An Arizona Border Patrol agent, facing criminal charges for hitting a migrant with a truck, sent text messages in which he referred to immigrants as “sh--bags” and “mindless, murdering savages.”
The use of such words is commonplace in the Tucson, Arizona, sector, the agent’s attorney said in court documents, although he’s backpedaling from that statement, NBC News reports.
Prosecutors obtained the texts that Matthew Bowen, 39, sent to other agents through a subpoena of phone records. The content of the text messages was first reported by the Arizona Daily Star.
The prosecutors wrote in a court document that Bowen’s text messages speak to his state of mind and his “intent on committing this civil rights crime.” They further stated the texts show “his subsequent effort to cover up his crime.”
Sean Chapman, Bowen’s attorney, has asked a judge to keep a jury from seeing the texts, saying that they don't aid a jury in determining if his client set out to use excessive force on this occasion and that Bowen's "'disdain' for aliens" is not relevant to the issues before the jury.