The New Rodney King: Abuse on the Border

Story tools

A A AResize



The 2010 video of a man lying down while Border Patrol agents Taser him is "horrifyingly similar" the video of the beating of Rodney King, according to an editorial in La Opinión. The fatal beating of Anastasio Hernández Rojas, a Mexican migrant worker caught trying to enter the country illegally near San Diego on May 28, 2010, highlights a larger problem in a rapidly expanding Border Patrol agency, the editorial argues.

"Last year, Alan Bersin, commissioner of Customs and Border Patrol (CBP), admitted during a public hearing that the rapid growth of his agency's staff has been to the detriment of their quality," editors write.

"Between 2004 and 2010, the number of Border Patrol agents more than doubled. The staff is younger and less experienced, and their number has made it harder to conduct the required background reinvestigations every five years. As a result, there have been numerous corruption cases.

"What happened to Hernández Rojas is not the only case of apparent excessive use of force against migrants that has emerged in the past few years. It is necessary not only to reopen the investigation of the case and punish those responsible if warranted, but also to evaluate and publish protocols on the use of force," editors write.