TENNESSEE: ICE Shoots Undocumented Immigrant in Attempted Arrest

Photo: Bullet holes are visible in the windshield of the white van driven by the undocumented immigrant who was shot by ICE last week.

By Ulrike Salazar

An ICE agent shot an undocumented immigrant for allegedly driving toward him on September 5 in Antioch, Tennessee. Despite the allegations, the undocumented immigrant was not charged, calling into question the authenticity of the agent’s allegations.

The 39-year-old undocumented Mexican immigrant was pulled over during a traffic stop last Thursday morning in the parking lot of a grocery store in Antioch. After the stop, the man drove away. This is when the ICE agent opened fire, injuring the man in the stomach and elbow.

ice shoot man in white van
The FBI is investigating the shooting as an assault on a federal officer

It is unclear why law enforcement is not releasing the name of the Mexican national, but ICE was quick to cite the justifications for attempting to apprehend the man, saying he has prior local convictions and has allegedly been deported multiple times from the US.

The man turned himself in to the FBI but was quickly released from custody. Both the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are investigating the shooting as potential assault on a federal officer.

Nashville Mayor David Briley has criticized both the FBI and ICE for the shooting, but paints the metropolitan police as more humane. Last Thursday in a public statement, Briley said local law enforcement went looking for the man after the shooting so that he could receive medical assistance.

Contrary to Briley’s publicity move, collaboration between Police Departments and ICE is well-documented across the country, including Nashville. Recently, ICE called the local Nashville police in July to support their efforts to detain a man and his son. Fortunately, neighbors and activists rallied to defend them and prevented their arrests that day, showing that it is possible and necessary to defy ICE and the police.

Unlike the encounter in July, the man who was shot by ICE last week did not have anyone to defend him. The spirit of resistance against ICE across the country must be cultivated into concrete combativeness. A recent disclosure showed that the FBI has been spying on immigration activists in Arizona, illustrating the serious necessity for resistance to ICE to develop into a disciplined force with a paramilitary character.