MESCALERO, New Mexico - On Sunday, July 9, 2023, at approximately 10:45 p.m., a Bureau of Indian Affairs law enforcement officer from the Mescalero Agency responded to a service call on the Mescalero Reservation. At the location, an individual charged the officer with a knife. The officer attempted to use their taser to stop the individual; however, it proved ineffective. While the individual was still charging towards the officer, the officer discharged their service weapon, shooting the individual one time.
Emergency medical assistance was provided to the individual. The New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator declared the individual deceased at the scene.
The investigation into the incident is being handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The BIA Office of Justice Services Internal Affairs Division is also conducting an administrative review of the incident.
In October 2022, the Department of the Interior announced a series of law enforcement policies to advance transparent and accountable policing practices as part of the continuing implementation of President Biden’s May 2022 Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and Strengthen Public Safety. On July 13, 2023, the Department of the Interior instituted a new Department Policy for the Expedited Public Release of Body Worn Camera and Vehicle Mounted Camera Video Footage.
In the coming months, the BIA will consult with Tribes on the development of a bureau policy, consistent with the department’s policy and the president’s executive order. The BIA is committed to transparent policing and strengthening the public’s trust in its law enforcement program.
Mescalero, NM 88340