Aug. 4, 2015 – Use of Force Incident near San Clemente, California
On Aug. 4, 2015, two Border Patrol Agents from the San Clemente Border Patrol Station responded to a call for assistance from an Orange County (California) Sheriff’s Department deputy.
The deputy had just finished a traffic stop and was sitting in his marked patrol vehicle, making notes when he heard tires screeching, and saw a white Toyota Corolla stopped in the intersection, with the front of the car pointing toward the deputy’s vehicle. As the deputy approached the Corolla, the driver threatened to kill the deputy, himself, and everyone else. The deputy backed away and immediately moved to the other side of his patrol vehicle for cover. Multiple federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies responded, including the two agents.
During the ensuing standoff, the deputy directed the man several times to show his hands, but the man refused. The subject claimed that he had a gun, and other units that were able to position themselves on higher ground reported the man had a black shirt wrapped around his right hand.
Approximately 50 minutes into the standoff, the subject opened his vehicle door and started to get out of the vehicle. He stood up, raised, and extended his covered right hand straight out in front of his body, as if pointing a gun, and started rapidly moving toward the law enforcement personnel on scene. As the man did this, he yelled, “I’m gonna kill you, you son of a bitches. Come on you son of a bitches.”
Deputies deployed a less-lethal beanbag on the man, but the beanbag rounds appeared to be ineffective, and the man continued to move towards the deputies and the agents. Two agents and three deputies then discharged their weapons at the subject, striking him multiple times. The subject died of his injuries.
Result of the NUFRB
The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the discharges of CBP-issued handguns by the agents were in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.
Consistent with the mandate to review and report on potential improvements to policy and training, the NUFRB made formal recommendations on training and administrative interviews following their consideration of this incident.