Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

A legal lynching: the murder of Anastasio Hernández-Rojas by DHS

Posted by Charles II on April 24, 2012

From DemocracyNow

AMY GOODMAN: …In May 2010, 32-year-old Anastasio Hernández-Rojas was caught trying to enter the United States from Mexico near San Diego. Hernández-Rojas had previously lived in the United States for 25 years, from the age of 15. He was the father of five U.S. born-children.

But instead of deportation, Hernández-Rojas’s detention ended in his death. A number of officers were seen beating him, before one tasered him at least five times. During the incident, Hernández-Rojas was handcuffed and hogtied. He died shortly after. The agents say they confronted Hernández-Rojas because he became hostile and resisted arrest. But new video recorded by eyewitnesses on their cell phones show a different story. The footage was obtained by reporter John Carlos Frey and aired in a national special Friday night as part of a joint investigation by the PBS broadcast Need to Know and the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute.

JOHN CARLOS FREY: … The Border Patrol agents, via their own press release and documents, say that he was combative, Hernández-Rojas was combative. They removed his handcuffs—this is actually the document—they removed his handcuffs and applied the use of a taser. He fell to the ground, suffered a heart attack and subsequently died. That is what is actually in the police report.

What the video shows is about 25 agents standing around a man on the ground. The man is handcuffed and hogtied, not resisting at all. He is Tasered repeatedly, kicked and beaten. At one point, after he has gone into convulsions, an officer kneels on his neck.

Who is in charge of the Department of Homeland Security? No one, it turns out. Since they have decided to accept the obviously fraudulent report of the San Diego Police Department and because the Department of Justice has declined to interview any witnesses, there is no accountability whatsoever. Indeed, DHS has been asked to release their guidelines for when Tasers may be used. Evidently, there are none. And there are other cases in which agents of the federal government have shot to death unarmed Mexicans on Mexican soil.

This is a case far worse than the Trayvon Martin case, as horrific as that was. There, a small police department was remarkably incurious about the violence committed by one individual against another. In this case, a metropolitan police department has covered up a murder committed by their officers in collusion with perhaps 25 agents of a completely unaccountable federal agency. The pinnacle of the federal justice system, the Department of Justice, has averted its eyes. This is corruption from the bottom of the system all the way to the top.

It should be noted that, at least as of fairly recently (and I think still), unlawful presence in the US is not a crime, though unlawful entry is a misdemeanor. So Hernandez-Rojas had done the equivalent of, say, shoplifting. If he had come in on a tourist visa and overstayed it, it would not have been a crime.

The full PBS program can be seen here.

7 Responses to “A legal lynching: the murder of Anastasio Hernández-Rojas by DHS”

  1. 25-to-1. Yeah, that’s fair odds. Not.

  2. Wege said

    I really can’t take many more stories like this. I know we’re not as bad as Nazi Germany, but it’s getting harder and harder to remember why.

    Took my mother to chemo this week and the conversation turned to politics. Sick and in very poor health, her blood pressure still spiked as she recited Fox News talking points. The bastards are driving wedges between Americans, and if they’re not a pack of Axis Sallys and Tokyo Roses, then, at the very least, they belong in the same ring of hell as the folks at Radio Rwanda. Fox tears this nation apart simply because it distracts the Republican base from the crimes of the Republican leadership, crimes in which far too many Democratic leaders are complicit from the President on down.

    • Charles II said

      I’m sorry to hear you Mom is down, ‘Wege.

      I deal with extremism regularly. The most recent was a member of my church who sent me this video with the question of if this is true, why Obama has no loving kindness. The whole riff is over whether the family of SSgt Sal Giunta sat in the front row or the third row.

      I took two f–king hours out of my life to track down the facts. As far as I can tell, no one except the people who were there actually know where Giunta’s family sat. If they sat in the third row, they were fifteen feet from the podium. If they sat in the first row, they were ten feet from the podium. A lot of the people in the front row were other surviving MoH winners. Whoever else was in the front row, they were probably there by protocol, not because Obama decided the seating. And whoever was in the front row, it sure as hell wasn’t Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Sheila Jackson-Lee as was falsely implied by the video. The whole point of the video is to stir hatred against gays, blacks, and Democrats in general.

      I feel like the liver of an alcoholic, with the imibibers sending all this poison my way and expecting me to detoxify it. How come people think it’s ok to send out vile, divisive videos with the handwashing of “if this is true”? As the liver, I especially resent the cheap rotgut they are using.

      Hope the chemo works and spares your Mom too many side effects. Medical research: another societal ill to be blamed on godless communistic scientists.

  3. jo6pac said

    I happened to watch a Jesse Venture U-Tube on fusion centers, fema camps, and other hls properties and when he interviewed people at each location the normal answer was no one was in charge. The locations did their own thing with no actability to anyone. What a great set-up no one can be blamed and how could anything possible go wrong. We are seeing more and more of this type of unaccountable police action everywhere and I know on every force there good officers but when I read about on officer doing the right thing to only be put administrative leave it makes me wonder if the cycle-0-paths have taken over the entire system. . I’m not sure we can recover from this slide down the slope of fascism, how sad.

  4. MarkH said

    How can it not be illegal to enter the country on a visa and then overstay the allowed time?

    Has anyone officially brought this case to the attention of the DoJ? Has the family complained? Have the Mexican authorities complained?

    Anyway, the DoJ should investigate every incident involving violence with their officers/agents.

  5. Charles II said

    Mark asks, “How can it not be illegal to enter the country on a visa and then overstay the allowed time?”

    Those orange thingies in the post, Mark? They’re links. They contain answers to your questions. Not inside, but down through the Intertubes.

    It makes no sense to criminalize overstaying visas. The tourist business brings a lot of money into the US, and if visitors are scared of ending up in the pen, they might just choose another destination. Unlawful entry at least has the justification that people not checked at the border might be carrying a kilo of uranium or whatnot. Not that ICE has ever intercepted an al Qaida smuggler or anything resembling that.

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