Border Officers Have Killed 46, Face No Consequences: Report

Customs and Border Protection hasn't released officers' names
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2014 12:08 PM CDT
Border Officers Have Killed 46, Face No Consequences: Report
A US Customs and Border Protection vehicle passes a Texas Department of Safety vehicle as they both patrol along the Texas-Mexico border, Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, in Mission, Texas.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

US border officers and agents have killed dozens of people, including Americans, since 2004, but it appears they haven't faced any discipline for their actions, the Arizona Republic reports. Customs and Border Protection's acting internal affairs head has told journalists he doesn't know of any terminations or other consequences following the deaths, though the agency says it can't confirm the comment. Meanwhile, a retired assistant deputy commissioner for CBP also tells the paper that no disciplinary action was taken against 20 officers and agents responsible for killings between 2008 and 2011.

From the Republic's report:

  • Among the at least 46 deaths since 2004 were unarmed teens, victims shot in the back as they fled, and victims of shootings through the border fence; 15 Americans are included in the 46.
  • Office of Inspector General bosses have halted probes into deaths, sought by their own investigators, at least twice.
  • Federal, state, and local officials are investigating 11 cases in which deadly force was used, the internal affairs head says. But the agency has kept much information on probes quiet, hiding, for instance, the names of the agents in question; that policy is a safety measure, officials say.
  • But despite questions, the agency hasn't explained why it's willing to work with National Geographic on the show Border Wars; the show is open about officers' identities.
  • "It just boggles my mind that (homeland security) would hide this information," says the retired CBP official. "We're not talking about terrorist activities or national security; we're talking about things the American public should be aware of."
Click for the Republic's full report. (More Customs and Border Protection stories.)

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