The Slatest

Video Showing Border Patrol Vehicle Hitting Native American Man Sparks Investigation

Border patrol cars are seen near the old border wall just east of Borderfield State Park where construction is set to begin on approximately 14.5 miles of new fencing on June 4, 2018 in San Ysidro, California.
Border patrol cars are seen near the old border wall just east of Borderfield State Park where construction is set to begin on approximately 14.5 miles of new fencing on June 4, 2018 in San Ysidro, California.
SANDY HUFFAKER/Getty Images

The Border Patrol has launched an investigation after a video published on social media appeared to show how one of the agency’s vehicles hit a man and drove away. The victim, who filmed the encounter on his phone Thursday and was identified as Paulo Remes, is a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation. “They just ran me over, bro,” Remes says at one point in the video that was posted by Indivisible Tohono, a group focusing on the impact of government border policies.

“I’m doing all right, I’m just a little sore, really,” Remes told the Arizona Daily Star. Remes said he was outside his house looking for a speaker when he saw the Border Patrol car and decided to start filming. “I ran into the dirt road in front of my house, because I know they’ll try and hit me,” he said. “I think he saw me on the landline and didn’t think I was recording.” Remes says the agent never stopped to check on him.

The Border Patrol said it is “actively investigating” the incident. Tohono O’odham Nation said in a statement that the tribe’s police department, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are all investigating the incident. The tribe has long had strained relations with the Border Patrol since its territory is along the border of the United States and Mexico. The New York Times explains why these tensions have increased in recent years:

Leaders of the tribe have expressed opposition to President Trump’s pledge to build a wall through their land along the border. Largely because officials strengthened security at other points along the border, the reservation of the Tohono O’odham has emerged as an important transit point for unauthorized immigrants and drug traffickers, leading to frequent encounters with law enforcement and the Border Patrol.