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Photo by Josh Souza.

ACLU, Kennedy seek probe of Bristol County Sheriff ICE detention uprising


Katie Lannan
State House News Service

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts and Congressman Joe Kennedy III are calling for an independent investigation into a Friday night uprising at the ICE detention center at the Bristol County House of Correction.

The ACLU also asked for Gov. Charlie Baker to “use his executive powers to establish safe, humane, and transparent protocols to make universal testing available for all jails, prisons, and ICE detention facilities throughout the state.”

In a statement Friday night, Bristol Sheriff Thomas Hodgson’s office said a group of about 10 Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees “refused to get tested for COVID-19, then when notified they were required to be tested because of reporting symptoms, rushed violently at Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson and corrections officers, barricaded themselves inside the facility, ripped washing machines and pipes off the wall, broke windows and trashed the entire unit.” Three detainees were taken to the hospital after and are expected to be fine, Hodgson’s office said.

The advocacy group The FANG Collective said the detainees, worried about transmission risks and concerned they’d be sent to solitary confinement, asked to be tested in their own unit and that request “resulted in a violent assault by correctional officers, including the use of pepper spray.”

On Twitter, Congressman Joe Kennedy III said he was monitoring the treatment of detainees. Kennedy also called for an investigation and “the release of surveillance footage to ascertain exactly what happened and ensure accountability.”

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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  1. Keep up the great work at an impossible task my good man. Sherriff Hogson, we applaud your efforts in upholding the LAW against individuals whose first act on American soil was to commit a crime.

  2. They certainly are not acting like people we want in America. My parents immigrated to this country LEGALLY and taught me to obey the Laws. Riot over testing?? I’d love to be able to get tested. now taxpayers have to pay to fix the damage!

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