Mounted Border Patrol agents did not whip Haitian migrants, DHS report finds

Mounted Border Patrol agents did not whip Haitian migrants, DHS report finds

Border Patrol agents did not whip or hit immigrants on horseback during a mass immigration event in Del Rio, Texas in September 2021. Customs and Border Protection officials released the results of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigation on Friday. In addition to training and policy changes, the results will still be used to take formal disciplinary action against the four mounted agents.

Announcing and publishing the investigation report about nine months after the incident. The investigation began in September 2021, shortly after an incident involving about 15,000 Haitian migrants near an outdoor camp under a bridge. Eventually, more than 30,000 immigrants entered the United States in Del Rio, making it the largest mass immigration event in the agency’s history.

Activities conducted by Border Patrol agents during the migration event were captured on video and still photography by freelance journalist Paul Rutz. The images have been widely circulated and claimed that agents are whipping immigrants. Subsequent experiments, however, led many to admit that the images showed agents using long reins to control horses.

A U.S. Border Patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian immigrant from entering a camp on the shores of the Rio Grande near the Acuna del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021.  - The United States on Saturday said it would increase deportation flights for thousands of flooded immigrants in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, as authorities shake up a growing crisis for President Joe Biden's administration.  (Image PAUL RATJE / AFP) (Image by PAUL RATJE / AFP Getty Images)

A U.S. border patrol agent on horseback tries to stop a Haitian immigrant from entering a camp on the shores of the Rio Grande near the Acuna del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas on September 19, 2021. – The United States said this on Saturday. The border town of Texas will increase deportation flights for thousands of flood-affected migrants as authorities rush to ease a growing crisis for President Joe Biden’s administration. (Image PAUL RATJE / AFP) (Image by PAUL RATJE / AFP Getty Images)

On September 19, 2021, a U.S. Border Patrol agent on horseback used a bridle to prevent a Haitian immigrant from entering a camp on the shores of the Rio Grande near the Acuna del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas.  - The United States said Saturday it would increase deportation flights for thousands of migrants who were flooded in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, as authorities shake up a growing crisis for President Joe Biden's administration.  (Photo by PAUL RATJE / AFP via Getty Images)

On September 19, 2021, a U.S. Border Patrol agent on horseback used a bridle to prevent a Haitian immigrant from entering a camp on the shores of the Rio Grande near the Acuna del Rio International Bridge in Del Rio, Texas. – The United States said Saturday it would increase deportation flights for thousands of migrants who were flooded in the border town of Del Rio, Texas, as authorities shake up a growing crisis for President Joe Biden’s administration. (Photo by PAUL RATJE / AFP via Getty Images)

In a subsequent news interview, Ratje told a reporter, “I’ve never seen one of them whipped.” Ratje added, “He was swinging [the reins]But when you look at the picture, it can be misunderstood. “

President Joe Biden suddenly condemned the act during a news conference: “What you have seen, what you have seen is horrible, seeing people behave like them, horses are really riding on them, people are being tied up. I promise you; Those people will pay. “

The investigation concluded that the organization had failed at multiple levels, such as lack of proper training and dangerous behavior of several agents. The investigation found no evidence that the agents hit anyone with the reins.

The results show that the Border Patrol has failed to properly command, supervise and practice on horse patrol units in Del Rio. According to the report, the Texas Department of Public Safety requested a horse patrol in an operation in Rio Grande.

The report emphasizes that several agents threatened to use force or coercion to try to send migrants back to Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border. No evidence was presented to show that any immigrants were eventually forced to return to Mexico or refuse to enter the United States.

The report cites multiple instances where agents acted inappropriately at the time of the incident, including one in which a child was found to have used abusive language when driving his horse aggressively.

The CBP has called on a Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) to consider the individual behavior of the four agents involved in the incident and propose disciplinary action. Four agents have been on administrative duty since the investigation began.

Under the Border Petrol joint bargaining agreement, agents will now be given the right to compete for results.

Not allowed to speak to media According to a CBP source, employees are facing suspension without pay for less than 14 days.

Randy Clark A 32-year veteran of the United States Border Patrol. Prior to his retirement, he served as head of the law enforcement operations department, operating operations at nine Border Patrol stations in the Del Rio, Texas, sector. Follow him on Twitter RandyClarkBBTX.

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