Newly launched surveillance video exhibits a teen consuming liquid methamphetamine, which he claimed was juice to Border Patrol brokers, shortly earlier than he convulsed and died from the drug. The teenager’s household imagine he was coerced by the brokers to drink the lethal substance.
Cruz Marcelino Velazquez Acevedo, 16, from Tijuana was making an attempt to enter the US on the San Ysidro Port of Entry close to San Diego on November 18, 2013, when Customs and Border Patrol officers requested him about two drink bottles of an amber-colored liquid in his backpack.
Velazquez Acevedo advised the officers the bottles contained apple juice.
Officers did not imagine him and did an preliminary take a look at on the liquid, however one that isn’t efficient at revealing liquid methamphetamine.
At a secondary inspection web site space, Velazquez Acevedo sipped the liquid in an effort to show it was juice.
The brand new video, released by Velazquez Acevedo’s family via their lawyer Eugene Iredale, exhibits the teenager, carrying a white hoodie, choose up one of many bottles and sip it. He took 4 sips of the liquid in complete.
The bottles contained liquid methamphetamine, a extremely poisonous type of the unlawful drug that has been on the rise as a result of it is simpler to visitors as a liquid, which is what Velazquez Acevedo was making an attempt to do.
Officers suspected the bottles contained liquid methamphetamine, however inspired him to drink it regardless, leading to his dying, argues Iredale.
Within the video, the officers seem unconcerned that Velazquez Acevedo is consuming the liquid in entrance of them, smiling at one another and chatting.
“It is true that Cruz was doing one thing that was towards the legislation. And that he didn’t need to be doing. That is a reality,” Iredale told NBC.
“It is also true that they didn’t level their weapons at him or bodily threaten him however in a social context wherein this occurred, they knew precisely what they have been doing.”
Shortly after ingesting the liquid, Velazquez Acevedo started sweating and screaming in ache, earlier than convulsing and shouting the phrases “mi corazon” [my heart] repeatedly, according to a lawsuit filed by the family in a Californian federal courtroom.
The lawsuit argued that fairly than instantly in search of out medical consideration after brokers suspected the teenager had ingested medication, border officers positioned him in custody. He was later taken to the hospital and died a number of hours later.
The San Diego County’s Medical Examiner’s Workplace dominated his dying unintentional.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a Californian Democrat and member of the Home Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Safety, told ABC news on Saturday she believes the actions of the brokers resulted in his dying.
“Drug smuggling is fallacious and is against the law, however this teenage boy didn’t deserve a dying sentence,” she said. “For CBP officers to inflict a abstract dying sentence will not be solely immoral, but additionally unlawful.”
The US Customs and Border Patrol advised BuzzFeed Information it carried out a nearly-year lengthy evaluation of the incident, which decided in September 2014 “that no additional motion was warranted and the officers concerned weren’t disciplined”.
The San Diego Police Division additionally investigated the dying in 2014, and the US Attorneys Workplace declined to press expenses towards the officers concerned.