Leaked video shows guards at a private detention center dog-piling a Black migrant: 'I was struggling to breathe'

·2 min read
Brandon
"I was struggling to breathe. I couldn't move. I was feeling so weak," Brandon told Insider.Anna Watts for Insider
  • Video obtained by Insider shows the moment guards at a Louisiana detention center tackled a Black asylum seeker.

  • "I was struggling to breathe. I couldn't move. I was feeling so weak," the victim, Brandon, told Insider.

  • Brandon said that he believed he was treated harshly "because I was Black and from Africa."

A leaked video obtained by Insider shows the moment guards at a private Louisiana detention center violently tackled a Black asylum seeker.

The incident unfolded at the LaSalle Correctional Center in the Louisiana town of Urania in February 2020, according to an Insider report by John Washington and José Olivares.

"I was struggling to breathe. I couldn't move. I was feeling so weak," the victim, an asylum seeker from Cameroon named Brandon, told Insider as he recalled how the guards dog-piled on top of him.

Shortly before the incident, Brandon was playing a video game in the rec room of the correctional center where he had been locked up for five months.

A Salvadoran man who had been watching over Brandon's shoulder started joking around and covering Brandon's eyes, prompting Brandon to lift up his hand to mock punch the man.

Minutes later, the guards confronted Brandon, telling him he was being transferred to a new dorm – which meant away from fellow Cameroonians and the other Africans he had befriended, according to the report.

In leaked surveillance video footage 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, the guards can be seen ramming Brandon's head into the wall, placing him in a chokehold, spinning him around, and pinning him down on the floor.

Brandon, who was then tossed into a solitary confinement cell for three days, told Insider that he believed he was treated that way "because I was Black and from Africa."

When Brandon was finally released from detention he realized he had a CD in his bag with a recording of the guards tackling him. He does not know how the CD got there.

LaSalle Corrections did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Detainees and immigration attorneys described a disturbing pattern of anti-Black racism at detention centers for migrants, according to Insider's report.

Read the original article on Insider