Border agents used ‘unnecessary’ force against Haitian migrants, report finds

Border Patrol agents who confronted Haitian migrants on horseback at the Texas border in September used “unnecessary” force, according to a report released on Friday.

Four agents involved in the incident have been expelled for possible disciplinary action, but the results of that process have not yet been finalized, senior Customs and Border Protection officials said in a press briefing on Friday.

The investigation by the agency’s Office of Professional Responsibility found no evidence that agents “deliberately or otherwise beat migrants with their reins.”

A September 19 AFP photo showing a mounted agent leaning forward and grabbing a Haitian man’s shirt had raised questions about whether migrants had been whipped with reins.

The clashes between Haitian migrants and border guards are the result of a lack of “command, control and communication,” the report said. According to the report, the agents acted on instructions from Texas law enforcement agencies.

The incident prompted widespread outrage and prompted President Biden to criticize the agents’ response.

As of September 19, around 15,000 Haitian migrants had gathered under a bridge in Del Rio, Texas.

The migrants had received tickets that allowed them to be cleared by border officials. Border officials decided to allow the Haitian migrants to cross the Rio Grande River back and forth to get food and water.

For about 15 minutes that day, border guards on horseback tried to stop migrants exiting the river on the US side.

Two agents used their horses “to forcibly prevent migrants from leaving the river and to chase down migrants who had successfully left the river, including grabbing one by the shirt and spinning them around,” the report said.

One of the agents chased a migrant along the river bank and his horse had to “nearly maneuver around a small child”. According to the report, one of the agents said he was “aware that several of the migrants were in possession” of tickets issued by border officials.

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2022-07-08/border-agents-used-unnecessary-force-against-haitian-migrants-report-finds Border agents used ‘unnecessary’ force against Haitian migrants, report finds

Alley Einstein

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