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Crossing the line at the border

In partnership with the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute, Need to Know investigates whether U.S. border agents have been using excessive force in an effort to curb illegal immigration. Eight people have been killed along the border in the past two years. One man died a short time after being beaten and tased, an event recorded by two eyewitnesses whose video is the centerpiece of the report. Both eyewitnesses say the man offered little or no resistance. One told Need to Know that she felt like she watched someone being “murdered,” and the San Diego coroner’s office classified the death as a “homicide.”

The report raises questions about accountability. Because border agents are part of the Department of Homeland Security, they are not subjected to the same public scrutiny as police officers who use their weapons. It also questions whether, in the rush to secure the border, agents are being adequately trained. And it raises the question: why aren’t these cases being prosecuted?

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