Seattle/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 01, 2024
Activists Face Intimidation at Tacoma ICE Facility Vigil in Wake of Detainee's DeathSource: Google Street View

Tensions are rising in Tacoma as immigrant rights activists report escalating harassment while maintaining a vigil at a local ICE facility. Members of La Resistencia and Tsuru for Solidarity have set up an encampment outside the Northwest ICE Processing Center in a show of solidarity and oversight following the death of detainee Charles Leo Daniel.

According to FOX 13 Seattle, Vilma Arias of La Resistencia revealed that activists were faced with intimidation, particularly when the group was compromised solely of women. "At the beginning, we were just scared because it was only women, and we were just like, 'What's going on? Everybody gathers around. Just stay all together,'" she said. The encampment began on March 12, as activists endeavored to closely monitor the center following the puzzling death of Daniel.

61-year-old Charles Leo Daniel was found unresponsive in his cell at the privately run federal immigration detention center on March 7. As per details provided by The News Tribune, Detective William Muse of the Tacoma Police stated that after being found slumped off his bed, detention center staff dragged Daniel into a hallway to administer medical aid. Tacoma Fire Department personnel continued attempts to revive him but declared Daniel dead at 11:35 a.m. The cause of his death remains undisclosed.

Reacting to not just Daniel's death, but also to the ongoing hunger strikes by detainees, activists are committed to a 24-hour presence outside the detention facility, previously known as Northwest Detention Center. "In the wake of Daniel’s death, members from La Resistencia and Tsuru for Solidarity along with other volunteers committed to monitoring the detention center, 1623 E. J St., 24 hours a day while also showing support for the detainees, some of whom are on their third hunger strike of the year," as reported by The Columbian. This increased surveillance aims to protect the rights of detainees and ensure transparency at the facility.

Meanwhile, the confrontation at the encampment continues to brew as activists brace for further hostility and stand firm in their advocacy for immigrant rights. Details regarding the investigation into Charles Leo Daniel's death are expected to emerge, as authorities proceed to piece together the events that led to the tragedy.