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Border agent accused of hitting Guatemalan man with car referred to migrants as 'subhuman,' court documents say

An Arizona border agent accused of hitting a Guatemalan man with his car referred to migrants as "subhuman shit" and "savages" in text messages, according to court documents.

The Arizona Daily Star reported Sunday that prosecutors filed the text messages in court documents as part of their case against Border Patrol Agent Matthew Bowen.

Bowen is accused of using his Border Patrol vehicle to knock down a Guatemalan man in December of 2017. He also lied in a report about the incident ever taking place, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Tuscon.

Text messages sent from Bowen included in the court documents show him referring to migrants he apprehends as "disgusting subhuman shit unworthy of being kindling for a fire" and asking President Trump, though not directly, to "PLEASE let us take the gloves off trump!"

Federal prosecutors Lori Price and Monica Ryan are asking the judge to allow them to use Bowen's past text messages to show the Border Patrol agent has "great disdain" for the people he apprehends, according to the news outlet.

Bowen's defense lawyer, Sean Chapman, argues certain portions or terms of texts are "commonplace throughout the Border Patrol's Tucson Sector, that it is part of the agency's culture, and therefore says nothing about Mr. Bowen's mind-set."

The texts the prosecutors are asking to be submitted as evidence were sent between Bowen and other Border Patrol agents.

Bowen, a 10-year veteran of the Border Patrol Agency, was indicted by a federal grand jury last May on charges of depriving the Guatemalan man of his civil rights under color of law and falsifying records.

His trial is scheduled to begin in August.

The Hill has reached out to U.S. Customs and Border Protection for comment.

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