The now-infamous photo that led to Border Patrol agents being falsely accused of “whipping” Haitian immigrants is now featured on a commemorative coin, authorities said.
The challenge coins, which are typically traded by law enforcement officers, depict a photo taken of US Border patrol agents on horseback stopping a group of immigrants from illegally entering the country near Eagle Pass, Texas in September, the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said.
In the photo by Agence France-Presse photographer Paul Ratje, the officers were captured following orders to use their horses to block the migrants. But they were placed under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security after some saw the horse reins and wrongly concluded the agents were using them as whips.
The new, unofficial coins take aim at the probe, which cleared the agents of wrongdoing.
The medallions feature phrases such as, “Whipping a– since 1924,” “Haitian Invasion” and “deflecting allegations for years.”
While law enforcement agencies often release their own coins, the ones depicting the controversial incident are unofficial.
They were being sold on eBay for $15.19 a piece, but the only version still listed is no longer available for purchase.
CBP is investigating whether any federal employee sold or made the coins, the agency told the Los Angeles Times.
“These coins anger me because the hateful images on them have no place in a professional law enforcement agency,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus told the newspaper in a statement.
“Those who make or share these deeply offensive coins detract and distract from the extraordinarily difficult and often life-saving work Border Patrol agents do every day across the country.”
The new coins are hardly the only eyebrow-raising, unofficial coins to be found online. Ebay lists for sale coins featuring President Joe Biden and an open border, and another one featuring former President Donald Trump and the words, “Border Security will not be compromised.”