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Investigation looks into Border Patrol pursuits, crashes

Posted at 9:12 AM, Apr 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-05 12:12:22-04

(KGTV) - A new investigative report shows one in three pursuits involving the U.S. Border Patrol ends in a crash, with some of them being deadly.

Investigative journalism organization ProPublica examined more than 9,000 federal criminal complaints from 2015-2018 to build a database about Border Patrol pursuits and tactics.

According to ProPublica’s report, BP agents engaged in more than 500 pursuits in California, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Of those, one in three ended in a crash.

RELATED: 2 dead after car, semi-truck collide during Border Patrol chase in Otay Mesa

Border Patrol officials were not available for comment on this story, but an agent spoke to 10News regarding the issue several weeks ago.

In a previous interview, BP Agent Justin Castrejon said, “The consideration of public safety is a top priority in that pursuit policy.”

The agency maintained it could not get too specific about how it handles pursuits so as not to tip off smugglers.

RELATED: Three hospitalized after Border Patrol chase leads to crash in Campo

“I wouldn’t say it’s a benefit to our agency to let those tactics out,” Castrejon added.

ProPublic reported that it requested an interview with Border Patrol officials regarding the investigation, but the publication did not receive a response.

In December 2018, 10News requested information regarding Border Patrol policy and statistics surrounding spike strips but was told the average time to process a request “related to ‘travel/border incidents’ is a minimum of 3-6 months.”

RELATED: Car goes down embankment during Border Patrol chase in East County

10News has not yet received a response from Border Patrol.