WASHINGTON – U.S. Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller issued the following statement on the posting of body-worn camera footage related to the March 14, 2023, use of deadly force incident in Sasabe, Arizona:
“The loss of a life during a CBP law enforcement encounter profoundly impacts everyone involved, the family of the deceased, the officers and agents on the scene, the greater CBP workforce and the communities we serve. This use of deadly force in Sasabe, Arizona on March 14 is being investigated by CBP’s Office of Professional Responsibility to assess compliance with our policies. Concurrently, an external criminal investigation is being conducted by the Pima County Sheriff’s Office. At the conclusion of these independent reviews, CBP’s National Use of Force Review Board will review this incident to determine whether the Border Patrol Agent followed CBP policy regarding the permissible use of force. The results of the review board’s proceedings will be released publicly on CBP’s website. A thorough investigation is important to us, our workforce and the public, and we will take action as determined appropriate by our review process.
“I have directed a review of training and CBP’s use of force policies and procedures, while the investigation continues, to further prepare and support our personnel to safely respond to and – when appropriate and possible – deescalate dangerous situations. Regular review of policies and training is a vital function of a professional law enforcement organization, and we are engaging with subject matter experts across DHS to ensure our training reflects law enforcement best practices. We will continue to take swift action to identify areas where we can improve, as we have done with our updated vehicle pursuit policy, which we are currently implementing. This is our duty as the nation’s largest law enforcement agency.
“We shared the footage and other evidence with the FBI and the Pima County Sheriff's Office within hours of the incident to support their investigations, and the prompt public release of this footage is in keeping with our commitment to accountability and transparency. This includes our ongoing work to deploy body-worn camera systems to all frontline personnel, with the exception of those who work in areas already covered by other camera systems, such as processing facilities, ports of entry or aboard aircraft.
“Law enforcement is incredibly challenging work, and the border is a dynamic operating environment. CBP personnel face this challenge with sound judgment, extensive training and a steadfast commitment to the CBP mission. I am proud of the tireless work CBP personnel perform daily to safeguard our borders and keep people safe. We are committed to working every day to better prepare and support them for the challenges they face.”
The video may be viewed here.