Border patrol

Border Patrol Agent on Trial for Hitting Border Crosser With His Truck Called Immigrants 'Disgusting Subhuman Shit' in Texts

Matthew Bowen hit a man who crossed the border. Then he sent a text calling him a "human pit maneuver."

|

According to his own text messages, a border patrol agent standing trial for hitting a Guatemalan migrant with his work vehicle harbored strong feelings against immigrants. Despite his objections, prosecutors hope to use his words against him in court.

AZCentral reports that Matthew Bowen worked as a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent in Nogales, Arizona, when the incident occurred in December 2017. Bowen and others confronted a 23-year-old man suspected of jumping the border near a port of entry. As the man ran back towards the port of entry, Bowen sped behind him in his truck and struck him twice. Bowen's vehicle came within inches of running the man over. The man survived the incident with abrasions to his hand and knees.

Bowen has been charged with depriving the man of his right to be "free from the use of excessive force" by someone acting under the color of the law. He's also been accused of falsifying records after the incident. Bowen sent a text saying that he was trying to give the man "a little push" with his truck. After learning of the investigation into the incident, he later told the chief patrol agent that he was unaware of the force of the truck and whether or not he struck the man.

When Bowen's case comes to trial in August, prosecutors hope to be able to use such text messages to show that Bowen's actions were the result of intense bias and discrimination against immigrants.

In one message, for instance, Bowen refers to immigrants as "disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire." In another, he asks if President Trump will allow his fellow agents to "PLEASE let us take the gloves off."

Bowen also sent a text message about the December 2017 incident which refers to the man he hit with his truck as a "human pit maneuver." The person receiving this text message was a fellow Border Patrol agent named Lonnie Swartz. Swartz was acquitted in November 2018 after fatally shooting a Mexican teenager through the border fence.

Bowen's defense team objected to the seizure and use of his text messages. In one document filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, federal prosecutors argued that Bowen's text messages were directly relevant to the case and recommended that his motion to suppress the messages "be denied in full," as was previously done by a magistrate judge.

This is not the first time Bowen displayed questionable behavior. He was tied to other misconduct incidents, including an unjustified search and tackling an immigrant without cause.

U.S. Customs and Border Patrol received additional unwanted attention last year after 10-year veteran Juan David Ortiz of the Laredo sector confessed to kidnapping, assaulting, and killing several sex workers. That same year, two other agents in his sector, which saw the highest number of misconduct incidents, were accused of an unrelated homicide and a killing incident on the border involving immigrants.

Audits from the agency show that border patrol has long struggled with misconduct issues as well as creating a reliable system for documenting incidents.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

52 responses to “Border Patrol Agent on Trial for Hitting Border Crosser With His Truck Called Immigrants 'Disgusting Subhuman Shit' in Texts

  1. “Bowen refers to immigrants as “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire.” ”

    Cue all of the NAZI-like, illegal sub-human-scapegoating bastards here commenting at Reason.com to come out like flies squatting on vulture turds, to say that Bowen deserves a MEDAL, not prosecution!

    1. Nah, they’ll come in and say that this is just an individual bad actor and not every border agent is a racist dickhead like this guy, and they’ll be correct.

      It’s in the other threads that they impugn whole nations of people by the actions of individuals.

    2. Well shit, Squirelly, after reading this bullshit article and your inane rant, let’s just throw the fucking border open. I’m convinced.

      Note: this is sarcasm and I’m not convinced. And you’re still an idiot.

  2. I’m sure there’s loads of people who would love to lay the blame for this idiot at the feet of Trump and his supporters.

    But, like most such situations, that is blaming the symptom, not the cause.
    We’ve had an unprecedented level of immigration – particularly illegal immigration – over the last 20 years. Numbers only seen during the last great immigrant scare at the turn of the century (19th to 20th, that is).
    When an influx that great happens, people are going to get nervous. It really isn’t magic, or racism, or some special evil. That’s just the way it is. If 30 million Russians moved here, we’d get our panties all in a twist about Russians. And that isn’t speculation – the last great migration brought waves of hatred for Italians, Irish, Chinamen, Poles… It isn’t about skin hue or race, it is about “other people” moving in to “our neighborhood”. France has seen such a reaction – in spades.
    We solved this 30 years ago when we passed the first round of amnesty. Then again when we passed the second amnesty (last time ever! We swear!!). But immigration has predictably gone up. Way up.

    So people who have to deal with it get frustrated, jaded and begin blaming the migrants. It ain’t their fault. It is the fault of our government, who tacitly (and not so tacitly under Obama) encouraged illegal immigration while maintaining a front of illegality. This put out the welcome mat while maintaining people in shadow resident status. This isn’t a mistake… politicians in both parties have worked hard to maintain this status quo. Bush II tried to make a guest worker program to solve this problem…. and got absolutely no support for it. Because they don’t want it.

    They want illegal alien second class citizens. They put policies in place to get it, and that’s what we have.

    This idiot on the border is just the result of putting a moron in an unwinnable war against the tide.

    1. “They want illegal alien second class citizens.”

      YES, exactly correct! All while proclaiming the evil of it all! Especially the Feds… They get to prop up Social Security, while pushing unfunded mandates (schools and emergency rooms especially) on the locals… States and cities.

      Social Security, big-time, is propped up by the illegal sub-humans!!! They pay in, but do NOT get the bennies!!! Us, the native-born, MOOCH off of their labors!!! And the Feds love it… SS is propped up!!! What is there to NOT be loved about it, by the Feds?!?!

      See “The Truth About Undocumented Immigrants and Taxes” (in quotes) in your Google search window will take you straight there, hit number one… AKA http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/09/undocumented-immigrants-and-taxes/499604/ For details about us natives mooching off of the taxes of the illegal sub-humans…

      1. This and also who is going to cut the grass and clean the house for cheap? Make them legal and suddenly you have to pay real wages.

        1. Not really. My last lawn guy was a legal Vietnamese immigrant whose father was a US soldier… He worked cheap and hard. My new lawn guy a, GASP, white native born American, does in fact charge more… But I don’t really mind. The fact that he speaks better English has almost been worth the price increase in and of itself.

          1. If English is important to you, it must be impossible for you to tolerate drawling, half-educated southerners.

            1. Give it up Rev. I’m an American, I can understand southerners… But not people who literally do not speak English.

    2. So people who have to deal with it get frustrated, jaded and begin blaming the migrants. It ain’t their fault.

      Well, it kind of is their fault. Law enforcement is trusted with great (too much in my opinion, but that’s another discussion) power, and should be required to exercise great responsibility. If being frustrated with work makes you commit vehicular assault, maybe you aren’t really fit for any serious responsibility.

      Again, this is completely beside the debate over immigration policy. CBP can follow the law as written while behaving professionally; too often, they choose not to.

    3. “If 30 million Russians moved here, we’d get our panties all in a twist about Russians.”

      Of course we would, that’s way too many alcoholics to deal with. There wouldn’t be enough booze left for us American alcoholics.

      1. That is some funny shyte right there!

      2. Russian immigration isn’t much of a threat right now. Russians are too busy being forced by their government to move to Crimea and some of the smaller ex-Soviet states so Putin can recreate the USSR.

        1. Crimea was already filled with russians. It had formerly been part of Russia.

    4. Yup, this is the truth of it. The fact is that mass waves of foreigners fucks shit up, and causes social issues that annoy the fuck out of people… No matter WHERE they’re from.

      The fact is that if we had a HUGE wave of British, Canadian, and Australian immigration, AKA the nations most like ours in the world… They would STILL piss me off because of all their stupid leftist political opinions.

      It’s the sheer speed and numbers period… But there is a pretty straight forward formula IMO too… Namely the more similar the people are, both culturally, linguistically, and ethnically, the less friction there will be. 50 million Anglos from around the world would be far less friction than 50 million Hispanics, who would in turn be less troublesome than 50 million Arabs, who would in turn be less troublesome than 50 million Africans.

      This stuff ought to be pretty fucking obvious… But since people like to ignore the obvious nowadays if it’s not PC, I figured I’d point it out…

      1. Lol, this is ridiculous. the country is not geographically homogenous. And even if it were, there are a lot less anglo people than you think. They are a minority. Nearly 17% of the U.S. is Hispanic, while a paltry 9% have Anglo roots. 13% are of African ancestry. The other “white” people are of various European lineage, which, up until the 1940s were regarded as non-white “mud people”. In any case, their languages were not/are not English anyway. So the idea that we should prefer English speaking anglos because they are the majority here is stupid on its face, as the vast majority of Americans are English speaking non-anglos. So by your own prescription that is who we should be seeking. The single group then that likely statistically best fits your own arbitrary conditions for favored immigration, is probably people from English speaking sub-saharan Africa.

        1. Literal Communist propaganda. Society never treated non-Anglos as non white. The notion that a German or an Italian or Irish or even a Jew was treated the same as an African is absurd revisionism of the highest order.

        2. God you’re dumb… America was settled by people from the British isles… Plus the Dutch, with a few proper Germans pre independence. Then the next waves were mostly more Brits, and a ton of Germans. The thing about that is though, is that German protestants and British protestants basically merged almost overnight. We later got more varied white folks.

          But the whole time along, because of the speed it happened at and the rate of assimilation, Anglo culture and language dominated. I’m mostly Germany by blood, with only a little Scotch-English and other odds and ends… But my entire culture is wrapped up in English culture, history, and traditions. Which is why America is overwhelmingly Anglo in its nature. Almost all American whites of any sort are very much Anglicized at this point. All 60%+ of them.

          Which is what I meant retard. Hence others form the Anglosphere would be the ones that melted into current day America the easiest. Even a decent chunk of the Mexicans and others have ALSO assimilated to a decent degree into the Anglo culture we have here. Another chunk of my family is actually part Mexican, and my tan AF grandpa was very Anglicized. Spoke only English, and was a straight up gun totin’, truck lovin’ cowboy.

          Anyway, you’re an idiot.

          1. LOL at America being overwhelmingly Anglo. I suppose if you contort the word to whatever meaning you find convenient. By your logic a Greek or Polish Jew who moves to Queens and learns to speak English is suddenly Anglo. By your own words you say you want preference given to people who are similar ethnically and racially with the majority of the US. This would preclude Anglos as they are only 9% of the US population. Your grandpa can be a cowboy all he wants, it doesn’t make him anglo. But it does demonstrate a good point, ethnicity doesn’t mean shit when it comes to assimilation.

            1. God, you’re so fucking dumb.

              Yes, a Greek or Pole (even Jewish ones!) that have lived in America for any length of time can indeed become very Anglicized.

              The entire American culture oozes English from every angle. The language. The legal system. Our very notions of morality. The holidays we celebrate. The history we learn. Your average Italian American probably knows more about English history than the history of Italy. If you’re talking about a moderately not retarded person who kind of paid attention in history class, they probably know who Queen Elizabeth I of England was… But there is a virtually zero percent chance they know who the Medici were.

              I’ve never claimed it is impossible for people to assimilate that aren’t ethnically/racially identical to the Northern European founding stock of the country… But I DO believe the speed and numbers that people come in effects the speed of assimilation, as well as how thorough it is. I also believe at some extremes full assimilation seems to never happen, and I think race plays into this. Black people have never fully assimilated for instance.

              But whatever… Keep being a daft moron who doesn’t realize or accept the obvious conclusion that a white, English speaking Australian Christian (or atheist at this point!) will assimilate easier and faster than a Muslim Somali.

    5. > We’ve had an unprecedented level of immigration

      The total population rises, the number if immigrants rises as well. It’s maths.

      But are we talking about legal or illegal immigration? Why do you folk never bother to specify? Why is there only one category for you? Turns out illegal immigration is DOWN! It’s been down since the Great Recession (which while technically over, still ravages for the lowest economic rungs, where illegal immigrants compete for jobs). No lowest rung jobs here means no incentive to come here.

    6. “When an influx that great happens, people are going to get nervous. It really isn’t magic, or racism, or some special evil. That’s just the way it is”

      It’s not magic or racism that caused the man to write hateful texts and hit a man with his truck, It was nerves. Who knows, a judge just might buy it. If not, he can always segue into a rant against Obama, which works so well on the Reason comment board.

  3. So… he didn’t actually run him over? But he really wanted to?

    1. Bowen sped behind him in his truck and struck him twice. Bowen’s vehicle came within inches of running the man over.

      Somewhat weird wording, but I think he was struck by the vehicle but not dragged under it (=run over).

      1. My reading of it is that he chased the guy in his car, basically along side him, and hit him with his fist or maybe baton… Maybe sideview mirror? But didn’t hit him with the car at all.

        1. uh, the guy explicitly stated that he was trying to give him a little nudge with his truck…where do you get baton from that? In any case, use of the baton on an unarmed fleeing subject is against policy and is illegal under use of force guidelines absent aggravating circumstances, of which simply fleeing is not one.

          1. Re-read the article. I never said there WAS a baton, I was guessing. The article says:

            “Bowen’s vehicle came within inches of running the man over. ”

            Which implies he was hit with something OTHER than the car.

            1. Bumping the man with a fender is not the same as “running the man over”. That would imply a wheel going over him. Colloquially, it’s also used for hard impacts that cause life threatening injuries, even if the victim flies over the car instead of going under it, but the agent was keeping his speed down, and the guy was not severely injured.

              But no matter how careful the agent was, if the guy had fallen the wrong way a wheel would have gone over him. Cops should not subject arrestees to excessive risk except when protecting their lives…

  4. Which reason.com commenter is Matthew Bowen?

    1. All but two?

    2. Why haven’t you blown your brains out yet, you retarded cunt?

      1. Having too much fun shoving progress down right-wingers’ throats and enjoying watching conservative slack-jaws like you toe the line your betters have established.

  5. So if a Democrat who regularly comments on the Washington Post accidentally hit a Trump, or one of their cabinet or staff, the fact that they’d mentioned in a comment that they wished all Trump supporters would have a traffic accident should ensure their conviction?

    1. Obviously not… Because double standards!

      1. It would certainly go to establishing a state of mind which most definitely is used in criminal proceedings.

    2. How about if the Democrat had aimed to hit the Trumpoid? Because that is how I read this.

  6. DUDE, this guy is awesome!

    Fuck these people. He illegally crossed the border… And then ran from a legitimate law enforcement officer. He’s lucky the guy didn’t just fucking shoot him.

    The description of the incident is dicey, but it sounds to me more like he was driving along side the guy and hit him with something trying to get him to stop. He succeeded! Job well done.

    I mean how much/little force is reasonable when one is trying to stop illegal border crossers who RUN from law enforcement? If this went down in Detroit, a cop chasing the dude in his car wouldn’t be that big a deal… Maybe not the best way to do things, but the concept of a cop chasing a runner is not crazy.

    For all anybody knows this guy could have been a murderer, rapist, lawyer, terrorist, drug runner, etc… LOL He’s probably just a janitor, but that doesn’t mean it would have been right to let the guy run off without pursuit.

    If we handled more of them like this, the numbers who attempted to cross illegally would drop dramatically… I say keep up the good work of roughing these fuckers up!

    1. Losing the culture war, and knowing you will spend the rest of your life obsequiously complying with the preferences of better men you resent, has made you exceptionally cranky.

      Your replacement will be among the most enjoyable.

      1. LOL

        You pussies think you’re really going to win the day? The overwhelming majority of white men, and indeed real men in general, are against all of your stupid prog shit… If you think a coalition of effeminate men, and blue haired lesbians is really going to take over the world, and rule over strong and competent men… You’re dreaming.

        You idiots just haven’t pissed people off QUITE bad enough for us to put you back in your place. But the way you’re going, it won’t be long.

    2. Calm down Barney Fyfe. Crossing the border illegally is a misdemeanor. Stop treating it like a serious crime. It isn’t. Suggesting we should shoot people for doing so is not only absurdly cowardly and idiotic, it is also a refutation of the entire tradition of justice upon which our country is founded. LEOs do not have the right to shoot someone who is fleeing unless the officer has reason to believe that the suspect is an imminent threat of committing grievous harm. Imminent being the operative word here. Attempting to stop a fleeing suspect using a vehicle would undoubtedly constitute using a weapon to stop them. In fact there is reems of cases already setting precedent for this on the books. Hence, if the agent did so, then it would be clear that the Agent committed a felony. You seem to be very obsessed with rule of law. So, you should be applauding the prosecution of the Agent. Unless of course you are a hypocrite who only wants to enforce the law selectively on those who you deem convenient.

      1. The financial terrorism propagated against our asylum courts, entitlement programs, and economy are most certainly an imminent threat and far more serious than any misdemeanor, especially since the punishment is deportation as opposed to the false equivalence you draw to other misdemeanors.

      2. Hey man, the law is the law… So however it is written is how it should be applied…

        But that doesn’t mean I have to agree with it. I think illegal immigration should be a lot more serious crime, and I think we should be punishing the fuck out of these people viciously. I’m part Mexican myself, and originally from California… I saw the shitholey-ness all the illegal immigrants brought first hand.

        My family moved away from there almost 20 years ago, largely because of problems that came on because of that crap. Reagan amnesty is largely what made California the socialist hell hole it is now, and encouraged all these other illegals to keep pouring across the border.

        I don’t know where you live… But this is real shit. It’s not that all Mexicans are bad people. Lots of them are nice, hard working, etc. But we’re not even getting a good cross section of the population… We’re essentially getting 95% the equivalent of white trash or ghetto trash people from Mexico. Criminal classes to working class. There aren’t doctors and engineers coming here illegally for the most part!

        So yeah, fuck these people. We should step stuff up, and deport every single one of them that is here now.

    3. “when one is trying to stop illegal border crossers who RUN from law enforcement?”

      I recommend more shrillness. Next time, try “invaders” rather than illegal border crossers.

      1. Either way works for me! As I said above, I’ve seen this shit first hand… And it is NOT a good thing. I’m part beaner myself, but getting a huge influx of low skill immigrants is NOT something America needs.

    4. Vek: Since you believe in punishment before trial, you might fit in better on the other side of the border.

      1. I’m sorry… Somebody who just broke the law right in front of a law enforcement officer, who then runs from said officer, is supposed to be run down and captured. This guy may not have gone about it in the best way, but if he had chased him on foot and tackled him or tased him that would be fine too.

        That isn’t punishment… That’s just finishing the arrest. There is a difference. It’s not punishment when a cop has to 1 punch a hopped up meth head to get them to go down during an arrest either. Sometimes when people are resisting measures beyond a polite request to go up against the car and I’ll slap on the cuffs has to happen.

  7. In one message, for instance, Bowen refers to immigrants as “disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire.”

    So? Is that an impeachable offense or just more TDS? Bower just wants to be more like his hero, POO (President Orange Obstruction).

    1. No collusion, no obstruction. Bend your knee and beg for OUR HEROIC PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’s mercy.

  8. Y’know, if you weren’t trying to invade another country, none of this would have happened.

  9. POO* wishes he could drive, settles for the vicarious thrill of seeing his henchmen run down refugees from Shithole Countries™.

    *President Orange Obstruction

  10. […] An agent who harbored strong feelings against immigrants is currently on trial for hitting a Guatemalan migrant with his work vehicle. He’s charged with, among other […]

  11. […] An agent who harbored strong feelings against immigrants is currently on trial for hitting a Guatemalan migrant with his work vehicle. He’s charged with, among other […]

Please to post comments