A group of guards at a Louisiana detention center attacked a Black asylum seeker, according to video footage obtained by Insider. The victim, Brandon, said the attack was racially motivated.
The incident occurred in February of 2020 at the LaSalle Correctional Center in Urania, Louisiana. Per Insider’s report, Brandon, an asylum seeker from Cameroon, was playing video games in a recreational room.
A Salvadoran man in the room watching Brandon jokingly covered his eyes to distract him from the game to which Brandon threw a fake punch at him. Guards responded by confronting Brandon and told him he was being transferred to a new dorm, away from the Cameroonian friends he’d made, per the report.
More on the incident from Insider:
In a video obtained by Insider, Brandon is seen walking down a hallway and being followed by three guards. As he approaches the camera, one of the guards grabs him by the shoulder and pushes him against the wall. In the next few seconds, they ram his head into the wall, put him in a chokehold, spin him around, throw him to the floor, and pin him down. One of the guards briefly puts his knee on Brandon’s neck. With the guards dog-piled on top of him, he felt like he was fighting to survive: “I was struggling to breathe. I couldn’t move. I was feeling so weak.”
Brandon suspected bias was at work when the guard shoved him against the wall. “He was doing it because I was Black and from Africa,” Brandon said.
Insider reported six guards pinned him to the ground and threw him in solitary confinement for three days. When he was released months later from the facility, a CD recording of the incident mysteriously appeared in his bag. Brandon said he didn’t know where or who it came from.
Brandon told Insider this situation was just a glimpse into the mistreatment of Black people at the LaSalle detention center.
ICE spokesperson Sarah Loicano responded in a statement. “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) does not tolerate the mistreatment of anyone in the agency’s custody and takes all allegations of abuse seriously,” said Loicano via Insider.