black jogger stopped by immigration

Michelle Lynne/Facebook

Video shows ICE agents stopping man who was ‘running while Black’

Local politicians demanded answers from the immigration agency.

 

Siobhan Ball

IRL

Published Oct 8, 2020   Updated Oct 8, 2020, 6:19 pm CDT

Bena Apreala was jogging near his home in Boston when two SUVs filled with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents pulled up and demanded to know who he was.

Welcome to Trump’s America. While on a run a few miles from our house, in the West Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, Bena…

Posted by Michelle Lynne on Tuesday, October 6, 2020

The ICE agents allegedly demanded Apreola show them his ID; however, like many people, Apreola doesn’t carry ID with him while jogging and was unable to comply. At this point, Apreola pulled out his phone and began recording the encounter, and the ICE agents reportedly changed their approach, “backing down” and confirming one by one that they were “all set.”

One of the agents then asked Apreola if he had any tattoos on either of his arms. “If I’m free to go, I’m not showing you anything,” Apreola responded. “Thank you. Have a great day, guys.”

Apreola walked away but advised someone on the opposite side of the street to keep filming him “just in case.” Apreola’s wife uploaded the recording to Facebook on Tuesday, providing written context to the incident and urging people to vote.

“He was stopped for ‘running while black’ in a predominantly white neighborhood,” she wrote. “This isn’t something you can ignore and say ‘it doesn’t happen here,’ it does. It happens to your neighbors, friends, and family.”

Later, while speaking on WBUR-FM, Apreola said, “I explained that I wasn’t an immigrant, I’m born and raised in Boston, and that I have no idea what they’re stopping me for. They said that immigration isn’t the only thing that they investigate and proceeded to question me.”

ICE confirmed that the men who accosted Apreola were ICE agents working in the area. “During the encounter, ICE officers determined the individual was not the subject of their investigation and that he did not have any additional information regarding their subject or his whereabouts and was free to leave the scene,” the agency’s statement said.

After the incident gained traction online, Boston City Council member Michelle Wu and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) tweeted about the incident.

Wu tweeted it was “unacceptable” and that “Boston deserves full transparency about who these men were & how we will ensure this doesn’t happen again.” She also promised to follow up with federal authorities.

This is unacceptable & Boston deserves full transparency about who these men were & how we will ensure this doesn’t happen again.  I’ll be following up with our federal representatives to investigate further.

Pressley also called for action and answers from ICE and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). She condemned both agencies, as well as the President Donald Trump and his administration, writing: “For too long, ICE and CBP have acted with impunity—emboldened by a xenophobic Administration and the Occupant of this White House.”

For too long, ICE and CBP have acted with impunity—emboldened by a xenophobic Administration and the Occupant of this White House.   We will not stand by and watch them intimidate, harass and racially profile our Black and Brown communities in Boston or anywhere in the country.
I am calling for an immediate investigation.   - ICE must report whether these officers are affiliated with their agency & how many other agents are patrolling our streets.  - We must understand what they were doing and rationale behind their deployment.   We need answers now.

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H/T Boston Globe

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*First Published: Oct 8, 2020, 6:18 pm CDT