June 9, 2016 – Use of Force Incident near Yuma, Arizona
On June 9, 2016, Border Patrol Agents from the Yuma Border Patrol Station were performing patrol duties near the Colorado River when Border Patrol cameras detected three subjects crossing into the country illegally. Agents moved to intercept the subjects, and one subject was apprehended and placed in the back of a Border Patrol vehicle for transport.
During transport, the subject repeatedly complained that his handcuffs were on too tight. When the agent stopped the vehicle and checked, he noticed the handcuffs were applied incorrectly and removed them. Since the subject remained compliant, the agent did not immediately reapply the handcuffs. When the agent went to close the door of the vehicle, the subject pushed his way out, and a physical altercation ensued.
As they wrestled on the ground, the agent felt the subject reach for the agent’s firearm. At one point during the altercation, the subject told the agent he was going to stab him. The agent was carrying a knife in his left pocket that day and did not know if the subject had gained control of it. Eventually, the subject was able to gain control of the agent’s Collapsible Straight Baton and used it to strike the agent in the face and head.
At that point, the agent drew his firearm and discharged three rounds, striking the subject. Paramedics later transported both men to the hospital where the subject died of his injuries. The agent was treated and released.
Result of the NUFRB
The CBP National Use of Force Review Board (NUFRB) determined that the discharge of a CBP-issued handgun was in compliance with CBP Use of Force Policy in effect at the time of the incident.
The NUFRB made no formal recommendations on potential improvements to policy and training following their consideration of this incident.