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Locals react to BP standing by stance on deadly force against rock throwers

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NOGALES, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

U.S. Border Patrol Chief Mike Fisher is sticking to his guns and says agents can still use deadly force against rock throwers even though the agency has recently been advised against it.  

During an internal review, the Police Executive Research Forum recently advised the agency to stop using deadly force against rock throwers and people trying to get away by car.

In the past couple years there has been at least two deadly separate incidents in Southern Arizona after border patrol agents fired shots at people throwing rocks. 

In 2011, agents shot and killed Carlos Lamadrid in Douglas after reportedly trying to escape into Mexico when he ran from a traffic stop. In the same year Ramses Barron-Torres was shot and killed by an agent in Nogales. Authorities say he threw rocks while they were trying to take down a drug smuggler. In both situations, there were reports of rocks being thrown.

As Border Patrol says they will continue operating in the same manner despite the recommendations, some folks expressing opposing views about the issue. Wilma Waychoff says agents should be allowed to defend themselves, "Nobody should be out bothering police or border patrol or anybody. They've got a right to protect themselves. I don't blame them. I'd do the same thing." Alan Kuenhold agrees that they should be able to defend themselves, but should consider using non-lethal tactics, "I think they should be able to respond, not with bullets that would kill anybody but rubber bullets or some sort of non-lethal response."

During fiscal year 2012, Border Patrol reported 185 rock attacks, which the agency says is the second most common assault they saw in that year. In 22 of those times, agents fired a gun. 

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