U.S. awards $1 million to family of slain illegal teen

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In 2013, 16-year-old Cruz Velazquez Acevedo attempted to cross the southern border from Mexico into the United States carrying two containers of liquid.

U.S. Border Patrol captured Acevedo at the San Ysidro port of entry and demanded he told them what liquid was inside the containers. Acevedo told the officers it was “apple juice,” so he was asked to drink the liquid to prove it, and he did.

Hours later, Acevedo was pronounced dead from consuming a toxic, liquid methamphetamine. Acevedo’s family filed a wrongful lawsuit against the two border protection officers and the U.S. government on the grounds that their son was “coerced and intimidated.”

The family’s claim was that the agents suspected it was a controlled substance, but enticed Acevedo to take a swig from the container anyway. Acevedo’s family has now been awarded $1 million in settlement compensation.

“I’m not prepared to say they knew for certain that it was going to kill him,” the family’s lawyer, Eugene Iredale said in a comment to the BBC and The Washington Post. “It’s obvious that they suspected from the beginning that it’s meth.”

Iredale claims Acevedo was a “16-year-old boy with all the immaturity and bad judgment that might be characteristic of any 16-year-old kid.”

It was likely Acevedo was used as a drug mule to smuggle illegal drugs such as meth into the United States.

H/T: BBC News

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