In May 2010, a U.S. citizen was crossing the bridge from Mexico into the U.S.A. She witnessed the brutal violence of several federal agents against a Mexican immigrant, who later died from his injuries.
Now an amateur video taken by Seattle resident Ashley Young has come to light, which shows 42-year-old Anastacio Hernandez-Rojas lying in the fetal position on the ground while at least 12 federal agents repeatedly shock him with a stun gun.
The video was obtained by a lawyer who is representing the Hernandez-Rojas family in their wrongful death suit against the U.S. government.
PBS have made a new documentary, in which they air this video together with an interview with the woman who shot it.
The full report can be viewed here and an excerpt from the documentary is included above.
The documentary, titled "Need to Know" features Young saying that she saw the handcuffed man lying on the ground. She stated that she did not witness Hernandez-Rojas fighting against the agents in any way but clearly heard the officers shouting for him to stop resisting arrest. Hernandez-Rojas can be heard shouting for help in Spanish while he is being tasered repeatedly by the agents.
Young further stated that a small crowd had gathered on the bridge and some people shouted for the agents to stop. Federal officers then came onto the bridge to tell the onlookers to "keep walking". An officer apparently demanded that the witnesses delete any video they had taken and hand over their cell phones. Young says that she just kept walking and that she "felt like she watched someone be murdered."
The San Diego medical examiner has ruled Hernandez-Rojas' death a homicide and the matter has been investigated by police. However as yet no border control agents have been charged for their crimes in the incident.
The PBS documentary explores whether U.S. border agents, in an effort to curb illegal immigration, are using excessive force. According to the documentary 8 people have been killed in the past 2 years along this border, including the case of Hernandez-Rojas.
U.S. border guards do not appear to be subject to the same public scrutiny as police officers who use their weapons. The documentary also raises the question as to whether these agents are being properly trained and why these officers are not being charged for what is clearly classified as homicide.
As mentioned in the video above, a petition to the Justice Department is being now run to demand a proper investigation into the death of Hernandez-Rojas.