U.S. Border Patrol agents are outraged over an appeals court ruling that a Mexican teenager can sue the Border Patrol after he was shot while throwing rocks at agents, Newsradio 1200 WOAI reports.
The family of the dead teenager, who never set foot on American soil, says $25 million would make the loss of their son easier to bear.
But Shawn Moran, who is a leader of the National Border Patrol Council, the organization of rank and file officers, says it’s a bad move and could lead to more dead American lawmen and women.
"We are concerned that our agents are going to hesitate when we are being attacked, and we are going to end up with a dead Border Patrol agent because of that hesitation," Moran told Newsradio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board.
Moran says officers who patrol a volatile, changing, and sometimes confusing place like the U.S. Mexico border need to have clarity in their rules of engagement, and this ruling undercuts that clarity.
"We are concerned that it is going to open up agents to liability, and make them think twice about defending themselves," he said.
For example, Moran says the next step might be that an illegal immigrant or even a drug smuggler will sue a Border Patrol agent if he or she trips while being chased through the Brush Country by a Border Patrol officer.