July 28, 2020

The libertarian publication Reason revealed a 2012 internal affairs report indicating that a CBP instructor had told “a room full of supervisors” that “if Border Patrol agents feel threatened by a migrant, they should ‘beat that tonk like a piñata until candy comes out.’” The word “tonk” or “tonc” is reportedly Border Patrol slang for an undocumented migrant. Former agents say that the word originates from the sound a human skull makes when clubbed with an agent’s heavy Maglite flashlight.

— C.J. Ciaramella, “CBP Official Allegedly Said Agents Should ‘Beat That Tonk Like a Piñata Until Candy Comes Out'” (Washington: Reason, July 28, 2020) https://reason.com/2020/07/28/cbp-official-allegedly-said-agents-should-beat-that-tonk-like-a-pinata-until-candy-comes-out/.

Sector(s): Border-Wide

Agency(ies): CBP

Event Type(s): Abusive Language, Use of Force

Accountability Status: Under OPR Investigation, Unknown

Victim Classification: