Prosecutors are eyeing the racist texts sent by a Border Patrol agent who is facing charges after running down a Guatemalan migrant with his government-issued vehicle in 2017.
According to CNN, prosecutors believe that the texts sent by Agent Matthew Bowen show that he intentionally ran over the migrant with the government vehicle, and then lied about what happened in an incident report. Prosecutors also believe that the texts messages show Bowen’s mindset.
Bowen was indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2018, accused of depriving the Guatemalan man of his civil rights and filing a false report. Court documents note that on Dec. 3, 2017, Bowen used his government-issued Ford F-150 to hit the man in the back, apparently in an attempt to stop him from running, and arrested him for unlawful entry into the States.
Bowen pleaded not guilty to the charges, however, texts he sent to a fellow agent on Dec. 4, 2017 showed that he intentionally hit the victim.
“I used an f150 to do a human pit maneuver on a guat running from an agent,” Bowen wrote.” Just a little push with a ford bumper.”
His texts also unveiled a plethora of racist messages, in which he called migrants “mindless murdering savages,” “disgusting subhuman sh-t unworthy of being kindling for a fire” and other slurs.
Bowen also reportedly sent several texts “expressing discontent with Border Patrol’s limitations” on how migrants can be apprehended, and noted his “disgust” with the migrants he encountered as an agent.
“PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!” he wrote in one message.
Bowne also called the government a “failed system,” adding that “this is a failed agency its sad bc BP does really important work but we are treated like sh*t, prosecuted for doing what it takes to arrest these savages and not given appropriate resources to fully do our job.”
Bowen has been trying to prevent prosecutors from introducing his text message at his trial, which is scheduled to begin August 13.
Bowen’s lawyer, Sean Chapman, said that if the messages were permitted, he would try to show “the use of these terms is commonplace throughout the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency’s culture and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen’s mindset.”
Chapman further argued that Bowen’s reference to migrants in certain texts “does not aid the jury in determining whether he, on this occasion, set out to use excessive force to apprehend the alleged victim.”
“Text messages using such language is not admissible because Mr. Bowen’s alleged ‘disdain’ for aliens is not relevant to the issues before the jury,” Chapman added in a filing.