Video footage of children hitting a piñata that looks like an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent in Chicago on July 13 has stirred up controversy online.
Members of the Los Brown Berets, a pro-Chicano nonprofit group, recreated a Batman piñata to look like an ICE officer and brought it to an East Side Community Day event.
In the video, children are seen hitting the object with sticks as those nearby cheer them on.
Leader of the Los Brown Berets, Anthony Martinez, said, “It was not meant in a negative way at all towards law enforcement,” adding that the intention of the piñata was to make a statement regarding current immigration policies and the so-called separation of families at the southern border.
“We’re just making a statement that the federal government’s recent actions regarding deportation are wrong,” he concluded.
“Yes we are Radical and Controversial, we will always have people against us and that’s why we are here to Serve, observe and protect those in need,” the Los Brown Berets wrote on their Facebook page regarding the event. “A piñata is a Mexican tradition that shows hard work pays off. A piñata is Not meant to be violent, it’s Our culture.”
Marvin Covington, a member of the East Side Chamber of Commerce, said he was unaware that the piñata would be at the community event.
“It wasn’t told to me, ‘Hey, there’s going to be an ICE piñata coming,’ but it was there,” he told CBS 2.
The block party also featured a game where children threw balls at a piece of wood with President Trump’s face painted on it.
The Los Brown Berets’ Facebook page states that the group is a “civil right movement we are base on the chicano movement.” The organization also says that they are always recruiting new members.
“We are highly against police brutality and those who oppress our raza. We fight for what is right for the raza,” the page reads.