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Congress seeks to meet with Border Patrol over use-of-force policies

Members of Congress want to meet with the chief of Customs and Border Protection to talk about the agency’s use-of-force policies after it chose not to implement key conduct reforms.

Democratic Reps. Raúl Grijalva, from Arizona, and Lucille Roybal-Allard, from California, along with 20 other members of Congress, sent the letter Monday to CBP acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski.

“The Border Patrol has not been as forthcoming as possible about how it uses force in the name of public safety, and that needs to change,” Grijalva said in a news release.

“If the American people don’t believe the Border Patrol will answer honest questions about its conduct, the mission will suffer,” he added.

The Police Executive Research Forum had recommended the agency restrict the use of deadly force in situations involving rock throwers and people in vehicles.

Since 2010, at least 19 people have died in incidents involving CBP officers.

Among those killed were juveniles, U.S. citizens and individuals who were on the Mexican side of the border when CBP personnel opened fire.

According to the lawmakers, CBP continues to resist full public disclosure of its use-of-force policies, despite a series of deaths and widespread allegations of abuse involving CBP personnel.

“Although CBP is making progress,” Roybal-Allard said, “I remain deeply concerned about the lack of transparency which continues to hamper our efforts to hold the agency accountable.”

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Letter from Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, along with 21 other members of Congress, to Acting Commissioner of Customs and Border…

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