Turns out that the recent use by CBP of tear gas against the ‘caravan’ of migrants from Central America is NOT the only time this has happened…
A look back finds that the agency has used the chemical all along going back for years….
After usage during the Obama admin?
The agency revised and limited the conditions for units to use the chemical as a show of force….The usage dropped…
But with the Trump admin and his efforts to portray the caravan as a possible ‘invasion’ with widespread media coverage?
The agency seems to have erased the Obama era constraints …
Tear gas use has spiked under Trump to an all-time high of 29 incidents this year, according to data CBP provided, signaling the administration has reversed course on Obama-era reforms.
While border patrol deployed tear gas more than two dozen times during the Obama administration in both 2012 and 2013, the number of incidents nearly halved to 15 in 2014, then declined more to a low of three by 2016.
Rickerd pointed out that steep drop coincides with several Department of Justice investigations into allegations of excessive violence by law enforcement. Those investigations included a 2014 probe into police departments that deployed tear gas against anti-racism protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
The same year, Customs and Border Protection revised its use of force manual as part of a “sweeping” set of reforms in order to “fulfill the agency’s commitment to accountability and transparency when officers and agents use force,” according to the agency’s website.
“While far from perfect, these reforms contributed to a reduction in lethal and, at least temporarily, so-called less-lethal uses of force,” Rickerd said.
But the border patrol appears to have abandoned those reforms since Trump assumed office, advocates say.
“President Trump came into office promising that the ‘handcuffs are off’ immigration enforcement agents, and recently incited violence by exhorting military troops at the border to shoot rock-throwers,” Rickerd continued. “Predictably, official violence has ensued and so-called less-lethal uses of force by CBP like tear gas — which is banned on the battlefield yet called ‘very safe’ by Trump — have intensified.”
CBP appeared to share the tear gas data with reporters selectively, releasing it first to conservative media sources more likely to downplay the significance and severity of Sunday’s conflict…..