ICE agent indicted for allegedly violating suspect’s constitutional rights

Posted at 8:53 PM, Jul 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-07-18 22:53:05-04

SALT LAKE CITY – An Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agent is accused of using unreasonable force and injuring a man while acting under color of law.

Agent Jon Martinson Junior is due to be arraigned in federal court July 29; the man was indicted last month after the victim alleged the agent violated his constitutional rights during an arrest that occurred on or about July 3.

The document mentions the agent was acting under “color of law.” The term relates to crimes that occur when an individual is acting under lawful authority given by a local, state or federal government.  The distinction is in place to prevent abuse of the special authority entrusted to people like law enforcement officers, judges, security guards or other officials. Authorities stated that the FBI generally leads investigations into “color of law” cases.

The indictment identifies the victim only by his initials and alleges Martinson, “Slammed [suspect] onto the concrete floor face first, willfully depriving him of the rights secured and protected by the Constitution and laws of the United States, to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer.”

The indictment states the suspect suffered bodily injury as a result.

Tony Yapias is the director of Projecto Latino De Utah, an organization seeking to serve the needs of Utah’s Latino community, and he said he is aware of the case. He said the suspect was shackled and being moved when the agent allegedly pushed him from behind.

Yapias said the suspect who was injured entered the country without documentation, but that was not confirmed in the text of the indictment. Yapias said the man lost several teeth as a result for the agent’s action.