A surveillance videotape currently playing on YouTube is giving a “Here we go again!” feel to the decision by prosecutors to charge yet another U.S. Border Patrol Agent, Nicholas Corbett, with murder.
The video appears to involve an incident on the California border where a Border Patrol agent shoots in the chest an illegal alien who appears ready to hit him with a rock.
Interestingly, there are actually two border patrol cases that fit this scenario.
A date stamp on the video identifies the incident occurring on March 26, 2007, at the border near Calexico, Mexico.
The video is being widely identified on the Internet with the Corbett incident, But the Corbett incident occurred Jan. 12, 2007.
Both incidents involve remarkably similar circumstances – a Border Patrol Agent who shoots an illegal immigrant in the chest at close range to prevent the illegal immigrant from hitting him with a rock.
Corbett has been charged with murder for fatally shooting Francisco Dominguez-Rivera who was preparing to hit him with a rock.
The video mentions that the officer in the March 26 incident was placed on a three-day leave following the incident, but fails to name the Border Patrol agent involved.
The emerging details of the case bear an eerie resemblance to the facts that have put Border Patrol Agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean in prison for shooting at a fleeing drug smuggler, and Rocksprings, Texas, Deputy Sheriff Gilmer Hernandez in prison for shooting at a fleeing van of illegal aliens who had tried to run him over.
In all three cases, no prosecutions of the border law-enforcement officers were contemplated until the Mexican Consulate intervened to demand prosecutions in order to protect the civil rights of their Mexican nationals who were in the U.S. illegally.
Additionally, the prosecution in all three cases is relying on testimony of illegal immigrant witnesses whose testimony may have been coached by Mexican Consulate officials.
Corbett was given a mandatory three-day leave following the Jan. 12 shooting. He returned to duty until he was taken into custody a week ago. At a hearing Friday, April 27, Corbett was released on his own recognizance. He has been placed on administrative leave by the Border Patrol until the charges against him are resolved.
The Border Patrol immediately notified the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office of the shooting.
U.S. investigators from the Border Patrol were in the process of interviewing six illegal immigrants who were witnesses to the event, when officials from the Mexican Consul’s Office in Douglas, Ariz., arrived at the Naco Border Patrol Station.
The Mexican consul demanded to speak with the witnesses, and Darcy Olmos, the patrol agent in charge at the Naco station interrupted the U.S. investigation so the Mexican consul could interview the witnesses first.
This decision by Olmos has led to charges that the Mexican consul was able to coach up to three witnesses prior to the witnesses giving statements to the U.S. investigators.
According to the AP, the Cochise County prosecutors claim to have reviewed some 300 pages of documents that purportedly substantiate that Corbett’s account does not match the testimony of the witnesses or forensic evidence.
The Border Patrol is investigating how the surveillance videotape being shown currently on YouTube was obtained and released to the public.
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