Jul 29, 2014 7:44 PM by Matt Fernandez, Associated Press

ACLU files lawsuit against agents in 2012 border shooting

PIMA COUNTY - The family of 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez and the ACLU announced a civil lawsuit Tuesday, regarding the October 2012 shooting death of the teen.

The ACLU filed the civil damage lawsuit on behalf of Jose Rodriguez and his family against several unnamed US Border Patrol Agents and CBP officers.

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez, 16, was in Nogales, Sonora, near the tall, steel fence that divides the United States and Mexico when a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot him from Nogales, Arizona, on Oct. 10, 2012. An autopsy shows the teen was shot at least eight times.

The Border Patrol has said Elena Rodriguez was among a group of people throwing rocks at agents across the border, endangering their lives. The ACLU, which filed the lawsuit in federal court in Tucson on behalf of Araceli Rodriguez, says the shooting was another example of border agents using excessive force without consequences. Araceli Rodriguez says her son never had a rock or any other weapon.

The Border Patrol does not comment on pending litigation, spokesman Andy Adame said.

"The lawsuit alleges Jose Antonio was killed by Border Patrol Agents in violation of the fourth and fifth amendments to the US constitution. It's a wrongful death suit, in constitutional terms it means no police officer can use excessive and unjustified force," said Lee Gelernt with the ALCU.

At a news conference Tuesday, the teen's grandmother pleaded for justice.

"It was a cowardly murder," Taide Elena Rodriguez said. "Jose Antonio was not an animal."


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