(formerly known as Rodriguez v. Does)
On July 28, 2014, the ACLU filed a lawsuit on behalf of Araceli Rodriguez, the mother of a sixteen year-old boy who was killed by agents of the United States Border Patrol and/or officers of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on October 10, 2012. The fatal shooting of Jose Antonio is not an isolated incident. United States Border Patrol agents have been responsible for multiple, unjustified deadly shootings and physical abuses along the U.S.-Mexico border over the past several years. Jose Antonio’s killing is one of the latest and most egregious of these incidents. Counsel in the case includes the national ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project, the ACLU of San Diego, local Arizona attorneys Roberto Montiel and Luis Parra and Morrison and Foerster, LLP. At the time the lawsuit was filed, the defendants in this case asked the court to seal the name of the agent suspected of shooting Jose Antonio from the public record. On November 13, 2014, the judge denied the defendants’ motion to seal and the name of the agent, Lonnie Swartz, was made known in the public record. Agent Swartz’s motion to dismiss the case is pending with the court. Declining to rule in favor of the defendants’ motion to dismiss, the court ruled on July 9, 2015 that Fourth Amendment protections did extend to Jose Antonio, allowing the case to go forward. Defendants have appealed that ruling to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is now on appeal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, with arguments expected in October 2016. At the same time, a separate criminal prosecution by the U.S. Department of Justice is moving forward, with trial scheduled for February 2017.