawsuit Against Federal Agent Won’t Go Forward, Supreme Court Rules

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a Mexican family cannot go forward with a lawsuit against a federal agent for the cross-border shooting death of 15-year-old Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca.
The five-to-four vote followed familiar ideological lines. Justice Samuel Alito wrote the opinion for the Court, while Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg led the liberal bloc in dissent.
The case arose in 2010 when U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agent Jesus Mesa Jr. shot and killed Hernández in a concrete border culvert between El Paso and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Mesa discharged his weapon while standing on U.S. soil. Hernández was on the Mexican side of the border.
LINK: Supreme Court: Mexican Family Can't Sue 
Border Patrol Agent in Cross-Border Shooting
Other facts surrounding the shooting are in dispute. The Hernández family claims Sergio and his friends were playing a game in the border culvert when Mesa opened fire without provocation. Mesa counters that Sergio and his companions were attempting an illegal border crossing and hurled rocks at him.
The Department of Justice cleared Mesa of wrongdoing in 2012 after investigating the incident. The Mexican government sought Mesa's extradition, but the United States refused the request.
Though the facts surrounding Hernández's death seem unusual, the use of lethal force at the border is common.
Former CBP officials filed a brief in Tuesday's case indicating that there were 24 shooting deaths in the border region between 2010 and 2014. The brief claims CBP agents responded to rock-throwing incidents with the use of a firearm in about 10 percent of cases in 2011 and 2012, the general time frame of the Hernández shooting.
At issue in Tuesday's case was whether the Hernández family can sue Mesa under a 1971 Supreme Court decision called Bivens. The family argued a so-called Bivens claim is the last remedy available.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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