Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Asks Federal Court to Keep Shooter’s Identity Secret in Killing of 16-Year Old by U.S. Border Patrol

September 8, 2014 12:00 am

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NEW YORK – Customs and Border Protection (CBP) wants a federal district judge to bar the disclosure of the identity of the U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of killing Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, a Mexican teenager gunned down while peacefully walking down a Mexican street near the U.S.-Mexico border at Nogales two years ago.

The ACLU filed a motion today to block the permanent sealing of the agent’s identity.

Jose Antonio’s mother, Araceli Rodriguez, has filed a civil suit against the agent for the brazen and unjustified killing of her son. For almost two years the government would not provide Ms. Rodriguez with the name of the agent and finally did so only when faced with a court order. The government is now requesting that the name remain under seal while the case moves forward. Ms. Rodriguez is strongly opposed to the sealing of the Defendant’s identity.

Lee Gelernt, Deputy Director of the ACLU’s national Immigrants’ Rights Project and lead ACLU attorney on the case, said: “This is an extraordinary request by the government and just one more example of how the Border Patrol attempts to shield its unlawful actions from the public. The rule of law demands transparency—that’s all we’re asking for.”

On the night of Oct. 10, 2012, after playing basketball with friends in his neighborhood of Nogales, Mexico, Jose Antonio was walking home alone when he was shot approximately 10 times through the border fence by unknown Border Patrol agents. Virtually all of the bullets that struck Jose Antonio entered his body from behind. He died on the sidewalk, in a pool of blood, about four blocks from home.

A redacted copy of Plaintiff’s First Amended Complaint and motion to block the sealing can be found here:

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