From [HERE] Tensions flared on Friday between federal authorities in Arizona and residents of a Native American reservation straddling the border with Mexico after a video surfaced in which a Border Patrol vehicle appears to hit a man from the tribe before driving away.
The video, which was recorded on the phone of the victim, a member of the Tohono O’odham Nation identified as Paulo Remes, spread quickly on social media after several tribe members and Indivisible Tohono, an organization focused on the impact of border policies, posted the footage on Twitter and Facebook.
“They just ran me over, bro,” Mr. Remes is heard saying on the video. He told The Arizona Daily Star that he was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of injuries from the incident, which took place on Tohono O’odham land about 60 miles southwest of Tucson. Mr. Remes appeared to be standing in a dirt road facing the vehicle when it made contact, knocking him to the ground.
Mr. Remes told the newspaper that the driver of the vehicle did not stop.
The United States Border Patrol said in a statement that it was “actively investigating” the incident. “We do not tolerate misconduct on or off duty and will fully cooperate with all investigations of alleged unlawful conduct by our personnel,” the Border Patrol said.
Robert G. Daniels, a spokesman in Arizona for the Border Patrol, said the agency was not able to release the identity of the agent involved in the episode; the video seems to show the vehicle speeding away after the victim is hit.
“All I can say is that this incident is under investigation,” Mr. Daniels said.
The vehicle incident is the most recent episode in a history of strain between federal authorities and the Tohono O’odham, a tribe with about 34,000 enrolled members whose territory straddles the border between the United States and Mexico. The tribe controls about 2.8 million acres in Arizona.
Edward D. Manuel, the chairman of the Tohono O’odham Nation, said in a statement that the victim is 34 years old. Mr. Manuel, who did not identify the victim by name, added that the tribe’s police department was investigating the incident together with the F.B.I. and the United States Attorney’s Office.
“The Nation is aware of disturbing video footage of the incident,” Mr. Manuel said, adding that it was under “active investigation.”
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.
Some in the reservation said the vehicle incident was part of a history of federal agents acting with impunity on their land. They pointed to an episode in 2003 in which a Border Patrol agent, Cody Rouse, ran over and killed a Tohono O’odham teenager, Bennett Patricio. A federal judge cleared Mr. Rouse in 2006 of wrongdoing in the case.