Shock video shows a car exploding into flames after a Border Patrol agent shoots a taser into the vehicle, killing the driver as agents back away and refuse to help.
Footage of the incident, which took place in March 2012, has just come to light. The family of the victim, Alex Martin, is suing the federal government, claiming that the Border Patrol agent’s weapon was responsible for igniting the fire.
The clip shows agents approaching the vehicle before one of them smashes the passenger window with a flashlight. He then shoots a taser gun at the driver which immediately causes the car to erupt in flames. The agents are thrown back as a result of the blast before returning to their vehicles and quickly moving away from the scene.
Despite the fact that all three patrol cars had fire extinguishers on hand, none of the agents attempted to put out the fire and save Martin.
According to the family’s attorney Gene Iredale, at no point did the men in the video, who were dressed in plain clothes, identify themselves as Border Patrol, meaning Martin had no idea of knowing they were law enforcement agents.
Iredale says the agents should have smelled the liquid from a gas canister that had spilled into the car and refrained from using a taser.
The incident began when Border Patrol agents tried to pull Martin over for driving the wrong way on Interstate 8 after Martin got lost in Pine Valley, California. A three minute high speed chase ensued before agents deployed a spike strip to deflate the tires on Martin’s car.
“This was a senseless act in a senseless way for somebody who had violated no law and who lost their life needlessly,” Iredale told NBC San Diego.
The federal government has filed a motion asking the judge to dismiss the case entirely, asserting that Martin had been involved in a previous high speed chase after fleeing a DUI hit-and-run accident in Texas.
Border Patrol agents have made the news innumerable times over the last several years, with the federal agency developing a reputation for brutality and draconian behavior, the most notorious example being humiliating anal cavity searches of innocent Americans.
The Department of Homeland Security now considers any area within a 100 mile radius of the entire US border to be what the ACLU has described as a “constitution free zone,” where 4th amendment legal protection from unconstitutional searches and seizures does not apply.