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Murder With Impunity

The (alleged) Justice Department announced last week that it would not prosecute the Border Patrol agent who shot and killed Carlos LaMadrid. The incident occurred in Douglas in 2011 as LaMadrid was reportedly attempting to cross the border into Agua Prieta.

He was 19. And an American.

The (alleged) Justice Department press release on the decision not to prosecute is an exercise in justifying an obvious homicide committed by a government official. It says LaMadrid, who allegedly was smuggling marijuana, deserved to be shot four times — THREE bullets in the back —  because rocks were being thrown at the Border Patrol officer, Lucas Tidwell.

Here is the paragraph that pardons the murder:

“While a civilian witness who climbed up the ladder behind the victim stated that he did not see anyone throwing rocks at the time of the shooting, his account is contradicted by the physical, testimonial and video evidence.  A law enforcement officer who witnessed the shooting stated that he saw a man on top of the fence throw three rocks at the agent, forcing the shooting agent to duck down behind his vehicle for cover.  The videotapes of the incident, although poor in quality, show an individual on top of the border fence making an overhead throwing motion as the victim ascends the ladder.  Crime scene investigators recovered several brick-sized rocks at the scene, including one that shattered the windshield of the USBP agent’s service vehicle, which the agent was standing or stooping next to when he fired five shots. ”

Here is the (alleged) logic that guides the (alleged) Justice Department decision not to prosecute:

“Under the applicable federal criminal civil rights law, prosecutors must establish, beyond a reasonable doubt, that an official “willfully” deprived an individual of a constitutional right, meaning that the official acted with the deliberate and specific intent to do something the law forbids.  This is the highest standard of intent imposed by the law.  Neither accident, mistake, fear, negligence nor bad judgment is sufficient to establish a federal criminal civil rights violation.  After a careful and thorough review, a team of experienced federal prosecutors determined that the evidence was insufficient to pursue federal criminal civil rights charges.”

This excrable reasoning places a stamp of approval on murder with impunity.