In 2010, San Diego police officers investigated the death of a Mexican man who border patrol agents shocked with a Taser and struck with a baton at the Mexican border. Although the San Diego coroner’s office ruled the death a homicide, the federal officers said the 42-year-old undocumented immigrant, Anastacio Hernández-Rojas, was not handcuffed and resisting deportation when he was Tasered, and no one has yet be charged in Rojas’ death. Rojas was one of several immigrants killed by border patrol agents.
But almost two years later, a new video of Rojas’ death counters the border patrol agents’ account, according to a PBS and Nation Institute joint investigation. Rather than showing him resisting arrest, Rojas is seen lying on the ground with several agents surrounding him when he is shocked by the Taser. Watch a clip of the report from PBS’ Need to Know:
When Rojas’ family saw him in the hospital, they could tell he had been beaten. His family filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government after Rojas’ death. They argue that “at one point, there were approximately 20 to 25 agents, taking part in beating, kicking or punching” Rojas.
But because border patrol agents work under the Department of Homeland Security, they are not subjected to the same scrutiny as police officers. No one has been charged with Rojas’ death. And the lack of prosecution in cases like Rojas’ death and others raises more questions about if agents are properly trained to safely protect the border.