Vehicle pursuits may make for exciting movie scenes and reality TV, but in real life, police chases are dangerous and often deadly. Yet the United States Border Patrol, the largest law enforcement agency in the country, increasingly engages in vehicle pursuits that result in mounting injuries and deaths. The agency operates with almost no transparency. This culture of impunity puts lives and communities at risk of grave harm each time a chase occurs.
The ACLU of Texas and ACLU of New Mexico partnered to produce the following fact sheet on the disturbing trend of deadly Border Patrol vehicle pursuits. We analyzed Border Patrol’s recently released vehicle pursuit policy, which reveals troubling discretionary authority given to agents. We also evaluate the department’s deeply flawed oversight and investigation protocols surrounding the pursuits, including the involvement of Border Patrol’s Critical Incident Teams — internal investigative units tasked with protecting the agency from liability and further obscuring the truth behind deadly vehicle pursuits.
Click the link below to download and read the fact sheet.