On November 5, 2018 Steve Shadowen argued the appeal of the Yanez case before the Ninth Circuit in Seattle, Washington.
Mr. Yanez was killed in 2011 by a Border Patrol agent acting pursuant to the agency’s “Rocking Policy” which authorizes agents to shoot to kill Mexican nationals who allegedly throw rocks at them, regardless of whether the alleged rock-throwing poses an imminent risk of death or serious injury to the agent, and regardless of whether other, non-lethal means are available to avert any such risk. The “Rocking Policy” was repealed by the Department of Homeland Security in 2014 as it violates the U.S. Constitution, U.S.-ratified treaties, peremptory international norms, and our fundamental national values. The government has nevertheless defended the agent’s actions, arguing that the U.S. and the agent are immune from suit.
In this groundbreaking case with international human rights ramifications, Mr. Shadowen argued on appeal that the Border Patrol’s “Rocking Policy” embodied an institutionalized and systematic use of excessive, lethal force and therefore constitutes a jus cogens violation—a violation of international human rights law that all nations are bound by and cannot claim immunity from.
The lawsuit, brought by Mr. Yanez’s widow and children, is now in its fourth year. It has been more than seven years since the tragic death of Mr. Yanez. Hilliard & Shadowen will continue to stand behind his family and to enforce the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law at and within our nation’s borders, and fundamental human rights law, including the right to life.
Please view a link to the argument here.
Watch a video recording of Mr. Shadowen’s appeal here.