Border Heroes Run Amok

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The U.S. Border Patrol is investigating a Thursday incident involving the use of a Taser on an Ogdensburg woman at a checkpoint in Waddington.

Jess Cooke, 21, said she was pulled in for a secondary inspection after agents said she appeared nervous at the checkpoint. Cooke said she refused a search of her trunk and was asked to wait for a K-9 Unit to arrive.

A conversation with agents escalated and Cooke was tackled and Tased after she resisted an agent who had grabbed her after she refused to comply with a request for her to move.

The names of agents involved have not been released.

“Due to the privacy act and that this incident is under investigation, I am unable to release the names of anyone involved in this incident,” an emailed response from the agency said.

The scuffle was caught on video by Cooke and can be seen here.

Border officials have not released details surrounding the incident because it is being investigated, but the agency released the following statement.

“U.S. Customs and Border Protection is investigating a report from the U.S. Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector about an altercation between an individual and two Border Patrol agents at a checkpoint on Thursday, May 7. The altercation followed a brief verbal exchange between the individual and the two agents regarding their intent to inspect the vehicle.”

Meanwhile, Cooke says she plans to take legal action.

“I was cuffed for over an hour after being out in the Border Patrol car and then brought to the U.S. Customs station in Ogdensburg. I sat there for a good 3-4 hours and got sent home due to they couldn’t figure out what charges to put on me,” Cooke said in a written response.

Cooke said she received scrapes and cuts on her legs, back and chest. She said her wrists are also marked from the handcuffs.

Cooke said her car was searched and found to be clean, but she is awaiting potential charges regarding the struggle.

Cooke has a two-year degree in criminal justice will graduate Saturday from SUNY Canton for law enforcement leadership with a four-year degree.


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