According to a report from the Washington Free Beacon, the Texas sheriff that has been nominated by the Biden administration to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) allegedly pushed a false claim that a white man murdered a seven-year-old black girl from Houston.
Ed Gonzalez, the Harris County sheriff reportedly proceeded to push the claim even though he received a tip that the actual murders were black. Gonzalez also worked closely with Black Lives Matter (BLM) activist Shaun King to identify Jazmine Barnes’ killer.
Gonzalez took it upon himself to amplify the family’s claim that the gunman was white even after receiving a tip that the killer was black. An attorney for the man King falsely identified as Barnes’ killer stated that King’s allegation might have contributed to his client’s suicide.
The Beacon also reported that King is a controversial figure who has already come under fire for making false allegations in racially charged incidents.
This year, Gonzalez has proposed releasing 1,500 county jail inmates, hundreds of whom faced charges for violent crimes. That combined with his order to scale back cooperation with the federal government on deportations early in the Trump administration, will likely cause him to be more scrutinized by Republicans.
In the incident where Gonzalez pushed the false claim and narrative that a white man murdered a young black girl in the back seat of her mother’s car on December 30, 2018, Gonzalez tweeted on the day of the shooting that the Barnes family described the gunman as a white male in his 40s.
On January 3, 2019, Gonzalez released a police sketch of a suspect matching that exact description. However, a timeline of the investigation shows that King received a tip that later that day that Barnes’ killers were black.
King allegedly said that he shared the tip “immediately” with Gonzalez and that neither of them could make sense of it. But, Gonzalez, who has been sheriff of Harris County since 2017, told a reporter that King shared the tip that eventually led to the arrest of the real killers, Eric Black Jr. and Larry Woodruffe, with him “midweek.”