Friday, September 18, 2020

Arizona Rancher Liable for Assault on Immigrants

A vigilante rancher in Arizona who has complained about illegal immigrants trespassing on his U.S.-Mexico border property has been cleared of civil rights violations after he detained them and other immigrants at gunpoint in 2004. A federal jury did order him to pay four women he detained $73,352.

The infamous rancher named Roger Barnett is liable for four claims of assault and infliction of emotional stress on women who were resting in a wash in Douglas, Arizona. It was there where they were confronted by Barnett who was armed with a gun and accompanied by a large dog. Barnett held the group at gunpoint, even kicking a woman as she was lying unarmed on the ground.

Barnett is no stranger to racial assault cases against Hispanic immigrants. In November 2006, he was ordered to pay $100,000 to a Hispanic family of U.S. citizens whom he threatened while they were deer hunting that year.

Marisol Perez, an attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF), which filed the case on behalf of the women Barnett detained, said the 2004 confrontation occurred off Barnett’s property, “His activities go way beyond defense of property.  He intimidated these individuals; he threatened them with a gun.”

Barnett, cleared of the civil rights violation, plans to appeal.

MALDEF

LA Times

Reuters