A fictionalized video produced by the Border Patrol and posted this week to its YouTube channel shows a Spanish-speaking attacker stabbing and killing a man in a dark alley after escaping from U.S. agents, a clip apparently created to dramatize President Trump’s depiction of migrants as fearsome criminals.
The three-minute video, titled “The Gotaway,” is produced in the visual style of a television show like Netflix’s series “Narcos,” with aerial drone footage, actors and fake blood. “Gotaway” is the Border Patrol term for an undocumented migrant who evades capture.
The video ends with the lurid image of the stabbing victim bleeding and dying on the ground. “Every apprehension matters,” a message on screen reads. “Do you know who got away?”
The message fades to a Fox News headline about the 2015 killing of Kate Steinle in San Francisco, followed by a rapid-fire cascade of other news clips and headlines about killings linked to immigrants illegally present in the United States.
“The initial intent was to inform the workforce and it was subsequently determined that it would also serve to inform the community and citizens on the nature of the work and dangers faced by border patrol and the community at large,” Barreda said in a statement to The Washington Post.
“Border Patrol agents who participated in the production of this video are assigned to a communications role, and perform these duties on a collateral basis,” Barreda said. “CBP is committed to informing the public on our mission and challenges and stands behind using our law enforcement personnel in telling the CBP story.”
According to the YouTube post, “The Gotaway” was produced by the Border Patrol’s El Centro sector, which includes California’s Imperial Valley. Under Trump, the Border Patrol has expanded its messaging efforts with a strategic communications initiative that has provided video equipment and training to border agents working in the field.
Strategic communications indeed