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metro transit police officer

An encounter between a Metro Transit police officer and a rider was recorded May 14, 2017, on the Blue Line light rail train in Minneapolis, according to a Facebook post. (Facebook video screengrab)

By: The FLF

A metro transit police officer in Minneapolis  was caught on tape asking a train passenger for his immigration status.

Metro Transit police are conducting an internal investigation into a report of one of their officers asking a passenger on a light-rail train if he was “here illegally”. Video of an officer asking a passenger questions was posted on Facebook late Friday afternoon, and was immediately shared hundreds of times; the video states the interaction occurred on Sunday, May 14, on the Minneapolis Blue Line. The officer asks the man’s name, then replies, “That’s not what you gave me.” He then asks for a state ID, then asks, “Are you here illegally?” At that point, the person taking the video interjects, asking the officer, “Are you guys authorized to act as immigration police?” The officer shrugs, and replies, “No, not necessarily.” The man taking the video says, “Then I would stay out of that, it’s very touchy legal territory … I would not act on behalf of another agency if you’re not legally empowered to do so.”

The officer says, “OK,” and the video ends.

Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington posted his own statement to Facebook less than an hour after the video was posted. A department spokesman confirmed that Harrington’s statement was related to the interaction captured in the Facebook video. Harrington said someone outside the department alerted him to the reported incident, and he “immediately called for an Internal Affairs investigation to gather details about this incident and to report back to me as quickly as possible.” He added that, “It is not the practice of the Metro Transit police to inquire about the immigration status of our riders,” and later added that his officers “have not been trained or empowered to act as Federal Immigration authorities.” He then quoted department policy that Metro Transit officers treat everyone equally and recognize “the dignity of all persons, regardless of their immigration status.”

Although it’s a great effort on the part of Metro Transit Police Chief to show immediate concern in this trying time we are living in, especially for the immigrant community here in America. I still find it appalling that we as a nation have allowed ourselves to go against the very principles that make this nation the greatest nation on the planet. In our efforts to continue fighting the good fight we encourage anyone who feels threatened and/or seeks trustworthy immigration counsel to reach out to the Fogle Law Firm, LLC. We are a boutique immigration firm specializing in navigating these trying times for our immigrant clients and the immigrant community overall. We have a nationwide reach and eagerly await your call.