Dem. Rep. Green says he’ll “accept” Border Patrol didn’t whip Haitians, but claims reins were “moving in the direction” of them

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During a recent broadcast of C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal”, Texas Democratic Rep. Al Green resurrected the since-debunked story of Border Patrol agents whipping Haitian migrants along the southern border in Texas.

While the Rep. Green didn’t reassert the claims that Haitians were whipped, telling a caller on the show he’ll “accept” that the reins weren’t weaponized by agents – he still asserted during the segment that the imagery of a Border Patrol agent “moving in the direction of a Haitian” while on a horse was distressing.

Rep. Green appeared on C-SPAN on September 30th to discuss the infamous Border Patrol photo that was widely misrepresented across the media outlets and online, where many clamored that the photo showed a Border Patrol agent whipping a Haitian migrant in Texas.

The first notion regarding that fabricated controversy that was easily debunked was that the agent wasn’t holding any sort of whip – but rather, it was a rein used to guide the horse. Still, semantics aside, there was still the floating narrative that the rein was used to whip the migrant in the photo.

That was, until the photographer came forward and said that no one was whipped at all when he took the photo.

However, it didn’t take long for politicians to jump on the rhetoric of whipped Haitians before the story was debunked.

Rep. Green was one of those politicians early on who sought to take action, introducing a House Resolution on September 21st titled “Condemning the inhumane treatment of Haitian migrants at the southern border of the United States”.

Nonetheless, while the false whipping story has been mostly uncovered within the media cycle following the debunking of the outrage, Rep. Green redirected outrage over the photo during his C-SPAN appearance:

“I have a picture of what was posted on many stations, as — a person on a horse, with the reins moving in the direction of a Haitian as they were trying as best as they could to move them in a given direction. Well, this is what many people see.”

Rep. Green noted that while others have caught on to the obvious ongoings in the photo, he alleged that the image to him invoked imagery reminiscent of the March 1965 conflict between civil rights activists and police in Selma, Alabama:

“I’m a 74-year-old man of African ancestry, here’s what I see: I see what we saw at the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday, persons on horses, persons marching across the bridge, persons being brutalized…So, my memories of persons on horses chasing people probably doesn’t coincide with the memories of others.”

There’s a stark difference between Bloody Sunday in 1965 Selma and a photo of a Border Patrol agent on a horse directing migrants – the main factor being that Bloody Sunday was rife with police mercilessly beating peaceful demonstrators with clubs, actual whips while on horseback, and rubber tubing laced with barbed wire.

But Rep. Green’s comparisons didn’t end there, as he said the image of the Border Patrol agent on a horse reminded him of slavery:

“I also can remember and think of the times when persons who were of African ancestry who were tethered to horses and they were beaten while they were walking, or at least there were whips cracking around them.”

While the Texas representative is entitled to his opinions, the assertions made by Rep. Green during his appearance on C-SPAN were prevalent with some reaching false equivalencies.

When a woman called in during the program, she challenged Rep. Green about his outrage over the photos, reminding him that no one was being whipped in the infamous Border Patrol photo circulated in September – which he still managed to express disapproval of the agent for simply being on the horse in the presence of migrants:

“I’ll accept what you say about the reins not being used as whips, but I don’t think that you ought to use your horse to intimidate persons who are unarmed and mean you no harm.”

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CNN disses Biden: Border Patrol horses ‘used to save lives’ and often only choice for border patrol

(Originally published September 28th, 2021)

DEL RIO, TX – The Biden administration has been facing a lot of heat over their immigration policies over the last year, and now the President may be losing one of his strongest supporters, the liberal news outlet CNN.

While Democrats raged over images of mounted border patrol agents “whipping” Haitian migrants at a makeshift camp under the Del Rio International Bridge last week, the Biden administration ignored facts showing the claims to be false and have halted the Border Patrol agents’ use of horses in Del Rio.

During a new report on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper, Correspondent Rosa Flores defended the use of horses, and Tapper criticized the President’s decision to end their use.

While conversing with Flores on air during a report on the Haitian crisis, Tapper led the segment by commenting on the nonsensical decision to ban the horses:

“(The administration) is responding by banning horse patrols in the area, which seems like a classic D.C. solution that doesn’t really address the policy or the task at hand.

“By the way, these horses are the only way to do the job in some of these areas that have no roads.”

Flores agreed, pointing out that the use of horses by the border patrol often save the lives of migrants:

“You are absolutely right. I’ve done a story with Horse Patrol before, Jake, and I can tell you that what I learned is that a lot of the (time), this Horse Patrol is used to save the lives of migrants that are in treacherous areas.

“The Border Patrol sector in Laredo, for example, has emergency beacons in some of the most desolate areas where many migrants died trying to cross into the United States, and it’s these horse patrols that are deployed to these desolate areas, and the timing of them getting there can be the difference between life and death. A lot of times, they’re used to save lives.”

Images of Border Patrol agents on horseback confronting Haitian migrants in Del Rio, Texas have put scrutiny on the appropriate use of mounted units by law enforcement agencies. Reports that the mounted agents were using whips on the migrants were proven false, and the long lines seen in photographs were actually the reins used to control the horses.

Despite the Border Patrol clarifying that no whips were carried or used by the agents, White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the images and videos “horrific” and said that President Biden felt the same, although adding that exactly what happened is unclear and still under investigation.

Vice President Kamala Harris called the scene “horrible” and said that “human beings should never be treated that way.”

