Police Abuse

Border Patrol Misconduct Becomes a National Problem

Criminals with badges and federal paychecks


By 7 p.m., the Border Patrol, having questioned the first two victims, had realized there was a third victim, notifying the FBI that a kidnapping had occurred and that the girl was probably being held by a Border Patrol agent. The magnitude and horror of the crime were unusual, but the potential perpetrator wasn't. The FBI in McAllen had gotten used to investigating assaults and misconduct among Border Patrol agents; it had become the field office's top criminal priority…

But the Border Patrol has also become one of the nation's deadliest law enforcement agencies over that same period, involved in more fatal shootings—at least 46—since 2004 than perhaps any other such agency. (As this summer's events in Ferguson, Missouri, showed, definitive statistics on fatal law enforcement shootings are notoriously difficult to collect.) An internal report last year that the agency tried to keep secret accused its agents of shooting their weapons not out of fear for their lives but instead out of "frustration."


NEXT: It's time to open nominations for the 2015 Privies

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  1. but these are honest ,hard working heroes.Nat Geo tv tells me so.

  2. Yet the agency’s response has been paralyzed by bureaucratic turf battles and the broken Senate confirmation process, which left CBP without a Senate-confirmed leader for five years. Now, just as he rebuilt police departments in Buffalo and Seattle, Gil Kerlikowske’s new job is to bring order and discipline to a force so long lacking leadership, and to weed out what he calls “bad apples” like Manzanares who should have never been hired in the first place?a problem, CBP officials admitted during an internal meeting this past spring, that might take a generation to fix.

    If it is going to take a generation to fix it, it will never be fixed. Especially by a leadership that will never continue beyond the next election.

    The only solution is to fire everyone and scrap the damn thing entirely.

    1. You’re talking about the whole government, right?

  3. If I feel frustrated, can I go and shoot some people? Or only if I have a badge?

  4. Border Patrol is the largest and possibly most corrupt policing agency in the country. So which Washington, DC clown was it that was advocating the formation of a new national police force not long ago? Just what the country needs, right?

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