On Friday, July 15, 2016, U.S. Border Patrol Agents in the Laredo Sector arrested an individual suspected of entering the U.S. illegally. According to published reports, the suspect was combative, requiring agents to subdue and restrain the suspect.
While escorting the subject to the vehicle, the individual became unresponsive and agents immediately provided medical attention until Laredo emergency medical services arrived and transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
The NBPC recognizes any loss of life is regrettable. For this reason, all incidents resulting in death are thoroughly investigated by local, state, and federal agencies. No less than 5 different agencies will conduct separate investigations.
The men and women of the National Border Patrol Council extend their heartfelt condolences and support to the Dallas community and especially the Dallas Police Department. No words can express the depth of gratitude for the sacrifice the fallen officers made for their community. Know that we stand with you always and pray for your safety and comfort in these trying times.
Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske earlier today announced Mark Morgan as the new Chief of the United States Border Patrol. Chief Morgan is a 20-year veteran of the FBI and has held positions in local law enforcement as well. While we are disappointed that Commissioner Kerlikowske chose to break with 92 years of tradition and pass over several highly qualified candidates from within the Border Patrol, we look forward to working with Chief Morgan on the important issues and policies affecting the United States Border Patrol.
We would ask Chief Morgan to remember that the men and women working on the border everyday are the real experts in border security, and that it would behoove him to hear and act upon their concerns and suggestions. This is an agency with a long tradition of service and a commitment to its mission that has few parallels. The Border Patrol has a unique mission that is reflected in its culture and we realize it will be difficult for an outsider to quickly gain the trust and respect of his subordinates. We hope that Chief Morgan will quickly overcome this hurdle and develop a good working relationship with both the senior leadership and the rank and file of the US Border Patrol. It can be done but it will depend upon the deeds of Chief Morgan, not his words.
Chief Morgan has been entrusted with the leadership of a proud organization that has long been under fire both from outside parties and from within Customs and Border Protection. We hope that Chief Morgan will be a strong advocate for Border Patrol agents and champion their safety and their ability to effectively enforce the laws of the United States. Should that situation fail to materialize, the National Border Patrol Council will not pause in its mission to bring the truth about the border to light or as the voice of 16,500 Border Patrol agents.
Finally, we want to thank Deputy Chief Ron Vitiello for his leadership during this interim period. Deputy Chief Vitiello has served as an example of what all law enforcement managers should strive to be: a fair, competent leader who took care of his people while accomplishing the mission.
The National Border Patrol Council would like to commend Customs and Border Protection for approving two Resident Agent positions in the Del Rio Sector. These agents will be stationed in Abilene, Texas. These positions will improve border security by reducing response times, increasing Border Patrol presence, and developing strategic partnerships with law enforcement and other community groups.