AFGE condemns the act of violence against federal employees and federal facilities following reports of two shooting incidents at an ICE office in San Antonio, Texas, and a Department of Veterans Affairs hospital in Chicago, Illinois.
Investigators are looking for suspects who shot into a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement office inside the Jefferson Bank building in San Antonio on Aug. 13. According to officials, the shots came close to hitting federal employees in the building.
“AFGE unequivocally condemns this act of violence against ICE employees in San Antonio, as well as other recent acts of anti-ICE employee violence that have been reported in the media,” said AFGE President J. David Cox Sr. “No federal employee should ever have to worry that they will be the target of gun violence simply because they have committed their lives to serving our country and faithfully carrying out the laws and policies enacted by our elected, political leadership.”
The day before in Chicago, a man was arrested after walking into the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center with an assault rifle and firing shots. The suspect was identified as Bernard Harvey of Indianapolis.
AFGE Local 789, which represents employees at the hospital, said while the local recognizes internal security practices are a management right by statute, the local hopes that the event is looked at as a learning opportunity by Jesse Brown's leadership.
“Given we are front line staff, we have valuable ideas on how to assist in keeping everyone safe during emergencies and thus we are hopeful that Jesse Brown's executive leadership seeks the union’s input and participation in any ongoing improvements to our organization’s ability to respond to threats,” said Local 789 President Anne Lindgren.