The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether or not the family of a Mexican teenager shot on the Mexican side of the border by U.S. Border Patrol agents can sue the U.S. government for reparations.
What are the details?
In 2010, 15-year-old Sergio Adrian Hernandez Guereca was shot in the head and killed by Border Patrol agent Jesus Mesa. The agent was reportedly trying to deal with rock-throwing illegal immigrants who were trying to cross the border. However, according to USA Today, a video taken on a cellphone seemed to show Hernandez Guereca hiding underneath a train trestle before he was killed.
One thing both sides agree on is that Hernandez Guereca was on the Mexican side of the border at the time of the incident. Lawyers for his family claimed that he was playing with his friends in a concrete culvert near the border when he was killed.
Sergio Belmonte, a spokesman for the city of Juarez, Mexico, said that Hernandez Guereca was unarmed and “did not have the physical size to threaten anyone.” The mayor of the city said that the teen was a “straight-A student.”
Hernandez Guereca’s family wants to sue the United States government for monetary damages. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. The U.S. government has refused to extradite Mesa to Mexico.
The Supreme Court had heard this same case in 2017, but decided to send it back to the lower courts. In their dissent on this decision, Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that they believed Hernandez Guereca should be protected by the Fourth Amendment. Justice Clarence Thomas also dissented, but argued that instead of handing the case back to the lower courts, the Supreme Court should have ruled against the family’s petition to sue.