Surveillance video shows a disturbing exchange at the U.S.-Mexico border. According to ABC News, two U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in 2013 allowed (and possibly encouraged) a teenage student to drink from a plastic bottle that would later be found to contain liquid methamphetamine.
The 16-year-old, Cruz Velazquez of Mexico, died within two hours of drinking the yellow liquid. In the clip, it appears to be in a soft drink or iced tea bottle. The two officers, Valerie Baird and Adrian Perallon, continue to be patrol officers and have faced no disciplinary action.
The incident appears to be incorrect protocol for a drug search. “If they truly suspected there was a controlled substance in the bottle, they should've conducted a field test,” says James Tomsheck, the former head of internal affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, ABC News reports.
“What you see, I think, is a basic lack of compassion and decency toward a 16-year-old boy,” said Gene Iredale, attorney for the Velazquez family. “Almost a delight that you would see in children who just pull the wings off flies slowly, a smile when he's being asked to drink something and being put in this position.”
The family filed a civil suit against the officers and agency. As NBC San Diego reported earlier this year, they received one million dollars.
The video makes its debut on Good Morning America.
[Photo: Family photo and "Good Morning America"]