By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
UNDER LA MIGRA-SCOPE
You'd have to be an idiot: Too bad that Monica Alonzo's excellent story ("Cloaked Brutality," December 16) came out just as a U.S. Border Patrol agent was killed ("Fifth Suspect in Agent's Murder Still on Loose," Valley Fever blog, December 17). And, of course, the right-wing, racist fools jumped on this as proof that Alonzo's story was all wrong.
These matters are completely different, you simpletons.
Alonzo's story shows that agents exist in a "culture of cruelty" in which they have routinely killed, maimed, tortured, and mistreated immigrants whose only crime was to commit the misdemeanor of coming into the United States illegally. That [agents'] actions rarely are made public because of the federal government's hiding of the facts.
Agent [Brian A. Terry] was killed by the very kinds of criminals that Alonzo [condemned] in her earlier story ("Seized," August 12) on the evil drug/people smugglers and robbers who run rampant in the desert because of the federal government's ineptitude at coming up with a "rational" border policy ("Return to Sender," Jim Schutze, December 23).
Point is that this slain Border Patrol agent may have been one of the good ones that Alonzo acknowledges [in her latest story] exist in the agency. The point of ["Cloaked Brutality"] was to say that much more control needs to be put in place to make sure good agents prevail.
Because you'd have to be an idiot to contend that the illegal alien the agents murdered south of San Diego [in the video accompanying the story] deserved to die so pitifully and painfully.
Right, I know — Arizona's filled with idiots and racists, who yell louder than righteous folk. Too bad.
Joe Hernandez, Phoenix
Drawing the line at murder: Of course, our border guards should be able to use force when necessary. However, there is a difference between restraining and gleeful, brutal force.
[Nativists] scream when Americans are arrested "accidentally" crossing the border into countries like Iran.
These border guards [shown in the video] should be treated like the hardened bullies they are. This man did not represent a death threat.
We're better than this: Most people understand that you can be in favor of secure borders while still holding the Border Patrol accountable for their criminal breaches.
This is America; we have a higher standard. We don't compare ourselves to the world — the world compares itself to us. If you aren't prepared to maintain that high standard, get the fuck out my country.
I don't have the time or the patience for people who support criminal behavior.
Kit Carson, Phoenix
No call for brutality: Anybody who hears the screams on the video and notes that the prisoner was fully restrained has no soul if he or she claims this man deserved to die.
Some will say that he had meth in his system, but even if he did, you can see that he was offering no resistance. Why was he Tasered like an animal? He was cuffed on the ground.
There's good police work and there's brutality, and — as a former cop myself — I can tell you that this was the latter.
Angelo Carmine, Los Angeles
Or vice versa: Sounds like our Border Patrol is taking lessons from the Mexican cops on how to deal with illegal aliens.
Randall Flagg, New York
Disturbing xenophobia: Sad. What is equally disturbing [are] folks who defend these actions. How xenophobic they are. I hope none of you wake up one day to discover you've mistakenly eaten your children.
Heriberto Moreno, St. Louis
But he wasn't "fighting" with border agents: If someone is in cuffs and on the ground, I don't think they can really be resisting a whole lot.
As far as the medical examiner's statement of meth in the guy's body — well, it was not too long ago that a banker was shot in the head, and a medical examiner missed the freakin' hole. So I don't believe the examiner's story.
Still, bottom line, stop entering our country illegally, stop fighting with the police. Their job is hard enough. Protect your rights by entering the country legally.
G. Alexander, San Francisco
Obviously, you didn't read our "Seized" story: If there is such a thing as news bias, Phoenix New Times personifies it.
During a week when another in a long line of border agents lost his life trying to patrol the traffic jam of illegal immigrants on our southern border, New Times chooses to report alleged abuse of illegals.
Cruelty? Mexico is its leading producer and exporter. The heads can pile up in pyramids south of the border, but New Times steadfastly ignores the horrors of Mexico in its continuing, desperate attempt to vilify anyone who questions open borders.
New Times writers would do well to point their poisoned pens a little farther south.
Larry Boning, city unavailable
Fire the thugs: [New Times is] only telling it like it is. Some cops are just plain bullies, period.
Not all cops are bad, but there are a certain amount of them who should be fired and/or prosecuted for their misdeeds.. They are supposed to be professionals, not thugs!
John Meyer, city unavailable