US border patrol agent Jesus Diaz case

I recently stayed with relatives who watch Fox News on a regular basis. I overheard several references to an incident involving a border patrol agent named Jesus Diaz and the apprehension of a 15 year-old male who was allegedly trying to transport marijuana into the US. Agent Diaz was recently convicted of mistreating the young man and sentenced to two years in prison.

A summary of the case and reaction to it by assorted interest groups and politicians can be found here:

It was hard to find any material regarding this case that did not appear sensationalized or overtly sympathetic to agent Diaz. The El Paso times article seems relatively dispassionate, but I’d like some help learning about this incident in such a way that’s not filtered through the lens of outrage by right-wing pundits (who are the aforementioned relatives’ sole source of information relating to current events).

I have not been able to find much information on the case, but the fact that a border patrol agent was found guilty by a jury of his peers and sentenced to 2 years gives me pause. It seems unlikely that he was railroaded; drug running Mexican nationals are not the most popular group in this country and law enforcement officials are typically given the benefit of the doubt. If he was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced my bet would be that he actually was egregious in his mistreatment of a prisoner. Just my hunch, I really don’t have enough knowledge about this case to draw a conclusion.

That’s along the lines of what I was thinking too, Dr. Butts; I was skeptical that the allegations were as overblown as Bill-O made them out to be (“railroaded” describes pretty well the way he presented it). He seemed to be using the case as an excuse to hammer on how all those librul Obama administriation libruls are soft on ILLEGALS! Ironically, the judge in the case was appointed by the Bush administration–I find that rather telling as well.

Conservatives wouldn’t feel that way if the number of illegal entries went down and the number of deportations went up. Or would they?

A jury that was sympathetic toward a Mexican drug smuggler would also be likely to be sympathetic toward an LEO named Jesus Diaz, one would think.

There have been numerous reports showing that while crime was going down and has been going down streadily for quite some time, people (not just conservatives, either) still get the feeling it’s growing out of control.

To me there has to be something else going on here. Not because I think a law enforcement official shouldn’t be punished that way for roughing up a 15 year old kid, but because they practically never are. I’ve heard of many far worse incidents (including ones caught on video) where the officer involved has got off practically scot free.

While this clearly is an unjustified use of force, it seems to me like the kind of unjustified use of force police officers all over the US get away all the time. IMO there must be some other factor at work here (political or in the facts of the case) that meant this guy got the book thrown at him.

Okay I must be missing something. I don’t really see how that was excessive force. That seems like pretty standard treatment for a suspect, especially one who you know has already done one illegal thing and you suspect him of another illegal act. Was he injured? Was there more of struggle after the knee to the back?

Well, the standard is probably higher for Federal officers.

But I suspect the other thing going on here is:

Sounds like he screwed himself by trying to cover up the original incident. I’d bet he would’ve gotten out of it with a slap on the wrist otherwise.