Friday, June 1, 2018

Border Patrol Continues to Exaggerate Danger to Agents to Justify Violence Against Immigrants

By Debbie Nathan

After Claudia Patricia Gómez González, a 19-year-old indigenous Guatemalan, was shot to death last week by a Border Patrol agent near Laredo, Texas, the Border Patrol issued a press release claiming that the teenager was one of a group of “illegal aliens” who were “assailants” threatening the agent with “blunt objects.” Two days later, the government’s story changed. A new press release did not mention weapons, and it described the young woman not as an “assailant,” but as a part of a group who “rushed” the officer after ignoring orders to get on the ground.

As a storm of media coverage ensued, NPR reported that the Border Patrol’s “use of force involving firearms” had more than doubled, after dropping more than 70 percent over five years. From October 2017 to March 2018, agents used guns nine times. During the same period the previous year, they used guns four times. Administration officials justified the spike, NPR said, by claiming that assaults on Border Patrol agents have increased significantly.

Click here for the full article. 

Source: The Intercept_

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