Texas immigration jail guard with historical past of migrant abuse arrested for homicide

A spokesperson for Immigration and Customs Enforcement instructed the station that the power has not held inmates in federal custody since 2019.

In response to San Antonio Categorical-Information, Mike Sheppard labored for the detention heart till this week. “The director of the West Texas Detention Middle, Sierra Blanca, TX, has been terminated resulting from an off-duty incident unrelated to his job,” stated Scott Sutterfield, spokesman for LaSalle Corrections.

The interception reported that Mike Sheppard had a number of abuse allegations resulting in this week’s homicide. Among the allegations towards him had been so critical that the FBI received concerned.

Reviews from 2018 discovered that as director, Mike Sheppard was accused of collaborating in and overseeing the abuse of a gaggle of African migrants and asylum seekers.

In interviews with attorneys, 30 Somali males described a ‘week of hell’ through which they had been pepper sprayed, crushed, threatened, taunted with racial slurs and sexually abused by officers beneath Sheppard’s route, The Intercept reported.

Sheppard himself additionally allegedly participated in these incidents and used racist language, together with: “Shut your black ass. You do not deserve something. Your home is on the backside of this cage”; “Boy, I will present you. You might be my feminine canine”; and “Now you belong to me, boy.”

Regardless of complaints filed with the Division of Justice, Division of Homeland Safety and native authorities, Sheppard remains to be employed on the facility.

Complaints towards Sheppard are documented in a lengthy report 2018 by a coalition of authorized teams, together with the Refugee and Immigrant Authorized Training and Companies Middle, or RAICES; Texas A&M College Faculty of Legislation Immigrant Rights Clinic; and the College of Texas Legislation Faculty Immigration Clinic.

“The sample and sample of abuse by LaSalle corrections officers towards the group of African inmates over the course of per week quantities to hate crimes, conspiracy towards rights and disenfranchisement beneath the guise of the legislation,” the report stated. “Officers used epithets (‘terrorist’ and ‘boy’ and ‘n*’) together with beatings, broad and indiscriminate use of pepper spray, and systematic and arbitrary use of segregation and different violations to belittle and harm males.”

Violence focusing on migrants is an ongoing drawback, and it has solely elevated amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. In response to Texas Public Radio, one other incident was reported Wednesday morning when a person recognized as Erik Garibaldi, 26, shot a migrant within the face. Right now, it’s unclear if the 2 shootings had been associated.

The Texas Democratic Get together launched an announcement accusing the incidents of political rhetoric round immigration coverage.

“This homicide in West Texas is a direct results of the Texas Republicans’ vicious marketing campaign of concern towards undocumented migrants: if you frequently use language like ‘invasion’ to explain what is going on on our border, the one logical conclusion is that you really want migrants and asylum-seekers to be treaty as ‘invaders’,” stated Gilberto Hinojosa, chairman of the Texas Democratic Get together.

Hinojosa famous that this similar rhetoric led to the Wal-Mart taking pictures in El Paso that killed 23 folks. Throughout this incident, the shooter stated he was “focusing on Mexicans”.

“We noticed this in El Paso, when a racist monster drove a whole lot of miles simply to slaughter harmless consumers at a Wal-Mart, riddled with the bigoted language Republicans in Texas use to rally their base,” he stated. added Hinojosa.

Others have additionally cited Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s language towards immigrants and migrants as a cause for the rise in anti-immigrant rhetoric within the state.


In response to Texas Public Radio, 748 migrant deaths have been reported since October 2021, the bulk attributed to excessive warmth and drownings.