Saturday, September 20, 2014

Secrecy continues to shroud killings by border agents

By Bob Ortega, The Arizona Republic
September 14, 2014

PHOENIX — Six months after promising greater transparency and accountability when its agents use deadly force, Customs and Border Protection continues to struggle to deliver on both counts.

Since 2004, Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers have killed at least 46 people, including at least 15 Americans, while on duty.

On Friday, CBP's acting internal affairs chief, Mark Alan Morgan, in response to a question from The Arizona Republic, told reporters he was unaware of any agent or officer having been disciplined or terminated in any of those deaths.

A CBP spokesman said the agency couldn't immediately confirm or deny Morgan's statement. But, James Wong, who retired in 2011 as CBP's assistant deputy commissioner for internal affairs, separately confirmed to The Republic that none of the 20 agents or officers who killed people while on duty from 2008 through 2011 was disciplined internally or terminated.

Those cases include unarmed teens who were shot in the back by agents as they fled, agents shooting through the border fence into Mexico, and two in which unarmed men died after agents severely beat them, repeatedly pepper-sprayed them, or shocked them multiple times with stun guns.[...]

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