Posted on May 13, 2021

ICE Nominee Worked with BLM to Push False Claim That White Man Murdered 7-Year-Old Black Girl

Chuck Ross, Washington Free Beacon, May 12, 2021

The Texas sheriff nominated to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement pushed a false claim that a white man murdered a seven-year-old black girl from Houston, even after receiving a tip that the actual killers were black.

Ed Gonzalez, the Harris County sheriff and the Biden administration’s choice for ICE director, worked closely with Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King to identify Jazmine Barnes’s killer. Gonzalez amplified the family’s claim that the gunman was white even after he received a tip that Barnes’s killers were black. An attorney for the man King falsely identified as the shooter said King’s allegation might have contributed to his client’s suicide.


Jazmine Barnes was gunned down in the back seat of her mother’s car on Dec. 30, 2018. On the day of the shooting, Gonzalez said on Twitter that Barnes’s family described the gunman as a white male in his 40s. He released a police sketch of a suspect matching that description on Jan. 3, 2019.

A timeline of the investigation shows that King received a tip that Barnes’s killers were black later that day. King said that he shared the tip “immediately” with Gonzalez but that they “could not just make sense of it.” But Gonzalez, who has been sheriff of Harris County since 2017, told a reporter that King shared the tip that led to the arrest of the real killers, Eric Black, Jr., and Larry Woodruffe, with him “midweek.” {snip}

The Barnes murder became a national media sensation after Gonzalez, King, and others trumpeted the girl’s mother’s belief that the shooting was racially motivated. Attorney Lee Merritt, who represented Barnes’s family, leveled a hate crime allegation during a Jan. 3, 2019, press conference he held with Gonzalez.


King pushed the false narrative of a white killer even after he acknowledged receiving a tip about Black and Woodruffe.

In a now-deleted Jan. 4 tweet, King falsely identified Robert Cantrell as a potential suspect in the shooting. He said that Cantrell had been arrested on unrelated charges hours after Barnes was killed. King posted a mug shot of Cantrell from that arrest and said the man was known to be “violent” and “racist.”

Cantrell started receiving death threats as soon as the police sketch was released, his attorney said. He hanged himself in July 2019 in a Houston-area jail where he was being held on theft charges. {snip}

Gonzalez spoke glowingly of King during a press conference on Jan. 6, 2019, even though the activist had misidentified Cantrell as the killer.