New video sheds light on tragic incident at US-Mexico border

Government surveillance video shows U.S. border officers appeared to encourage, or at least permit, Mexican teen to drink from a bottle containing liquid methamphetamine.
3:13 | 07/28/17

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Transcript for New video sheds light on tragic incident at US-Mexico border
Thanks very much. Our chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross with newly obtained video that takes unside an encounter between border agents and a Mexican teen and when it was over the teen was dead. Good morning, George. It is. This story about U.S. Border officers engaging in outrageous conduct. All caught in gripping detail on a video obtained by ABC news that the government did not want the public to see. ??? Reporter: 6:21 on a Monday evening at the San ysidro border crossing and the man in the white sweatshirt did a smuggler. A 16-year-old high school student by the name of Cruz Velazquez with drugs hidden in two bottles in his shoulder bag. He was recruited, we believe, as a mule. Here we'll give you 100 or $200 if you take these bottles across the border. Reporter: But things go bad almost immediately. The young man appears nervous and these two customs and border protection officers start to examine the two bottles in his bag. So they know there's something funny, there's something fishy. What's in the bottles is highly concentrated methamphetamine. Instead of conducting a standard field test the two officers encourage or at least permanent the young man to prove it's just juice as the family lawyer takes us through the video. Cruz now points at the bottle and she's saying, okay, drink it and she makes the gesture that we associate with to drink now, watch the male agent. He says drink another one. You see them exchanging glances and smiles because they know what's going on. This is a game in which he's being played with. Reporter: It happens again and again. Two more sips. And you see the smile. Reporter: A total of four swallows in all of the highly toxic solution, something the officers will later say under oath the teenager volunteered to do. I never asked him to. He volunteered to and I believe I gestured to him to go ahead. You told him to go ahead and drink on more than one occasion. Did you not? No. And you're sure of that? I'm sure. Reporter: But the government's video obtained by ABC news seems to contradict that. Now Velazquez can barely stand sweating profusely. I notice labored breathing and he was shaking a lot. I remember putting my hand -- on him and just told him to like relax. Reporter: It will be more than a half hour after the first drink until the officers call for a team of paramedics. A fateful delay. Cruz Velazquez died about an hour later of a massive overdose. The government paid a million dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by his family with no apology or admission of wrongdoing. There was no prosecution, no punishment, not even a reprimand for the two officers who we main on the job to this day, George. That is just stunning, Brian. Okay, thanks very much. Much more tonight on "20/20" right here on ABC.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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