LULAC CALLS SHOOTING BY PRISON WARDEN OF TWO MIGRANTS IN WEST TEXAS A HATE CRIME

Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Blames Political Hate Speech By Texas and Florida Governors for Death of One Victim, Another Wounded

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) issued the following statement after court documents revealed details of two unarmed Latino migrants who were gunned down in cold blood along a West Texas road Tuesday evening. One of the victims was shot in the head and died. The other, a woman, was shot in the stomach during the unprovoked attack. She is being treated in a local hospital. Witnesses told investigators two men in a pickup truck passed a group of migrants walking along a rural road and were resting at a water tank miles from the US-Mexico border in Hudspeth County. The pair in the truck stopped and backed up. The two men then allegedly got out of the truck and started yelling profanities at the migrants before opening fire, striking two of the migrants, one of them fatally, and wounding another person. The men are twin brothers; one of them has been identified as Michael Sheppard, a warden at West Texas Detention Center, a private prison. He was fired following his arrest on charges of manslaughter. His brother is identified as Mark Sheppard and has also been charged with manslaughter.

Domingo García - LULAC National President

"LULAC is outraged by this execution-style gunning down of innocent people, like hunting for human beings to kill. We lay the blood of these migrants directly at the feet of Governors Abbott and DeSantis, who have fed the worst type of hatemongering against migrants in our recent history. Also, every person who has joined them, overtly through their actions or silence, is complicit in this murder and attempted murder. We can say no to fanning fear and stop those who stir hate speech. America is better than this act of violence. This killing is clearly a hate crime that deserves the harshest penalty under the law. We call on all Americans of faith to join in condemning the hate that produces murderers."

Rudy Rosales - Texas LULAC State Director

"Texas LULAC sounds a strong warning that our community has reached the point of no return. There can be no open season on Hispanics without consequences to those who encourage it, participate in these acts, or look the other way in the name of God while murder is committed. ¡No mas! We are peaceful, hardworking, lawful people, but we are not without a limit to our patience. A line is crossed when innocent, unarmed men and women are shot down like animals, and the perpetrators are charged with manslaughter. This wanton act is, as if to say, the victims are to blame for getting in the way of the bullets! No, this is not justice, and we are not fools to be told it is. To Governors Abbott and DeSantis, I say, this is the result of your dog whistles to incite people into committing acts of violence. You, too should be charged."

Lydia Guzman – LULAC National Immigration Chair

"Sadly, this is the direct result of Republicans' portrayal of migrants: The continual fearmongering rhetoric that portrays migrants as invaders and villains have consequences. This violence is no different than the murder of Ahmaud Arbery, where a father and son killed a black man for sport and hate. These two brothers need to be charged with murder like that father and son were."

About LULAC

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington D.C., with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information visit www.LULAC.org

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