Border Patrol missing key video in a migrant death case
By Paul Loeber
1 March 2018
Homeland Security secretary Kirstjen Nielsen has refused requests by the media to release a portion of a video taken by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and shared with the public earlier this week, saying she is still reviewing its content.
The seven-minute clip, which was obtained and posted on YouTube under the byline of an officer, shows a group of young boys, some younger than 5 years old, and two adult men seated in the shade of a tree near a migrant processing center in South Texas.
The men talk about the migrant death they witnessed, as CBP officers stand nearby. CBP told reporters that its agents would not have handled the situation in the manner in which it was depicted. They say they were able to safely handcuff the young boys as they struggled to remove the migrant from the scene and take him to hospital.
The young boy who was taken out of the group shows signs of being physically abused but is later left alone by the agents and is returned to the group by them.
The video was shot with a cellphone at a point where the migrant was on the ground and the video shows the migrant being picked up and put on a stretcher being carried out of the area.
The incident is detailed in a joint report by the US Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) and the Texas Observer, a local paper that has reported extensively on the migrant deaths at the hands of US border patrol agents.
The video was among those shared by Homeland Security on Friday afternoon as part of its release of a statement from Nielsen announcing the Trump administration’s move to deploy nearly 800 National Guard troops to the southwest border.
The video has been shared on social media in the form of Facebook and Twitter posts and has been reviewed by the media.
The incident is one of at least two that led President Trump to announce that he will deploy the National Guard to the border to help with the influx of Central American migrants headed for the U.S. to find work. The other is the death of a 10-year-old boy from Guatemala, who was found on the Rio Grande River by migrants