WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- A grass-roots petition drive has begun in support of two U.S. Border Patrol agents who shot a drug smuggling suspect in the behind at the Mexican border.
On Feb. 17, 2005, 30 miles southeast of El Paso, agents Ignacio Ramos, 37, and Jose Compean, 28, opened fire on Osbaldo Aldrete-Davilaas he ran from the agents along the Rio Grande after they said he pointed what appeared to be a gun at them while abandoning some 800 pounds of marijuana.
He was shot once in the buttocks, but managed to escape, and is now suing the U.S. government for $5 million for violating his civil rights, the Washington Times reported.
Meanwhile, the two agents were found guilty in March of of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in a crime of violence, and a civil rights violation.
The convictions and sentences that could be as high as 20 years have drawn criticism and calls for hearings from Democrats and Republicans in Washington, and an online petition has also been formed, calling on President Bush to intervene before sentencing next month.
The Web site for the petition drive is justicefortheborderpatrol.com.