Report: Border Agents Have Killed 42 Since 2005, No Known Consequences

Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers have killed at least 42 people since 2005, and none of the agents or officers are publicly known to have faced discipline for any of those incidents, according to the Arizona Republic.

The newspaper published the results of an investigation that also found the vast majority of Border Patrol agents and Customs and Border Protection officers responded with restraint when they were faced with conflict. But in at least three cases, the newspaper reported, agents shot unarmed teenagers in the back.

The investigation also found agents who killed “mostly did so under circumstances virtually identical to hundreds of encounters that other agents resolved without lethal force and without serious injuries to either side.”

Five of the 42 use-of-force fatalities involved officers shooting and killing people who fired at them first. And Customs and Border Protection officials told the Republic that agents who use excessive force are disciplined. But the names of officers who use deadly force are not released, and officials will not in any instance disclose whether deadly force was justified.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily, NewYorker.com, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at ericl@talkingpointsmemo.com
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