On May 18, Border Patrol agents shot and killed Raymond Mattia — a versatile artist, avid hunter, and a community council member concerned about corruption on the border — outside his home in Menagers Dam, a village on Tohono O’odham Nation land near the Arizona-Mexico border. Apart from the fact of the killing, few details about the shooting were disclosed in the weeks after Mattia’s death. Last week, though, some hard facts emerged.
Mattia was shot nine times, per a medical examiner’s report, and his death was ruled a homicide. Partial footage from body-worn cameras shows that Border Patrol agents and at least one police officer approached his home around 9:30 p.m. Mattia complied with all of the agents’ orders, the 28-minute edited video depicts, and they opened fire on him after mistaking his cell phone for a gun approximately 31 seconds after issuing the first command.
For his family, The Intercept reports, the information that’s been released still doesn’t explain why the agents showed up to Mattia’s home. The call Border Patrol was responding to was convoluted, and the circumstances don’t make sense, they said. “It feels like none of them are on our side,” Mattia’s niece told The Intercept. “It feels like they’re just trying to defend themselves, instead of defending my uncle Ray.”
What to Know Today
The person who killed five people and injured more than a dozen others in an attack on a queer nightclub in Colorado Springs pleaded guilty to 53 counts related to the mass shooting and was sentenced to life in prison without parole; in total, the shooter was handed a term of more than 2,000 years. [The Colorado Sun]
Violence interrupters with the nonprofit Switching Lifestylez have been responding to shootings and de-escalating conflicts in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neighborhood for over a year. Their work is similar to what they did as employees of a now-folded interruption group, with one difference: This time, they didn’t wait for a city paycheck to start serving the community. [THE CITY]
Louisiana’s police oversight board permanently revoked 11 officers’ credentials last week, an action the agency has taken only a handful of times in the past few years. It was a forceful step, but also a reminder of the system’s sluggish pace: Five of the officers were involved in the 2005 Danziger Bridge shootings, in which police killed two unarmed civilians in the days after Hurricane Katrina and then attempted to cover it up. [New Orleans Times-Picayune]
Federal consent decrees are supposed to result in meaningful reforms to police departments with records of misconduct and brutality. But the agreements are fraught, and it often takes years and costs millions to see any progress. [NBC]
Is San Francisco a dangerous, dystopian hellscape? Recent stories from major media outlets may have played up street crime and drug use, but the city actually has one of the lowest homicide rates of U.S. cities, and violent crime there fell during the pandemic. [San Francisco Chronicle]
The white woman accused of shooting and killing Ajike “AJ” Owens, her Black neighbor, in Florida earlier this month will not be charged with murder, and instead faces counts of manslaughter and assault. Florida criminal statutes indicate that the case could still meet the criteria for a second-degree murder charge. [Reckon]
A top Democrat in the Massachusetts House unveiled a wide-ranging gun safety bill that calls for a new law enforcement database to track crime guns, criminal offenses for firing a gun at or near a dwelling, and the addition of training requirements in the licensing process, among other proposals. [WBUR]
At least half a million rounds of ammunition were stolen from a single Cabela’s store in Delaware in under a year, according to the state’s Justice Department. The agency is now investigating the company for insufficient shoplifting prevention. [Delaware News Journal]
In the half-decade since a shooter killed five people in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland, the survivors drifted apart, entering new jobs and social orbits — but the paper has carried on. The point, writes the Gazette’s former editor, is that “you cannot silence a free press. We survived. We endure.” [The Baltimore Banner]