Home Store In Memoriam Deborah Newsletter Forum Topics Blogfeed Blogroll Facebook MySpace Contact Us About

A Biased, Unbalanced Report of Border Patrol Shooting

Reported by Ellen - January 17, 2007 -

Several weeks ago, I posted about a Hannity & Colmes segment in which Congressman Dana Rohrabacher became furious with Alan Colmes for questioning the actions of two Border Patrol agents convicted for shooting a drug smuggler from behind and tampering with the evidence. Rohrabacher was one of a number of Congressman seeking a pardon for agents. Last night (1/16/07), on Hannity & Colmes, FOX News did its part for the effort. The show featured one of the agents, due to start his jail sentence today, recounting the events from his side only. Not surprisingly, he left out a few bits of important information.

Let me state for the record that my heart goes out to law enforcers in this kind of predicament. But if a news network is going to report on a case, it ought to provide all the facts. That was asking too much of FOX News.

One of the convicted agents, Ignacio Ramos said that he saw a van “leaving that area and many people running back south to Mexico.” In his experience, Ramos said, “That pretty much means it’s a narcotics load.” But under our law, that pretty much means it was just a suspicion.

“We gave him several commands to stop,” Ramos said. He said he heard several shots fired and he went after the suspect. Ramos said “the smuggler” turned around and pointed a gun at him. “That’s when I fired,” Ramos said. “He turned around, kept running, and he disappeared into the river. Ramos said the man came out on the Mexican side of the river and was picked up by a vehicle. “That’s the last we saw of him,” Ramos said.

As Ramos spoke, the banner on the screen said, “Convicted Border Patrol Agent Tells His Story.” It implied that Ramos' story was the only one there was. But there was more than Ramos told.

What the viewers did not see or hear is that the suspect was shot from behind, as The Albuquerque Journal reports. So, unless the man had already been shot by Ramos' partner, Ramos could not have fired while the gun was pointed at him. The Journal further states, “The men also were found guilty of tampering with evidence for failing to report the incident to their superiors and (the other agent) also was convicted for tampering by collecting shell casings from the shooting.”

Isn’t that rather important information that should have been included in a report by the “real journalism, fair and balanced” network?