The family of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas, who died on May 29th following an altercation with the San Diego Border Patrol, was in the city on Thursday as they announced plans to file an administrative complaint against both the Border Patrol and Customs and Border Protection.
As Leslie Berestein reports in the San Diego Union-Tribune, if the federal government determines that the complaint is invalid, then family members would be eligible to file a wrongful death lawsuit after six months.
Hernandez, who was in the United States illegally, was arrested by California Border Patrol agents sometime during the day on May 28. According to San Diego police officers, he was taken to the border later that night and, when he resisted the officers, was subdued with a taser gun.
A witness, who also shot a low-quality video of the event on his cell phone, claims that Hernandez was surrounded by nearly 20 Border Patrol agents and customs officers. He also claims to have heard the discharge of a taser gun upwards of five times, much more than it would take to subdue most individuals.
The next day, Hernandez was declared brain-dead and doctors made the decision to take him off life support.
It is a sensitive time in the Southwest United States, with the immigration debate picking up steam and accusations of racial profiling being thrown in Arizona. When all said and done, Hernandez’s death could turn out to be a very important catalyst indeed.
- Stun gun death adds fuel to fire (San Diego Union-Tribune)