Significant Doubts Surround Photo of Migrant with Children Fleeing Tear Gas [CORRECTION]


CORRECTION: The Daily Wire, which The Western Journal used as a source for this article, has issued the following correction regarding it:

According to US Customs and Border Protection, border agents indeed “deployed tear gas to dispel the group” after “migrants threw projectiles at the agents.” The Reuters photographer who took the photo, Kim Kyung-Hoon, said it “absolutely is not the case” that the photo was staged, noting that Reuters has guidelines prohibiting photographers from making “material alterations or staging scenes.” Maria Meza, the migrant woman fleeing in the photo, told BuzzFeed News that she and her children inhaled tear gas.

This story, as originally written, seems to imply that the event in question did not take place and does not include this vital evidence to the contrary. It should not have been published as is and does not meet the editorial standards of The Daily Wire. It is being preserved only so that those directed to this link from outside sources will encounter this correction.

The Western Journal also failed to abide by our own editorial standards in printing this article. We should have reached out to the photographer for additional information before publication. We apologize for the omission and, while we never expect to be perfect, we are working to establish procedures to help ensure errors like this do not occur in the future.

A Reuters photograph showing a migrant mother reportedly fleeing with her young children from tear gas at the U.S-Mexico border has sparked anger from many on the left while raising questions from some skeptics on the right.

Carla Provost, chief patrol agent for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, told Fox News on Monday that approximately 1,000 migrants tried to rush the border near the San Ysidro port of entry between Tijuana and San Diego the previous day.

Among that group, dozens managed to breach the border fence and began throwing rocks and other projectiles at border agents, which prompted the officers to fire tear gas to disperse the crowd.

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San Diego-based Chief Patrol Agent Rodney Scott told CNN on Monday that 42 arrests were made.

Reuters national affairs editor Jason Szep tweeted an image from the confrontation, which he captioned, “Incredibly moving and potent photos of a mother fleeing tear gas with her children at the southwest U.S. border.”

One observant Twitter user noticed some usual things in the picture, The Daily Wire reported.

First, many people in the immediate background were not running.

Second, a family not far from the mother appears to be stationary as a cameraman stood next to them, as if they were preparing to take a staged picture.

Third, a cameraman can be seen set up with his tripod just down the way with a young boy running toward him.

Finally, the smoke is actually blowing downwind from the woman.

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The Washington Post used the photo as the featured image of its video about CBP agents firing tear gas in an article titled, “Why Tear Gas, Lobbed at Migrants on the Southern Border, Is Banned in Warfare.”

Despite its provocative headline, The Post story notes that CS gas is legal to use by “both police and federal authorities in the United States and many other countries” to disperse a crowd.

U.S. military recruits are exposed to it during basic training in an enclosed space, making it much more potent.

The Post ran a second story headlined, “These Children are Barefoot. In Diapers. Choking on Tear Gas,” and captioned, “Photos of migrant children fleeing tear gas spark online outrage at Trump.”

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that in November 2013, almost five years ago to the day and during the Obama administration, Border Patrol agents fired pepper-spray balls into a group of 100 people trying to rush the border near the San Ysidro port of entry.

As with Sunday’s incident, the migrants had thrown rocks at border agents.

“This type of rush on the border has not been seen since the late 1980s and early ’90s, when groups of border-crossers would run into the U.S. while agents tried to apprehend as many people as possible,” the Tribune reported at the time. “The practice mostly disappeared after Operation Gatekeeper began in 1994 and brought with it tall fences, walls and more agents.”

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Randy DeSoto has written more than 3,000 articles for The Western Journal since he joined the company in 2015. He is a graduate of West Point and Regent University School of Law. He is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths" and screenwriter of the political documentary "I Want Your Money."
Randy DeSoto is the senior staff writer for The Western Journal. He wrote and was the assistant producer of the documentary film "I Want Your Money" about the perils of Big Government, comparing the presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Randy is the author of the book "We Hold These Truths," which addresses how leaders have appealed to beliefs found in the Declaration of Independence at defining moments in our nation's history. He has been published in several political sites and newspapers.

Randy graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point with a BS in political science and Regent University School of Law with a juris doctorate.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Graduated dean's list from West Point
United States Military Academy at West Point, Regent University School of Law
Books Written
We Hold These Truths
Professional Memberships
Virginia and Pennsylvania state bars
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith