On October 5, 2010, a Border Patrol Agent working near Eagle Pass, Texas, was involved in an on-duty shooting. That shooting resulted in the death of Eagle Pass resident, Juan Mendez. As the investigation is still ongoing, full details have not been released. What is known, though, is that over 300 lbs of marijuana was found in Mendez’s vehicle and that he physically assaulted the agent.
Later that week, Maverick County Sheriff Tomas Herrera gave an impromptu press conference in which he made several allegations against the Border Patrol Agent, including that the agent was wrong in using his firearm, saying he should not have fired “in a case like this”.
As a law enforcement officer, Sheriff Herrera should know better than to make any comment about a case that is still under investigation. The proper response regarding specific details of the shooting should have been, “The case is still under investigation, so no comment can be made at this time.” Instead, Sheriff Herrera has decided to virtually convict the agent on his own, despite not having the results of a completed investigation. This behavior is irresponsible and horribly unprofessional and does nothing more than taint a potential jury pool.
As with any other incident, this agent is innocent until found guilty in a court of law — not from behind Sheriff Herrera’s desk.
To view Sheriff Herrera’s impromptu press conference, click below: