Nogales teenager's mother sues Border Patrol agents in his 2012 - Tucson News Now

Nogales teenager's mother sues Border Patrol agents in his 2012 death

Posted: Updated:
  • Most ReadMost ReadMore>>

  • Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Union Pacific working to get train cars back on track near Picacho Peak

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-09-16 22:16:43 GMT
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
    Crews are still working to clear the tracks after an overnight derailment in Pinal County. There were no injuries reported and nothing hazardous was on the train cars. Authorities say the track could be cleared up of cars by noon.
  • Flash Flood Watch through Thursday; get a breakdown of the threat

    Flash Flood Watch through Thursday; get a breakdown of the threat

    Tuesday, September 16 2014 4:46 PM EDT2014-09-16 20:46:09 GMT
    Source: Jack SumanSource: Jack Suman
    There are some things that are certain with the coming rain. You WILL get rain at some point over the next three days. There WILL be flooding in some areas of Southeast Arizona. There WILL be rain records broken. 
    There are some things that are certain with the coming rain. You WILL get rain at some point over the next three days. There WILL be flooding in some areas of Southeast Arizona. There WILL be rain records broken. 
  • Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, Golder Ranch Fire offering sandbags to residents

    Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, Golder Ranch Fire offering sandbags to residents

    Wednesday, September 17 2014 12:41 AM EDT2014-09-17 04:41:18 GMT
    The Towns of Oro Valley and Marana, as well as Golder Ranch Fire District are offering free sandbags to residents who need to protect their homes. According Oro Valley and Marana officials, a limited number of sandbags are available to residents of both towns; residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are also eligible. 
    The Towns of Oro Valley and Marana, as well as Golder Ranch Fire District are offering free sandbags to residents who need to protect their homes. According Oro Valley and Marana officials, a limited number of sandbags are available to residents of both towns; residents within the Golder Ranch Fire District service area are also eligible. 
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The mother of a Mexican teenager is is suing Border Patrol agents and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers after one or more of them shot and killed the 16-year-old.

Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez was on the Mexican side of the fence when he was shot in October of 2012.

The Border Patrol has previously said people across the border were throwing rocks at agents, threatening their lives.

One of the family's attorneys says, if anything was being thrown, Elena Rodriguez had nothing to do with it.

"What we are clear about in alleging in the complaint is that Jose Antonio and no one near him were throwing rocks. So even if somewhere else--away from Jose Antonio--rocks were being thrown, it would not justify in the slightest the shooting of Jose Antonio," said ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt who is representing Elena Rodriguez' mother.

The family and the attorneys announced the wrongful death lawsuit in Tucson and in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, on Tuesday.

The teenager's mother was not there.

One of the attorneys, Luis Parra, says she was denied a border crossing card.

However, other family members including grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins who live in Arizona did attend.

Elena Rodriguez' paternal grandmother, Taide Elena, a U. S. citizen, spoke through an interpreter about what the family wants.

"That the murderers of Jose Antonio pay for the crime that they committed because it was a cowardly murder," Elena said.

The lawsuit filed in federal court names 20 John Does.

They are agents and officers of the Border Patrol and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Gelernt says they will go to court to get the agents' and officers' names if the federal government continues to refuse to release the names.

He says they need the names for the lawsuit to continue and so the family can know who was responsible for Elena Rodriguez' death.

"Like the attorneys say that we just want the names of those people We want to see their faces. We want to see them in court because those who kill are committing a crime. Jose Antonio was not an animal. He was a child. He was a human being," Taide Elena said through the interpreter.

Gelernt says Elena Rodriguez was shot 10 times.

In the lawsuit, the family alleges Elena Rodriguez's shooting was senseless and unjustified.

Gelernt says the lawsuit has been brought under the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution.

"Those amendments protect a lot of things, but fundamentally what the Fourth and Fifth Amendments protect is against law enforcement using excessive, unjustified force," he says. "What happened in this case is a classic violation of the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. The agents used excessive force in killing Jose Antonio for no reason at all."

The attorneys say they believe the government will argue the Constitution does not apply in this case because Elena Rodriguez was a Mexican national who was shot on Mexican soil.

"We are not arguing in this case that the Constitution necessarily applies in all circumstances in every part of the world, but certainly right along the U.S. border where the U.S. border agents are controlling with force even the Mexican side, where they can shoot onto the Mexican side, where they can use weapons on the Mexican side.  It cannot be that they can control that area with force, shooting civilians and then turn around and say, 'Oh well, no, the United States Constitution doesn't protect them.' They can't have it both ways," Gelernt says.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages, both compensatory and punitive.

A Border Patrol spokesman says the Border Patrol does not comment on pending litigation.

See the lawsuit here: http://www.acluaz.org/sites/default/files/documents/Rodriguez%20-%2007.29.14%20Complaint.pdf

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow