DHS Watchdog Declines to Investigate Claims of Horse-Mounted Border Agents 'Whipping' Haitian Migrants
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) has declined to investigate the "whipping" allegations between the horse-mounted border agents and the Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas.
DHS revealed the decision of the department's watchdog on Tuesday. The DHS said the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) originally referred the matter to the department's OIG that decided not to pursue it, New York Post reported.
The DHS did not provide details on when and why the OIG declined to push through with the probe. However, the OIG reportedly referred the issue to CBP's Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), which quickly started "investigative work" that appears to be ongoing.
A source familiar with the matter told USA Today that an inquiry would have been launched if the issue involved possible criminal activity.
The source noted that there were no such allegations included when the case was brought to the inspector general for consideration.
It can be recalled that the Biden administration has vowed to investigate the horse-mounted border patrol agents chasing and aggressively dispersing Haitian migrants in Del Rio last September.
The incident had been captured on videos and images by various news outlets. Some footage showed agents swinging ropes used by horse riders while trying to block the Haitian migrants trying to pass.
Around 20,000 Haitian migrants have tried to stream across the Rio Grande from Mexico for over a period of days. The administration earlier said the probe would only take "days," but is now taking months.
CBP Investigates the Accusations About the Horse-Mounted Border Agents
According to The Washington Examiner, the DHS said the CBP's OPR has already been reviewing the videos and photos and interviewing witnesses, employees, and agency leadership in connection with the probe.
"Once complete, the results of the investigation will be provided to CBP management to determine whether disciplinary action is appropriate and, if so, the specific discipline to be imposed," the DHS said.
Third parties on social media had earlier accused an agent of whipping a migrant. Some administration officials also quickly condemned the law enforcement agent even before an investigation had been undertaken.
But witnesses and other officials defended the agent in question, with some saying that the whipping did not occur. Photographer Paul Ratije earlier said he never saw the agents whipping anyone, although he saw some agents swinging the long reins of their horses.
DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas Says He Stands With the Border Agents
During Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said he "stand with" the border agents when Senator Mike Lee asked him why he did not defend the agents when they were accused of whipping the migrants, "when in fact they were not."
"I stand with the men and women of our department through and through... and I will not prejudge facts before," Mayorkas noted.
Mayorkas was abruptly cut by the senator, who reiterated his question if he defended his subordinates on the accusations.
Mayorkas then answered that the independent investigation would determine the facts, adding that "those facts will drive the outcome."
This article is owned by Latin Post.
Written by: Joshua Summers
WATCH: White House Calls Images of Border Patrol on Horseback Using Force on Haitian Migrants' Horrific' - From KENS 5
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