Photographer behind controversial photos speaks exclusively to KTSM

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The photographer behind images depicting Border Patrol agents on horseback told KTSM things are not exactly what they seem when it comes to the photos.

The photographs, which were taken Sunday, appear to show agents on horses with a whip in hand. The photos caused outrage because from certain angles, it appears to show Border Patrol whipping migrants, but photographer Paul Ratje said he and his colleagues never saw agents whipping anyone.

“Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses,” Ratje said.

Ratje is a photographer based in Las Cruces and has been in Del Rio since Friday. He said took the photographs from the Mexican side.

“I’ve never seen them whip anyone,” Ratje said. “He was swinging it, but it can be misconstrued when you’re looking at the picture.”

The photos drew immense criticism from many on social media and the White House said it will investigate.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki called images “horrific.”

Vice President Kamala Harris was also asked about the photos, and called them deeply troubling. Harris also said there was a thorough investigation into how agents are treating migrants.

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