A statement made by a Homeland Security spokesperson suggests reports on "dramatic increases" in attacks against Border Patrol agents appear to use manipulated numbers.
In a statement to The Intercept about the reported 786 attacks on Border Patrol agents in 2017 (at 73 percent spike from 2016's 454), U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson Cristina Coleman said that a single incident that included multiple projectiles thrown at agents accounts for more than 100 of the reported attacks for 2017.
"An incident in the Rio Grande Valley Sector on February 14, 2017, involved seven U.S. Border Patrol Agents assaulted by six subjects utilizing three different types of projectiles (rocks, bottles, and tree branches), totaling 126 assaults," Coleman told The Intercept.
"According to conventional law enforcement accounting," the report continued, "this single incident should have been tallied as seven agents assaulted — not seven agents times six perpetrators times three projectiles."
The Intercept noted that in November 2017, when one Border Patrol agent died and another was injured, right-wing outlets suggested they were attacked by undocumented immigrants. The FBI concluded in their investigation, however, that they were injured in an accidental fall.