A Border Patrol agent who in late 2017 intentionally hit a young Guatemalan man with his truck and then lied about it had just weeks before called people like him “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire,” court documents reveal. The attorney for Matthew Bowen is attempting to keep that text message and others featuring offensive comments out of his upcoming trial, after being indicted by a grand jury “on charges that he deprived the Guatemalan man of his civil rights and filed a false report,” CNN reports. In other texts he complains about possibly having to treat migrants humanely, calling them “mindless murdering savages” and asking, “PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!”
But in the process of attempting to block those messages, the attorney has also admitted to Border Patrol’s violent and racist nature. “[B]owen’s views are hardly extraordinary, argued his attorney, Sean Chapman. Rather, his sentiments are ‘commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector,’ Chapman wrote, adding that such messages are ‘part of the agency’s culture,’” The Washington Post reported.
It’s not the border but federal immigration agents who are a danger, and that’s the opinion of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, which in 2016 released a report stating that “corrupt [Customs and Border Protection] law enforcement personnel pose a national security threat.” In fact, the federal government has paid out over $60 million in settlements in incidents involving violent and corrupt border agents, including $9 million to the families of at least 20 people who died from “incidents including shooting, beating, use of Tasers and collisions with vehicles.”
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