CBP show of force

Riot police from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, lined up just inside U.S. territory, stare down comuters waiting on the Mexican side of the Dennis DeConcini Port of Entry on Wednesday morning.

Early Wednesday morning, drivers and cyclists headed for the DeConcini Port of Entry in downtown Nogales found themselves confronted by an intimidating sight: at least two dozen U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers blocking northbound vehicle lanes, many outfitted in riot gear including batons, body armor and helmets.

The show of force wasn’t in response to a threat – the officers were doing “mobile field force drills” to “train CBP officers on special response tactics,” an agency spokesman said in a statement. But there was no way for the public to know for sure, since the drill wasn’t announced in advance or explained to the travelers who found their morning commute briefly put on pause.

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