Border Agent Tried On Excessive Force Charges

April 09, 2013

The trial of a U.S. Border Patrol agent accused of choking a border crosser began today in San Diego.

It comes at a time when border agents are under increased scrutiny for the use of excessive force against migrants.

The trial for Agent Luis Fonseca is expected to be a short one. He's accused of choking unconscious a man believed to have crossed the border illegally. Fonseca has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Federal prosecutors say that in 2011, Fonseca helped process a man detained near the border. In court documents, prosecutors allege Fonseca kneed him to the ground and then choked him. Afterward Fonseca allegedly told the man he was having a "Mexican heart attack."

A grand jury indicted Fonseca last year. Prosecutors say they have video of the attack.