Lawyers Release Racist Texts By Border Agent Who’s On Trial For Running Over Undocumented Man
Matthew Bowen, a border agent currently on trial, is facing fierce backlash after a judge released text messages the agent shared about migrants. Bowen is on trial for allegedly hitting a Guatemalan man with his truck and his text messages about migrants are painting a picture of hate and racism.
Border agent Matthew Bowen faces charges after he ran over an undocumented man several times near the border in late 2017.
According to media reports, an undocumented man jumped over the fence in Nogales, Arizona. The entire incident was caught on surveillance cameras. Bowen and other agents followed the man who was hiding under a semi-truck at a gasoline station. The man was told to get out from under, and when he did, Bowen ran him over, and he did it again.
The Arizona Central reports that another agent on the scene witnessed Bowen driving his Ford F-150. Bowen “quickly turned his truck and ‘accelerated aggressively into a position behind the running [victim] — this maneuver put the front grille of the (truck) directly behind [the victim.'” The witness adds that as the man continued to flee, Bowen “followed closely behind him, striking Lopez Aguilar twice.” Bowen then ran him over as he lay on the ground. Fortunately, the man did survive and was taken to the hospital.
Bowen would later describe his actions as “just a little push with a Ford bumper.”
“I bumped a guat with a truck while driving about 7 mph,” his text reads. “No injury at all and tonk refused medical.”
He also said in a text, “If I had to tackle the tonk I would still be doing memos. I wonder how they expect us to apprehend wild…runners who don’t want to be apprehended?”
Prosecutors are making the case that Bowen has a history of racist views and illegal actions based on his texts.
Court documents, released in April, show Bowen’s views of immigrants and would refer to them as “s—bags,” The Washington Post reports.
Here’s another exchange, according to the Arizona Central: Bowen asked another agent, “Did you gas hiscorpse (sic) or just use regular peanut oil while tazing?? For a frying effect.” Then Bowen added: “Guats are best made crispy, with olive oil from their native pais.” He also used the phrase, “mindless murdering savage.”
His defense lawyers said that the texts are not relevant to this case.
“How Mr. Bowen referred to aliens in specific text does not aid the jury in determining whether he, on this occasion, set out to use excessive force to apprehend the alleged victim,” the lawyer said, according to the Post.
Bowen’s next court date is in August, and he is currently on leave from his position without pay.