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Video reportedly shows Border Patrol confrontation that led to illegal immigrant's death

A video apparently showing a portion of the confrontation that led to the death of an illegal immigrant last month at the San Diego-Tijuana border crossing has surfaced on the website of a Baja California newspaper.

In the raw video taken by a young man on his cellphone, Anastasio Hernandez Rojas yells for help as U.S. Border Patrol agents attempt to subdue him.

Hernandez was being removed from the country at the San Ysidro Port of Entry when he resisted and was eventually shot with a Taser stun gun, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Hernandez, 42, who had methamphetamine in his system, died of a heart attack, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office.

The footage, taken on the night of May 29, is grainy and dark; neither Hernandez nor the agents can be clearly seen. The young man who shot the video, according to the article in the Tijuana newspaper, Frontera, said Hernandez was handcuffed and lying on the ground, face down, during the encounter.

The incident occurred in a fenced area where U.S. agents regularly deport immigrants, handing them through a gate to their Mexican counterparts in Tijuana. There were several witnesses, including one woman who asked the agents in Spanish to stop.

The young man who shot the video asks a U.S. agent nearby why they’re using “excessive force.” The agent replies that it appears he’s not cooperating.

The incident, which is being investigated by the San Diego Police Department, has drawn protests from the Mexican government and immigrant rights groups.

Hernandez, a father of five, had lived in the U.S. since he was a teenager. He had recently been deported after an unspecified run-in with San Diego police and was trying to return to the country when he was arrested by U.S. agents.

-- Richard Marosi in San Diego

 
Comments () | Archives (16)

Excessive force? Leave it to the mexicans to either make up or twist stories around. The guy was resisting arrest,and had metaphetamines on him. The mexicans will do and say anything to get rid of our border patrols. These people have no mo moral values whatsoever. The country is run by corrupt politicians and drug cartels.Why doesn't anyone else see this? Is this is what you want America to look like in the future?

In answer to cooper's questions:

Yes, this was excessive force, as documented by the video. No stories are being made up, this is a factual report. Nobody in Mexico is talking about getting rid of border patrols. We do have moral values, thank you. Even if our country is being run by corrupt politicians and heavily influenced by drug cartels (and, incidentally, we have drug cartels in Mexico because of US consumption, so don't be so judgmental), Anastasio was a human being and did not deserve to be assassinated, especially after desperately pleading for mercy. Finally, no this is not what anybody wants the US to look like in the future, nor in the present, so stop the brutal beatings as a tacitally endorsed action to stop illegal immigration.

Sorry Mr. Anonymous but you really can't see anything in the video. The video really doesn't prove anything. They "Mexico" will say anything in their favor of course even if the truth was in front of them.

Ahh, the good old grainy video. Here's the steps now: 1. Portray the suspect as the victim, and the officers as criminals. 2. Get photos of the suspect as a child, and the doe-eyed relatives crying on TV. 3. Get Mexican politicians to show their feigned outrage (while ignoring scores of Mexicans being slaughtered in their own country). 4. Get an attorney and dash for dollars.

Here we again....were going to have to hear about this for a while....Let's just let them all in...open the floods gates These people have no mo moral values whatsoever. WHERE IS OBAMA and his team.

Expect the Moron-in-Chief to come out with a definitive statement that even though he doesn't know the facts, the Border Patrol acted 'stupidly'. He will follow that up with an apology tour to Mexico City where he will perform a 90 degree bow from the waist to Presidente Calderon and beg forgiveness.

Funny how people generalize. However, it is even more hilarious how you only see the flaws in Mexican officials, but do not see how corrupt our government has historically been (i.e. supported Pinochet) and has turned a blind eye when American companies try to exploit Latin American nations such as the “Water Wars in Bolivia.” Yet it is not surprising since some, not all, Americans fail to understand the fact that the only way to impact immigration is by pressuring the government to stop meddling in Latin American affairs.

I'd like to see some grainy video of how Mexican authorities treat illegal immigrants trying to cross their southern border into Mexico.
The truth is, they don't want any more immigrants from the south that can't fill their coffers with foreign dollars. They have no problem, however, with their people illegally entering the U.S. and then sending back dollars to help their economy, rather than addressing, and fixing, the endemic problems their political system has, problems that, if fixed, wouldn't cause a flood of people to try to illegally cross into the U.S.

Scary that someone can have this happen to them and there is no help. That is the mexican government for you what do you expect?

This is why you no longer visit Mexico. It isn't safe there anymore. When I was a kid we loved Mexico .Now I don't even think about it . What do you expect?

The US used to be such a champion of human rights. Now that torture on the hands of US authority has been institutionalized and legalized, and after reading comments from this forum, I realize that the US is a country where people are ready to turn their eyes when presented by abuse and manslaughter carried out by their own government. It's perfectly fine if US citizens do not want to have anything to do with Mexico, or if the want to think negatively about our country. But don't try to blame Mexico or the Mexicans for animal-like behavior carried out under full control of US agents.

I am going to try to put this in a way that is factual and makes sense. California has a huge unemployment rate meaning there are more people unemployed than there are jobs to get. Why would any Hispanic American citizens be for illegal immigration when facts have proven that they are taking trade jobs that they could be working in?? If there are no illegals working in the state, then businesses will hire more American citizens including Hispanic American citizens who will then be paid decent wages and benefits. It is to their benefit to remove undocumented workers from the state as well. Hispanic American citizens are looking for work themselves. I know Hispanic Americans that are just as against illegal immigration as anyone else whether they be Black or White or Chinese, or Japanese,,etc,,, This is business 101 logic and facts, of course you would have to have some education to understand it.

yes the video is grainy and I would like to see physically what happened, but going on what I can hear, which is this man crying, begging for them to stop and begging for help as well as witnesses telling them to stop and asking them why they are tasing someone that hasn´t resisted...tells a lot of the story...also this man was tased 20 times...that is a bit excessive and no one needs to be tased more than once...

this is not excessive force, he only died because he had meth in system, if he would have complied and not resisted he would probably still be alive, the agent was only doing his job.

this is not excessive force, he only died because he had meth in system, if he would have complied and not resisted he would probably still be alive, the agent was only doing his job.

tHE MEXICANS ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR STEALING EVERYBODYS JOBS!!!!!!!!!!!!
I AM SICK AND TIRED OF HEARING THIS! I AM WHITE, I have eyes, and when is the last time you seen white people picking lettuce for 10 hrs in 100 degree heat! I know I never have, as a matter of fact people, I just read where the farm workers challenged ( daily news ) anybody to do their jobs for just 1 day! So far no takers.....only talkers. So put up or shut up!!!!


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L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
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