Waving American flags and chanting
"U.S.A., U.S.A.," protestors angry about the imprisonment of two U.S.
Border Patrol agents rallied Saturday, demanding the release of the men
and calling for the dismissal of the prosecutor who handled the case.
The demonstration drew about 200 activists to the office lawn of
Attorney Johnny Sutton, the top prosecutor for the Western District of
Texas who won the convictions last year and has become a main target of
groups fighting for tighter immigration controls.
here because we have Border Patrol patriots who have been caught up in
a political process and they're not being treated fairly," said Pat
Byrne, deputy director for the Texas chapter of the Minuteman Civil
Defense Corps, one of the event organizers.
Jose Compean and Ignacio Ramos, are both serving more than 10 years in
prison for shooting at a suspected drug smuggler as he ran away from
them. Although a jury rejected the agents' claim that the suspect had a
gun, supporters contend that Compean and Ramos were convicted for
simply doing their jobs.
Turnout for the rally, at San
Pedro Avenue and U.S. 281, fell far short of a forecast crowd of
several hundred. But what the activists lacked in numbers they made up
for with impassioned speeches, including one that hinted at violence.
David Marlett of Dallas climbed into the back of a white pickup
told the crowd that there are "four kinds of boxes — the soap box, the
jury box, the ballot box and the cartridge box."