LATINO VOICES

Border Patrol Agent Accused Of Choking Immigrant Faces Trial

04/11/2013 05:47 pm 17:47:57

The Border Patrol is having another day in court.

A jury trial started this week in San Diego against Border Patrol Agent Luis Fonseca, who faces civil rights violation charges for allegedly kneeing and choking an undocumented immigrant caught crossing the border into California, Fronteras Desk reports.

Fonseca pled not guilty to the charges last year. The incident occurred in July of 2011, according to the indictment.

The alleged attack included a few anti-Mexican slurs, according to the indictment -- though to judge from Fonseca’s name, the Border Patrol agent is himself likely Hispanic. According to a court document posted to Twitter by Fronteras Desk reporter Michel Marizco:

A Border Patrol Agent was yelling at the aliens for speaking and for not consistently keeping their hands high enough on the wall. Defendant (who Mr. Lopez was able to identify as BPA Fonseca because of a name badge on his shirt) approached Mr. Ceja and told him “Get your hands up.” Mr. Ceja responded that he had his hands up. Defendant said to Mr. Ceja words to the effect of, “You think you’re a bad*ss, f***ing Mexican, you are in my country, not yours.” Defendant ordered Mr. Ceja to get down on his knees, and then kneed him. When Mr. Ceja was on his knees, Defendant choked (strangled) Mr. Ceja by putting his arm around his neck. Afterward, Mr. Ceja had trouble breathing and defendant told him, “You’re having a Mexican heart attack.”

“People detained at the border should be treated with human dignity and respect by federal agents,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said last year, according to an ABC 10 News. “It is important for the public to know that the Department of Justice takes civil rights violations seriously.”

It’s not the only trial going on right now for Border Patrol agents facing civil rights violation charges.

A federal jury trial began Tuesday for two Border Patrol agents accused of forcing four suspected drug smugglers to eat a bunch of weed and strip off their outer layers of clothing.

Also on HuffPost:

Migrants Belongings Left Behind Crossing Border
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