In response to heated criticism over its officer-involved deadly shootings, Border Patrol will begin criminally investigating its own officers accused of excessive force, Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner R. Gil Kerlikowske announced Thursday, the Los Angeles Times reported. The agency will also begin trial-testing body-mounted cameras on officers. Both moves are efforts to quell demands for accountability for the nation’s largest uniformed federal law enforcement agency.
Since 2010, Border Patrol officers have killed at least 29 people in use-of-force incidents, Reuters reported. The agency has faced public pressure to share information about its use-of-force and accountability policies. Allowing the agency to investigate its own officers will expedite accountability efforts, Kerlikowske said. The Department of Homeland Security granted the agency the authority to do so.
In the last decade, the Border Patrol has not disciplined a single agent involved in a deadly force investigation, acknowledged Mark Morgan, an FBI special agent assigned to run the Border Patrol’s internal affairs unit, the Los Angeles Times reported.