Arizona tribe is protesting the decision not to prosecute Border Patrol agents for fatal shooting

Oct 13, 2023, 1:03 PM

SELLS, Ariz. (AP) — The Tohono O’odham Nation in southern Arizona on Friday blasted the decision by the U.S. Attorney’s Office not to prosecute Border Patrol agents who shot and killed a member of the tribe after they were summoned by tribal police.

The tribe’s executive office called the decision not to file charges “a travesty of justice.”

“There are countless questions left unanswered by this decision. As a result, we cannot and will not accept the U.S. Attorney’s decision,” said a statement signed by Tohono O’odham Nation Chairman Verlon M. Jose and Vice Chairwoman Carla L. Johnson.

The statement said the tribe may request Congressional inquiries into the shooting death of Raymond Mattia. The 58-year-old was killed the night of May 18 outside a home in the reservation’s Menagers Dam community near the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona and Arizona-based representatives for U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond Friday to emails requesting comment.

The shooting occurred after Border Patrol agents were called to the area by the Tohono O’odham Nation Police Department for help responding to a report of shots fired.

Body camera footage released the following month by CBP shows that agents were concerned that Mattia may have been carrying a handgun. No firearm was found.

The video shows Mattia throwing a sheathed machete at the foot of a tribal officer and then holding out his arm. After Mattia was shot and on the ground, an agent declares: “He’s still got a gun in his hand.”

CBP said earlier that the three Border Patrol agents who opened fire and at least seven others at the scene were wearing body cameras and activated them during the shooting.

The Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office reported that Mattia had nine gunshot wounds.

National News

Associated Press

Insider Q&A: Trust and safety exec talks about AI and content moderation

Alex Popken was a longtime trust and safety executive at Twitter focusing on content moderation before leaving in 2023. She was the first employee there dedicated to moderating Twitter’s advertising business when she started in 2013. Now, she’s vice president of trust and safety at WebPurify, a content moderation service provider that works with businesses […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Lawsuit alleges negligence in hiring of maintenance man accused of torturing resident

BALTIMORE (AP) — April Hurley’s attacker entered her apartment after identifying himself as the building maintenance man — a job he should never have obtained, according to a lawsuit filed Monday that accuses the property owner and management company of engaging in negligent hiring practices. Once inside the apartment, Jason Billingsley tortured Hurley and her […]

2 hours ago

Photo: Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom at...

Michael R. Sisak, Jennifer Peltz, Eric Tucker and Jake Offenhartz, The Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Trump tried to illegally influence the 2016 election by preventing damaging stories about himself from becoming public, a prosecutor said.

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Biden will send Ukraine air defense weapons, artillery once Senate approves, Zelenskyy says

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Monday the U.S. will send badly needed air defense weaponry once the Senate approves a massive national security aid package that includes $61 billion for Ukraine. Zelensky said in a posting on X that Biden also assured him that a coming package of […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

The fatal shooting of an Ohio officer during a training exercise being probed as a possible homicide

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The fatal shooting of an Ohio officer during a training exercise at a state corrections department facility earlier this month is being investigated as a possible reckless homicide, according to a published report. The Columbus Dispatch said the information is included in a heavily redacted 18-page report it received from the […]

4 hours ago

supreme court homelessness...

Lindsay Whitehurst

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court will weigh bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court will consider whether banning homeless people from sleeping outside when shelter space is lacking amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.

4 hours ago

Arizona tribe is protesting the decision not to prosecute Border Patrol agents for fatal shooting