Friday, September 30, 2022
The story sadly sounds of the vigilante violence against African Americans in the Old South. J. David Goodman for the New York Times reports that two migrants were shot, one of them fatally, by two men in a pickup truck that approached them as they walked along a roadway in West Texas. The two men arrested in connection with the shooting:-- "Michael Sheppard, the warden at a local privately run detention center, and his twin brother, Mark Sheppard." -- men were charged with manslaughter.
According to the N.Y. Times report,"Michael Sheppard worked as the warden of the West Texas Detention Center in Sierra Blanca, a site run by LaSalle Corrections, a company that operates more than a dozen private detention facilities in Texas, Louisiana and Georgia, according to the company’s website." (bold added).
In covering the story, Ryan Devereaux for the Intercept notes that
"For Michael Sheppard, it was the latest in a string of allegations of violence against immigrants going back years, with claims so severe that a federal prosecutor at one point sought the attention of the FBI.
As The Intercept reported in 2018, Sheppard, in his capacity as warden of ICE’s Sierra Blanca facility, was accused of participating in and overseeing the sadistic abuse of group of African migrants and asylum-seekers. In interviews with legal advocates, 30 men from Somalia described a “week of hell” in which they were pepper-sprayed, beaten, threatened, taunted with racial slurs, and subjected to sexual abuse by officials answering to Sheppard and in some cases by Sheppard himself."