Hatewatch

Minutemen Leader Threatens Judge Over Lethal Force Decision

San Diego Minutemen leader Jeff Schwilk has long taken pleasure in harassing immigrants.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that he wrote a vicious E-mail to supporters threatening a federal judge who ruled in favor of an undocumented immigrant killed by a Border Patrol agent.

“This judge should be immediately dragged out, arrested and sent to Gitmo for crimes against our country!” Schwilk wrote in the E-mail titled “Death Penalty for Rock Throwers.” “Or better yet, tie him to a post near the border fence in Douglas [Ariz.] and attach 10 burritos to him as bait for these innocent little Mexican rock throwers! Put a sign next to him that says, ‘I work for the U.S. Border Patrol.’ He wouldn’t last 10 minutes. Bastard!”

Along with his comments, Schwilk forwarded an Associated Press article about the ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by the victim’s family, who was awarded $350,000. According to the AP story, U.S. District Judge Raner Collins decided that the Border Patrol agent used excessive force when he fatally shot an undocumented immigrant, 22-year-old Ricardo Olivares Martinez. The shooting occurred after an agent encountered a group of undocumented immigrants near the Arizona-Mexico border in 2003. Among them was Martinez, who tossed rocks at Agent Cesar Cervantes even after he was ordered to stop. Cervantes said he responded with deadly force because his life was in danger. The judge disagreed, saying the agent “was not in imminent danger from the deceased.”

Schwilk took exception to that finding. “If an illegal alien ever throws a rock (deadly weapon) at me, he’s a dead man! Only lethal force will be used in deadly situations. This is absolutely outrageous!”

It’s not the first time Schwilk has menaced immigrants and those who associate with them. Members of his nativist extremist group have taunted immigrants at day labor sites, calling them “wetbacks” and “Julios” and their employers “slavemasters.” Schwilk once used his mini-SUV, which he outfitted with a flashing yellow light, to chase someone who hired a day laborer.

In 2007, his group was investigated in connection with the destruction of property at a migrant camp in McGonigle Canyon north of San Diego. According to a police affidavit, one migrant who lived in the canyons said the vandals chased him with knives and said, “Fuck Mexicans.”