The photographer who took photos of Border Patrol agents on horseback chasing down Haitian migrants is speaking out.
The viral photos showed frightened Haitian people desperately clinging to bags of food and fleeing while agents on horseback chased them.
The optics of white federal agents herding Black men like cattle sparked outrage around the world.
Democrats Maxine Waters and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the border agents of "whipping" the Haitian men.
Speaking with KTSM, photographer Paul Ratje said he and his colleagues never saw agents whipping anyone.
"Some of the Haitian men started running, trying to go around the horses," said Ratje, who is based in Las Cruces. He said he took the pictures from the Mexico side of the border.
Ratje said a photo frozen in time can give the impression that the agent used his long reins to whip people.
"I've never seen them whip anyone. He was swinging [the reins], but it can be misconstrued when you're looking at the picture."
White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the images "horrific", and she said the agents in the photos have been suspended.
On Thursday, the White House issued a statement saying Border Patrol agents are no longer allowed to use horses to patrol the border.