Over the past four years, U.S. Border authorities are alleged to have used stun guns against people who were running away without clear indication that they might be in any danger. It was reported by a newspaper on Friday that the victims who were fired upon were not presenting any struggle at the time of their stunning.
According to the Los Angeles times, agents used stun guns against people who were trying to climb a border fence in order to get back into Mexico.
Three of the victims died after having been hit by tasers fired against them by border agents or customs officers.
The report cites two incidents during which people were shocked while they were in hand cuffs. Two of the victims were hit with five cycles of the weapon, despite agency policy which dictates victims should never receive more then three.
The Times conducted a study during which they examined 450 taser usage cases that occurred between 2010 and 2013. These incidents were documented by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials.
In 2008, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency, which oversees the Border Patrol and its inspectors, decided to equip agents with a hand-held device that is capable of delivery a paralyzing electric charge. These stun guns were provided as a means of ending confrontations quickly and safely.
The program began in Teas in 2010.
R. Gil Kerlikowske, the Customs and Border Protection Commissioner, issued a new use-of-force policy last year. Currently, agents are being instructed to use stun guns only in situations where an immediate threat is detected.
The Border Patrol and other law enforcement agencies claim to have become more restrained in their use of stun guns. Kerlikowske still believes that the “good outweighs the bad” when it comes to the use of stun guns.