Texas Civil Rights Project Alleges Zero Tolerance Policy Led to Man's Suicide

3 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Monday, August 19 2019 Aug 19, 2019 August 19, 2019 11:47 PM August 19, 2019 in News - Local

MCALLEN - A lawsuit filed against the federal government alleges a former administration policy is to blame for the loss of one man's life.

The man committed suicide last year while he was under federal custody at a jail in Starr county.

His family believes it was a preventable death, but one brought on by the frustration at being separated over and over.

The Texas Civil Rights Project filed the lawsuit this week.

It alleges zero tolerance policy created anxiety and stress that led to a separated father's suicide.

The Honduran family crossed the river near Granjeno May 2018.

They were separated by CBP and taken to the processing center.

The man, Marco Antonio Muñoz, became distraught and aggressive shaking and kicking the cage at the center.

He was taken to Starr county where he got into an altercation with two detention officers.

Muñoz was put into a padded cell.

The following day, he had strangled himself with his clothing.

Attorneys contest the jail did not perform the mandatory checks required of inmates considered suicidal or mentally unstable.

CBP says they cannot comment on ongoing litigation.

We reached out to Starr county.

Starr county attorney Victor Canales sent us a response reading:

"Starr County will be vehemently defending this lawsuit. Starr County denies each and every allegation that has been made. Starr County stands behind the Sheriff and his staff."

 Texas Civil Rights Project attorneys say this is the first lawsuit alleging zero tolerance policy led to a suicide.

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