US rights group seeks probe of border complaints

May 11, 2012 04:50


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SAN DIEGO - A leading US civil rights group asked on Thursday for a federal investigation into complaints from people who said they were abused by US Customs and Border Protection agents when they entered the United States legally from Mexico.

The American Civil Liberties Union report, which cited 11 examples of abuse, said legal border crossers were subjected to excessive force, detentions based on mistaken identity, and unnecessary seizure of documents and property.

The organization's report follows a pair of high-profile deaths near the border in 2010. In one, a customs officer shocked an illegal immigrant with a stun gun just inside California, and in the other a 15-year-old Mexican boy was shot after throwing rocks at officers near a Texas border crossing.

Sean Riordan, attorney for the ACLU San Diego and Imperial County chapter, said his organization's concerns were primarily with a division of US Customs and Border Protection called the office of field operations, which runs points of entry.

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