TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) – A federal judge is sanctioning the U.S. Border Patrol over its destruction of evidence in a civil suit filed in Arizona.
U.S. District Judge David C. Bury issued the sanctions Monday after the Border Patrol destroyed video surveillance at its eight stations in the Tucson Sector. The sanctions require the Border Patrol to produce other recordings within 15 days.
The lawsuit was filed in June by a coalition of advocacy groups on behalf of three immigrants. It claims agents routinely hold immigrants in dirty and extremely cold cells for extended periods.
Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol’s parent agency, says its facilities are designed to be short-term and agents make every effort to ensure immigrants get food, water and medical attention.
The agency says it implemented emergency measures to begin storing video surveillance but many stations aren’t equipped for it.