(SAN DIEGO) — A new video, along with an eyewitness account, has emerged that appears to show the beating and repeated tasering of an illegal immigrant by a group of border patrol agents just hours before the immigrant’s death, according to a report airing Friday night on PBS.
The PBS Need to Know report, which was the result of a joint project with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute and has been reviewed by ABC News, features what PBS calls new video of the May 2010 beating of Anastacio Hernandez Rojas. Rojas, an illegal immigrant, was being transferred back to Mexico when the Customs and Border Protection said he became “combative” and officers had to use a taser to “subdue the individual and maintain officer safety.”
But the new video, taken from an overpass, appears to show a group of more than a dozen border patrol agents surrounding Rojas, who is already on the ground, as he is struck repeatedly by some officers and then tasered multiple times. Rojas would later die in a nearby hospital. According to multiple purported eyewitnesses featured in the PBS report, it was clear Rojas was not resisting as he was beaten. In another video that captured the incident, a man identified by PBS as Rojas can be heard screaming for help in Spanish.
Though the death was ruled a “homicide” by the San Diego medical examiner and the incident was investigated by the San Diego Police Department, no border patrol agents were charged with a crime, PBS said.
The CBP declined an interview with PBS for its report and a spokesperson for the department declined ABC News’ requests for comment as well, citing an ongoing investigation. Instead, the spokesperson offered the following statement:
“CBP stresses honor and integrity in every aspect of our mission. CBP employees and officers perform their duties with honor and distinction, working tirelessly every day to keep our country safe. We do not tolerate abuse within our ranks, and we fully cooperate with any criminal or administrative investigations of alleged misconduct by any of our personnel, on or off duty.”
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN