Video claims to depict fatal beating of immigrant by border patrol
A grainy video from a cell phone camera that allegedly captures groans of pain emanating from a Mexican immigrant who was Tasered and beaten by U.S. border patrol agents and later died last week has surfaced on a Mexican web site.
The site Frontera.info or Ã¢â‚¬Å“BorderÃ¢â‚¬Â posted the video on YouTube along with an article that accuses border patrol agents of torturing 42 year-old Anastasio HernÃƒÂ¡ndez Rojas; a 20-year resident of the United States who died after he encountered the agents at the San Ysidro crossing that separates San Diego and Tijuana last week.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Help me, help me please,Ã¢â‚¬Â the web site says Rojas pleads on the video.
The site posted the cell phone footage taken by San Diego resident Humberto Navarrete Mendoza yesterday. Mendoza told the site several dozen people witnessed RojasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ encounter with agents. He told the site Rojas was not resisting while border patrol agents Ã¢â‚¬Å“shockedÃ¢â‚¬Â him and beat him.
“I see that he was defenseless,” Mendoza told the site.
Mendoza said he and a friend were headed to Tijuana when they heard RojasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ Ã¢â‚¬Å“cries of pain,Ã¢â‚¬Â prompting Mendoza to record the scene.
“What I saw, something on my conscience told me it was wrong,” he told the site.
The site reports that a woman can be heard telling the agents to leave Rojas, a father of five, alone.Ã‚Â But according to the site the beating continued until Rojas passed out.
“He’s not resisting,” a voice can be heard saying.
Mendoza only recently came forward with the video, the site said, after he learned of RojasÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ death in the news.
Rojas, a 20-year resident of Ã‚Â Encino California was attempting to return to the U.S. after he was arrested and deported on May 25, the result of a traffic stop in San Diego. Authorities were attempting to deport him again on May 28 when the incident took place.
Rojas died of cardiac arrest but the San Diego County Coroner found Rojas had sustained major brain damage from the beating and ruled the death a homicide with methamphetamine found in his system and hypertension as contributing factors.
San Diego police Captain Jim Collis told the Associated Press Rojas had wrestled with two border patrol agents after his handcuffs were removed.
The investigation has been turned over to the Federal prosecutors at the Justice Department this week for possible prosecution.