U.S. Customs and Border Protection devised a new method of calculating the number of assaults on Border Patrol officers that “grossly inflate[s]” the data, according to The Intercept. Since fiscal year 2015, the CPB has been calculating assaults by multiplying the number of agents attacked by the number of attackers and the “number of objects used in the assault,” rather than just counting how many agents were attacked. According to CPB’s data, there was a 73 percent increase in border assaults in 2017. Since the new policy, the agency’s numbers have differed from the FBI’s data—which has shown far fewer assaults. A February 2017 incident in the Rio Grande was counted by the CPB as 126 assaults after six people attacked seven agents with three different objects, which turned out to be “rocks, bottles, and tree branches,” according to a CBP spokeswoman.
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