The photographer who witnessed the incident where horseback-mounted Border Patrol agents attempted to control Haitian migrants crossing the Rio Grande last week said he never saw agents whipping anyone. His photographs led to unfounded claims from many officials including President Joe Biden that agents were whipping or “strapping” the migrants with whips.
In an exclusive interview with KTSM NBC9 in El Paso, photographer Paul Ratje said he “didn’t ever see them (the agents) whip anybody. ” He was swinging it (the reins), but I didn’t see him actually whip someone with it.”
Ratje said the incident occurred when Haitian migrants attempted to run around the horses. He took the infamous photos that have “really been misconstrued” from the Mexican side of the river.
Among those who apparently misconstrued the images is the President of the United States. “To see people treated like they did, horses running them over and people getting strapped, it’s outrageous I promise you those people will pay,” the president said during a press conference on Friday.