Senator Menendez Welcomes New Lethal Force Directives as a Positive First Step

Senator Menendez Welcomes New Lethal Force Directives as a Positive First Step

Washington, DC - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) today commended the release of updated Use-Of-Force policies by the U.S. Border Patrol. These updated policies come after a Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) report reviewed 67 Border Patrol cases that resulted in 19 deaths. The report found that Border Patrol agents have used deadly force against individuals who threw rocks and have blocked the path of vehicles to justify firing live rounds. The new policies prohibit the use of lethal force except in circumstances where a border patrol agent has a reasonable belief of imminent danger and encourage Border Patrol agents to consider alternative methodologies at musters.

"I welcome these positive steps toward establishing a clear use of force policy," said Senator Menendez. "This is a much needed first step to prevent unnecessary killings of unarmed people near the border. I look forward to additional clarification from DHS about whether the agency will follow the recommendations made by PERF in its outside review of use of force incidents. I also hope to learn whether the 67 incidents investigated by PERF resulted in any disciplinary actions. But I am heartened by this first step toward improved accountability in the Border Patrol."

Senator Menendez has previously questioned the use of force by border agents. At current Commissioner of Customs R. Gil Kerlikowske's confirmation hearing, Senator Menendez urged the release of the PERF report and the implementation of its recommendations.

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