Dec. 17, 2015, use of force incident in Laredo, Texas
On Dec. 17, 2015, a driver waiting in the primary vehicle inspection lanes at the Lincoln-Juarez International Bridge Port of Entry in Laredo, Texas, suddenly accelerated his pickup truck towards the primary inspection booth, rear-ending the car being inspected. The force of the impact caused the car being inspected to be pushed aside. The pickup truck then sped towards the port’s passenger processing building and secondary inspection area, where CBP officers (CBPO) and civilians were located.
A CBPO in the passenger processing building heard the announcement of “port runner” over his service radio and exited outside to assist. As the CBPO exited the passenger processing building, he saw the pickup truck moving towards him at a high rate of speed.
The truck hit the concrete barriers outside the passenger processing building; the driver continued to rev the pickup truck’s engine in an apparent attempt to drive past the barriers. The CBPO gave repeated verbal commands to the driver to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not comply. From a distance of approximately seven and one-half feet from the pickup truck, the CBPO discharged one round at the driver from his CBP-issued handgun. The round struck the pickup truck’s driver-side fender. As the CBPO discharged his firearm, the vehicle crashed into the northeast side of the passenger processing building and came to a stop. While the CBPO assessed the situation, other CBPOs assisted in securing the vehicle and the incident area.
A CBP video camera at the port captured all but the final moments of the incident. A subsequent investigation determined the pickup truck was brand new, and the driver’s foot may have depressed the accelerator pedal in error.
Result of the NUFRB
The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) considered whether the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun by the CBPO was in compliance with CBP use of force policy. The NUFRB concluded the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun by the CBPO was in compliance with CBP use of force policy.
Consistent with the mandate to review and report on potential improvements to policy and training, the NUFRB made no formal recommendations following their consideration of this incident.