“The U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 2009 ruling against Cochise County rancher [and Minuteman founding member] Roger Barnett [above left], forcing him to pay about $87,000 in damages related to his assault of illegal immigrants on his ranch in 2004,” azstarnet.com reports. “The 2004 incident occurred close to a wash near Douglas when Barnett approached a group of 16 illegal immigrants while he was carrying a gun and accompanied by a large dog. Attorneys for the plaintiffs — five women and 11 men who had crossed into the U.S. illegally — say that Barnett held the group captive at gunpoint, threatening that his dog would attack and that he would shoot anyone who tried to escape.” The court did not address the issue of how a dog could shoot anyone. Anyway . . .
The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund applauded the ruling against the “vigilante” rancher in a news release.
“Roger Barnett can hide no more behind his frivolous appeal,” said Marisa Bono of the organization. “It is time for Barnett to pay the victims for his deplorable actions.”
Barnett’s legal team say he is no vigilante and was only acting in self-defense on that 2004 day. They say Barnett pulled his gun because he was alone and didn’t know whether the group were armed drug smugglers. Once he realized they weren’t, he dropped his gun and called the Border Patrol.
Who proceeded to arrest him. Unlike all the times before:
Barnett has said he’s detained thousands of border crossers on property he owns or leases near Douglas in the last decade, and then turning them over to Border Patrol officials.
Not any more, though.