Lawmakers from the Congressional Black and Hispanic caucuses expressed their outrage, including Democrat Maxine Waters of California, who said “what we witnessed was worse than what we witnessed in slavery.”

Rowdy Ballard, Del Rio, Texas’ horse coordinator for six years and spent 17 years on horseback for Border Patrol, told Fox News on Friday that claims of whip usage was “a bunch of BS.”:

“We all have the same message: we don’t carry whips.

“It was just a form of a pressure release. It was a tense situation. The horses were a little reluctant to do the job that the agents were asking… twirling the reins was just another tool they used to get the horses to do what they’re asking.”

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Fact Check: Dems and White House express outrage over Border Patrol ‘whipping’ migrants, but it’s not true

September 22, 2021

 

DEL RIO, TX – Democrats once again jumped at the opportunity to attack law enforcement after Border Patrol agents were reportedly filmed using whips on Haitian migrants at the southern border. However, those accusations were later proven false.

Video released by Al Jazeera and Reuters allegedly depicted mounted Border Patrol agents trying to block Haitian migrants trying to return to a makeshift camp at the Del Rio International Bridge after returning to Mexico briefly.  It was later learned the “whips” were reins used to steer the horses.

Over 10,000 Haitian migrants are waiting for the chance to open an asylum claim in the United States within this makeshift camp, and their presence is becoming a humanitarian crisis as the Biden administration struggles to control the surge.

Democrats expressed outrage over the images, claiming the long reins were actually whips being used on the migrants. Despite explanations from the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Chief of the Border Patrol, Democrats attacked the White House.

The claims of whipping prompted a defensive response from White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Monday:

“I’ve seen some of the footage. I don’t have the full context. I can’t imagine what context would make that appropriate, but I don’t have additional details, and certainly I don’t have additional context.

Not waiting for facts, Psaki added:

“I don’t think anyone seeing that footage would think it’s acceptable or appropriate.”

Vice President Kamala Harris joined the chorus of Democrats jumping on the “facts be damned” bandwagon. Harris told reporters on Tuesday:

“What I saw depicted about those individuals on horseback treating human beings the way they were, was horrible. And I fully support what is happening right now, which is a thorough investigation into exactly what is going on there.

“But human beings should never be treated that way. And I’m deeply troubled about it. And I’ll also be talking to Secretary (Alejandro) Mayorkas about it today.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the treatment of Haitian nationals by U.S. law enforcement “deeply troubling” and “heartbreaking”:

“Reports of the mistreatment of Haitian migrants fleeing violence and devastation from natural disasters are deeply troubling, including the inappropriate use of what appear to be whips by Border Patrol officers on horseback to intimidate migrants.”

The problem with all the Democrats’ outrage and the White House’s defensive reaction is that the claims of whipping were completely false.

The National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) tweeted a strong defense of the Border Patrol agents with a hint of sarcasm to chastise the Democrats for making the false claims without gathering the facts.

On their Facebook page, the FOP wrote:

“For all you Social Media Warriors out there: these are NOT whips. And no, Border Patrol agents are NOT ‘whipping’ people.

“They are REINS… Stay with us here, like a steering wheel is used to drive a car, the reins are used to ‘drive’ the horse.

“Thanks for coming to our TED talk.”

The FOP also posted photographs of the long reins hanging from the horses as the Border Patrol struggled to control Haitians trying to re-enter the country illegally.

Secretary Mayorkas held a news conference near the Del Rio International Bridge on Monday defending the use of mounted Border Patrol agents, but said an investigation would be launched anyway:

“The footage is extremely troubling, and the facts learned from the full investigation, which will be conducted swiftly, will define the appropriate disciplinary actions to be taken…

“But we are going to investigate the facts to ensure that the situation is as we understand it to be, and if it’s anything different we will respond accordingly.”

Ortiz said that mounted Border Patrol agents played an important role in the security response to the crisis at the Del Rio International Bridge. He also explained that the mounted agents were working to secure the bridge to prevent the passage of illegal aliens to and from the United States without proper checks:

“As was witnessed in the video and some of the pictures, the migrants were going back-and-forth. We do not know who are the smugglers or who are the migrants, so it’s important that those Border Patrol agents maintain a level of security for both themselves and for the migrant population.”

Ortiz, an experienced horse rider himself, explained that the long reins help Border Patrol agents control horses and protect migrants:

“(Controlling horses is important ) so we do not get in a position where we injure a migrant as they’re trying to make that treacherous trek across that river is probably more important than anything.

“And I’m pretty sure and confident that that’s exactly what was happening, but we will certainly look into the matter, to make sure that we do not have any activity that could be construed as a response to a law enforcement effort that is unacceptable.”

Answering criticism that Border Patrol agents were swinging the long reins near migrants, Ortiz said:

“You’re assuming facts that have not yet been determined.”

Border Patrol agents reacted with anger and disbelief at the accusations of whipping. One agent told Fox News:

“This whole situation is blowing up and even liberals are turning on this administration. (Harris) is placing blame on agents to deflect because she and Biden are not going to change how they are handling this.”

Another Border patrol agent had more to say about the Democratic claims:

“Just proves what absolute idiots they are. With basic knowledge and two brain cells, anyone knows those agents use split reins. They do use them as a whip, on their horses.

“This helps get a quicker response from the horse to move out when needed, especially when the horse may be hesitant with groups of people or other animals.”

“Again, it is clear that those ‘in charge,’ a term that is disgusting to use, have no clue about our operations and frankly operate by ignorance and unhinged emotions.”
 _

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