Photojournalist speaks out over controversial images of US border patrol cruelty

Sep 28, 2021

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Photojournalist speaks out over controversial images of US border patrol cruelty

Sep 28, 2021

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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If a single photograph speaks a thousand words, what happens when those words get twisted and misrepresent the image? The photographer who captured the shocking images of US border patrol guards appearing to whip Haitian migrants on the Texas-Mexico border has spoken out, saying that the image does not accurately depict what he saw and that the photograph has been misconstrued.

Photo-journalist Paul Ratije captured images of the American Border Patrol on horseback, rounding up migrants like cattle. The image in question has caused significant controversy, prompting President Biden to publicly denounce the actions of the guards. The photograph appears to show the border patrol using their reigns as whips as they chase after the migrants, keeping them from entering USA territory.

Embed from Getty Images

Ratije however, told KTSM news channel that the images had been misconstrued. “Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses, and that’s kind of when the whole thing happened,” he said.

I didn’t ever see them whip anybody, with the [reins]. He was swinging it. But I didn’t see him actually take — whip someone with it. That’s something that can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.

Other Border Patrol sources have noted that agents will spin or twirl their reins in order to move the horse forward as a signal to the horse. So far no images have been presented of migrants being hit by the reins.

Indeed, the images themselves may not be showing the border patrol using physical abuse on people, but the use of horses and riders in this manner that is typically used to round up animals does make you question the methods used by Border staff in general. CNN has reported that the use of horses has temporarily ceased in the Del Rio region until a further investigation has been carried out.

This is another interesting lesson for all of us to remember that a single image can never tell the entire story. The photographer, whether intentional or not, always has the power to evoke a particular emotion and meaning or steer the image in a certain direction through what is left out of the image as much as what is included. By changing the angle of view or focal length of the lens used the events happening can appear to be very different. The camera may never lie, but people do, and images can easily be manipulated to fuel political agendas.

[Via New York Post]

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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2 responses to “Photojournalist speaks out over controversial images of US border patrol cruelty”

  1. den321 Avatar
    den321

    The truth is irrelevant to Democrats – as is the security and dignity of our nation. Americans made a grievous error when they gave power across the legislative and executive branches of the Federal government in the last election to the Dems. The border, Afghanistan, and the grotesque patronage to Democratic interest groups in the form of the excessive spending now resulting in accelerating inflation speak to the judgment of the majority of the electorate. If you don’t follow politics, if you think all politicians are the same, please stay out of the voting booth. On the subject of the images on the border, those people are not cattle. They are criminals, urged toward their behaviors by the Democrats. Various disruptions, both immediate and long-term, and especially in the form of criminal acts across this country and the suppression of wages for blue-collar Americans are the fault of the American electorate. Evocative images recalling earlier times in American history are the least of our worries now.

  2. lewisfrancis Avatar
    lewisfrancis

    Never occurred to me that the men were being whipped, but then I grew up around horses, and to my knowledge my ancestors were never chased by men on horseback, so I also didn’t have that priming.