Friday, January 20, 2023

DHS Slaps New Limits On When Border Patrol Can Chase Fleeing Smugglers; U.S. Border Authorities Roll Out Updated Pursuit Policy

 AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills
DHS slaps new limits on when Border Patrol can chase fleeing smugglers:
The Department of Homeland Security announced a new vehicle-pursuit policy Wednesday that will severely limit when Border Patrol agents can pursue migrant smugglers, saying the cat-and-mouse game has become too dangerous for everyone involved.
The policy, released by Customs and Border Protection’s acting commissioner, bans agents from trying to box in a fleeing car or from using a pursuit immobilization technique in which a car is intentionally nudged to get it to stop.
The policy also discourages pursuits when a suspect is fleeing above the speed limit, is overloaded with illegal immigrants or is headed toward a more populated area. All are frequent occurrences in Border Patrol chases.
CBP said the new rules do not ban pursuits but are needed to reduce the danger and force agents to evaluate whether the suspected crime is serious enough to deserve a chase.
“The safety of officers, agents and the public are paramount as we carry out our mission,” said Troy Miller, the agency’s acting head.
The National Border Patrol Council, which represents agents, said it was still reviewing the changes but at first glance said it seems that the more recklessly a suspect drives, the better the chance that the person will force agents to stop pursuing.
“There is a lot to be said for police backing off when they know who the criminal is and they can take the person into custody later, but in our job, the vast majority of vehicles used to smuggle are not registered to the person driving, so even if we run the license plate and find out who the registered owner is, we have to prove the owner was the driver or had knowledge,” said Brandon Judd, the union’s president. “Very difficult.” --->READ MORE HERE
U.S. Border Authorities Roll Uut Updated Pursuit Policy:
U.S. border authorities announced changes to their policy for pursuing smugglers and other crime suspects on Wednesday, following an extensive review and criticism by immigrant advocates who pointed to cases in which passengers died when drivers fled law enforcement.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced the changes Wednesday, just days after a crash in southern New Mexico that killed two people and injured eight others on Sunday. Another crash on Jan. 5. followed the shooting of a Border Patrol officer.
The agency said the updated directive provides a framework for weighing the risks of a pursuit against the law enforcement benefit or need. The agency said it reviewed more than two dozen vehicle pursuit policies from various enforcement agencies across the U.S. to come up with the new policy.
“As a professional law enforcement organization, CBP is continually updating policies to reflect best practices, public safety needs, and evolving public expectations,” Acting Commissioner Troy Miller said in a statement. “The safety of officers, agents, and the public are paramount as we carry out our mission.” --->READ MORE HERE
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