Monday, November 15, 2010

Community Demands Immediate Release of Antonio Ocampo after 97 Days in Illegal Detention in OPP

From our friends at the New Orleans Workers' Center for Racial Justice:
Federal Judge Hauls Sheriff Gusman To Court After Immigrant Detainee Sues Over Illegal Custody

A federal judge ordered U.S. Marshalls to serve papers on Sheriff Marlin Gusman this morning, demanding that he attend a court hearing today to defend his detention of Antonio Ocampo. Mr. Ocampo sued Sheriff Gusman Friday afternoon, reporting that he had been held in illegal detention for 95 days, in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Community members will stage a protest at Sheriff Gusman’s offices at 1:30 pm today, demanding that he release Mr. Ocampo in advance of the court hearing.

Mr. Ocampo filed five separate official grievance forms in Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) to report his illegal detention. “I gave each written complaint to an official at the prison, he said. “I never got any response.” Constitutional experts said the Sheriff violated Mr. Ocampo’s Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. Mr. Ocampo filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in federal court Friday even as he continued to languish at OPP.

“We will confront Sheriff Gusman directly to demand that he release Antonio Ocampo to the community,” said Jacinta Gonzales, Lead Organizer with the Congress of Day Laborers. “Antonio Ocampo has been in illegal detention for close to 100 days. Sheriff Gusman has violated the Constitution. We won’t let him deport the evidence.”

The judge has ordered Sheriff Gusman to appear in court with Mr. Ocampo at 3 pm today. Members of Mr. Ocampo’s community will hold a press conference at Sheriff Gusman’s office at 1:00 pm, demanding he release Mr. Ocampo in compliance with U.S. law.

WHAT: Press conference and protest aimed at Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

WHY: To demand the immediate release of Mr. Antonio Ocampo, on his 98th day in illegal custody at the hands of Sheriff Marlin Gusman.

WHERE: Office of Sheriff Marlin Gusman, 819 South Broad Street, 70119

WHEN: 1 pm, Monday, November 15, 2010.

WHO: Congress of Day Laborers, New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice, and citizens in defense of the U.S. Constitution.

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