The claim cites court documents showing that Tackett had been suspended for misconduct four times during his four-year tenure, for incidents that include violating the rights of suspects and providing false information during a police investigation. In 2003, he quit shortly after being told he was going to be fired.
Border Patrol did not respond to a request to speak with Tackett. The National Border Patrol Council, a union for agents, said it was not their practice to confirm or deny the identity of agents, past or present. Shawn Moran, vice president of the council, spoke about the case in general terms, however:
"We support the agent, the actions he took; he felt like his life was in jeopardy," Moran said. "He used the force that he needed to use in order to protect himself."
So why haven't Border Patrol or investigators from the Chula Vista Police Department officially released the name of the agent?
"The public has a right to know the name of police officers involved in shootings, which we typically do, unless there's concern for the officer's safety," Chula Vista Police Department Captain Gary Wedge. In an interview with NBC San Diego after the shooting, Alvarado's husband Gilberto spoke emotionally about her death, saying, "Whoever shot my wife, that guy, whoever he is, that guy, he needs to get shot."
In both the Ivie and Alvarado shootings, media narratives shifted as important details trickled out to the public, but the way the investigations have been handled isn't necessarily any different than how your typical police department might react, according to Michael White, associate professor at Arizona State University's School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.
"I think generally speaking, local police are not going to be very forthcoming with investigations that are open, especially investigations that involve officers who were using force," he said. "That's just kind of the standard response...I don't think the Border Patrol is particularly different in that regard."
Law enforcement agencies have valid reasons for wanting to control the flow of information in a case that involves an officer or agent. "They don't want to have any media attention that could somehow negatively affect the investigation itself," he said. "They don't want their officer to be tried in the media without a fair assessment of the facts."
This approach can become a problem for several reasons. In the case of Alvarado, family and community members felt left in the dark, wondering about the circumstances that resulted in her death.
In the case of Nicholas Ivie, the story was damaging to the larger border narrative because it feeds a certain kind of spin.