ICE Officer Shoots Unarmed Man in the Face, Activist Community Rallies in Response

Feb 7, 2020
8:13 AM

Activists demonstrating outisde Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY (Photo via Twitter/New Sanctuary Coalition)

On Friday morning, Latino Rebels received the following media release statement from New Sanctuary Coalition about the ICE shooting of Eric Diaz, a story that has been reported in New York City media:

BROOKLYN — Faith leaders, immigration activists, and citizens of conscience associated with New Sanctuary Coalition and other organizations rallied outside of Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park for more than seven hours on Thursday, February 6. The gathering was in support of Eric Diaz, who was shot in the face by an ICE agent that morning. Both Mr. Diaz and Gaspar Avendaño-Hernandez were unarmed and both are hospitalized after ICE tasered and pepper-sprayed Mr. Avendaño-Hernandez as they attempted to arrest him without properly identifying themselves or indicating what the charges were.

“Why is ICE shooting at anyone?” New Sanctuary Coalition Executive Director Ravi Ragbir asked. “This is a civilian agency, not a police agency, and the mere fact that they used a gun and fired a shot is excessive force.”

ICE officers continue to occupy space in the patient care area of the medical center. Their continued presence after this violent and excessively aggressive action poses an ongoing threat and can only be interpreted as an intimidation tactic aimed not only at their immediate victims but also at those victims’ families and any other immigrants or undocumented individuals receiving services at the hospital.

Led by New Sanctuary Coalition and other immigrant rights organizations, activists and supporters re-convened at 6 a.m. this morning to stand with the family, offering public and visible and loving support and witness.

A coalition of healthcare workers and nurses will also be conducting a Hospitals are for Healing rally at 4 p.m. today at Ft. Hamilton Parkway and 48th Street. Rally organizers are demanding that ICE agents leave the hospital and cease their intimidation tactics.

UPDATE: ICE issued a statement about the shooting.