Published December 23, 2010
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, leaving the funeral of a murdered Border Patrol agent Wednesday, scolded a reporter for asking her to address the victim's family's concerns that not enough is being done to secure the southern border.
The family of agent Brian Terry had complained that Napolitano had offered them "empty words" when she called to express her condolences. Terry's father, Kent Terry, in an interview with ABC affiliate KGUN, said he told Napolitano to "wake your man up in the White House," to which she replied that he's done more in two years than any president.
Napolitano attended the Detroit funeral Wednesday where she vowed "swift justice" for Terry's killers. But asked about the family's concerns outside the service, Napolitano said "now is not the time to talk about all that has been done."
She said more agents and technology are on the border than ever before, but told the KGUN reporter it's time to remember the fallen agent and not start picking fights.
"Listen, I don't know who you spoke with in the family," Napolitano said.
After being told the concerns came from his father, mother and stepmother, she continued: "Listen, we are here today, the commissioner is here today, the chief of the Border Patrol is here today and we are here and his comrades are here with the family, who said other things to me by the way, so I really don't think it appropriate for the media to try to pick this as a fight," she said. "This is a moment to remember a fallen agent."
Moments earlier, Napolitano had delivered remarks for Terry's service. She pledged to punish those responsible.
"We resolve, I resolve, to pursue swift justice for those responsible for his death, and we resolve, I resolve, to do everything in our power to protect those who put their lives on the line every day for our nation's safety and security," she said, according to MyFoxDetroit.
Terry was fatally shot while tracking a gang last week near Nogales, Ariz. Four people have been arrested in connection with the case.
President Obama has defended his administration's actions on the border. Earlier in the year, the president ordered 1,200 National Guard troops to the southwestern border, to help address security concerns. The administration is also recruiting another 1,000 Border Patrol agents and has made several changes through the Department of Homeland Security's Southwest Border Violence Initiative -- the initiative has allowed for more officials to be sent to the border to fight smuggling in both directions.