Brownsville environmental activist Bekah Hinojosa was wrongfully arrested and imprisoned for 26 hours.
On the morning of Wednesday, February 16, 2022, two cars of Brownsville police broke into the home of local environmental activist Bekah Hinojosa. Without allowing her to properly dress and without providing a warrant, they arrested her, took away her prescription eyeglasses, subjected her to interrogation without a lawyer, and held her in isolation for 26 hours, all based on a single alleged charge of Class B misdemeanor graffiti.
Immediately after her release and apparently in coordination with city jail officials, the Mayor of Brownsville, Trey Mendez, attempted to single out and publicly attack Hinojosa by publishing her mugshot on his official Facebook page. In Mayor Mendez’s post, he also published the name of Hinojosa’s employer in an apparent attempt to harm her ability to earn a living. Mayor Mendez made clear that he was lashing out because she is quoted in anti-SpaceX articles and because of a small message that had been painted below the controversial “BTX” mural in downtown Brownsville, to the effect of “gentrified / stop SpaceX.” By the morning of Friday, Feb 18, the graffiti at the bottom of the mural was covered up. Read for more background: Texas Observer article published 2-22-22 by Gus Bova:
Please donate to cover the costs of court and campaigning to drop the charge!
The mayor has abused his official authority and subjected Hinojosa to a violent arrest because she is outspoken about the destructive impacts that SpaceX is causing to our environment and community. This is clear retaliation motivated by Rebekah’s 1st Amendment protected conduct to challenge the environmental impact of SpaceX. Mayor Mendez is violating federal law.
Right now we are asking for donations to help cover:
Campaigning to drop the charge
Ultimately, we are demanding that they drop the Class B Misdemeanor and the City of Brownsville launch an investigation into Mayor Mendez for abuse of power. We will continue to protest the negative environmental impact of continuing space launches, and we will continue to oppose the Mayor’s efforts to sell Brownsville to Elon Musk.