The Supreme Court Just Gave the Border Patrol a License to Kill
It’s a sad day for Hernández family, for families of others murdered by Border Patrol agents, and for the rule of law. This is yet another atrocity that the right-wing Supreme Court approves of: zero accountability to anyone for lawless law enforcement agents. It’s another of the many unacceptable consequences of allowing McConnell and Trump to stack the courts with ideologues.
Back in 2010, 15-year-old Sergio Hernández was hanging out along the Mexican side of the Southern border with his friends, playing a game where they would touch a fence on the border and then run back. A Border Patrol agent on the U.S. side named Jesus Mesa saw them and, when Hernández ran again, shot and killed him in front of everyone in the middle of the day.
A civil suit was the only option for Hernández’s parents. The case, Hernández v. Mesa, wound up at the Supreme Court, because the Department of Justice refused to prosecute Mesa, and when the Mexican government charged the agent with murder, the United States refused to extradite him. But just last week, the court decided the parents couldn’t seek damages for their child’s death.
My opponent’s position and mine could not be more different on this issue.
My opponent for County Supervisor has consistently favored zero oversight over law enforcement agencies such as the Border Patrol and the County Sheriff’s office. He believes they should be left alone to do whatever they like. Apparently this stacked Supreme Court agrees with him.
In 2018 and 2019 my opponent:
- Introduced a resolution that would have allowed the Pima County Sheriff to be the sole arbiter of which federal grants the Sheriff’s Department accepts, even when such grants require Sheriff’s deputies to work under Border Patrol direction. The resolution failed, as it should have. The Board of Supervisors holds the authority to approve or reject such grants. They ought not to be giving it away, and it may not have been legal had they tried to.
- Persistently criticized the Community Law Enforcement Partnership Commission (CLEPC) on the ground that they were prejudiced against law enforcement. Actually, they were doing the job that the Board of Supervisors had appointed them to do: overseeing how the Sheriff’s Department used federal grants, and recommending which grants to approve and which to reject.
- Tried to prevent the CLEPC from meeting by instructing his appointees not to attend meetings.
- Introduced a resolution to disband the CLEPC. It passed.
In other words, my opponent actively sabotaged every form of oversight over the Sheriff’s Department.
I do not agree! I will never approve any measure, such as the one introduced by my opponent last year, to grant more autonomy to a law enforcement agency. The Board of Supervisors has a responsibility to oversee all County operations. It should not and cannot give that away.