DEL RIO , Texas — Rev. Al Sharpton was shouted down by protesters while attempting to speak about U.S. Border Patrol’s treatment of Haitian migrants and an incident involving its horse patrol unit.
The civil rights advocate was forced to leave the podium at an outdoor press conference in Del Rio Thursday afternoon after speaking for just two minutes and 30 seconds at the podium.
“We went for an hour and toured the place that we feel is a real catastrophic and human disgrace as people around this world watch the Border Patrol use slave-like techniques — mounted on horses. It compelled us to come and show our voices and our presence,” Sharpton said, fighting to speak over at least two male protesters in the crowd who attempted to drown him out.
“How much money are you making? Why are you here advocating for violence? Del Rio is not a racist city. Del Rio is a loving, caring community,” the men yelled. “We don’t want your racism in Texas. Get out of here. You’re a disgrace. You’re a racist. Nobody wants you in Texas. Nobody wants you in Texas.”
Rev. Al Sharpton, center, speaks to reporters after touring an encampment of migrants, mostly from Haiti, along the Del Rio International Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Julio Cortez/AP
Sharpton continued with his remarks, though he did not reveal what he had learned during the hour-long tour of the migrant camp, where fewer than 4,000 migrants remained as of Thursday morning compared to 15,000 on Saturday.
“The Trump supporters and the right-wingers can scream all they want,” said Sharpton. “We gon’ continue to come back. We gon’ stand with our people to make sure that [unintelligble] is treated in one way and one manner. And we intend to come back over and over again. For people to be treated like this in an inhumane way, for people to feel that they can use weaponization of horses to treat human beings…”
Rev. Freddie Haynes, right, senior pastor at Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, argues with a protester after Rev. Al Sharpton spoke to reporters after touring an encampment of migrants, mostly from Haiti, along the Del Rio International Bridge, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Julio Cortez/AP
Sharpton vowed to “keep coming back as long as is necessary” and called for Border Patrol’s horse patrol unit to be investigated.
“This is a loving community,” the protesters continued. “Get out of Texas. Get out of Texas. You are wrong. You are wrong. The Border Patrol are heroes.”
Earlier this week, a Border Patrol agent on horseback was photographed and filmed by the riverbank, just hundreds of feet from the Del Rio-Ciudad Acuna International Bridge, in what looked like an altercation with a Haitian man. The agent was accused of using a whip to injure the man, as well as grabbing the man, though it is not clear why.
Border Patrol agents assigned to horses are not issued whips but do have extra-long reins because of the thick brush horses must ride through, which can get tangled in branches and jerk a horse’s head back.
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Original Author: Anna Giaritelli