NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – After a New Mexico State Police officer was killed in the line of duty, his widow claimed the “recklessness” of federal Homeland Security agents is what got Officer Darian Jarrott killed in 2021. Now, a federal judge has dismissed the lawsuit.
The legal dispute is the fallout from a fatal traffic stop several years ago. Officer Jarrott pulled over Omar Cueva, a man with a history of drug charges. Jarrott’s widow claims the State Police officer didn’t know how dangerous Cueva was – and claims that the Department of Homeland Security should have warned Jarrott.
Cueva was on Homeland Security’s radar and was a target of an ongoing Homeland Security operation when pulled over by Jarrott. But Jarrott didn’t get the full picture of the danger Cueva posed, according to Jarrott’s widow. She claimed Homeland Security should have told Jarrott that Cueva was “high risk” and intended to shoot his way out of confrontations.
When Jarrott pulled over Cueva along I-10 near Deming, Cueva opened fire, killing Jarrott, video of the incident reveals.
After going to court, a federal judge has now dismissed Jarrott’s widow’s lawsuit against Homeland Security. The judge ruled that the federal agents have immunity from a Federal Tort Claims Act because they used their professional discretion in conducting their operation and because Jarrott’s widow did not prove the federal agents were acting outside of policy.
The court dismissed other claims in the lawsuit because Jarrott’s widow did not describe injuries that she and her children suffered, as required to receive a payout under a ‘loss of consortium’ claim, according to a filing by the judge.
Although the judge dismissed the lawsuit, they did so without prejudice. That means Jarrott’s family can continue to try to bring legal action against the Department of Homeland Security.