Tags: transit | cop | immigration | minnesota

Transit Cop Asks Rider About Immigration Status, Sparks Probe

By    |   Monday, 22 May 2017 01:33 PM

A Minneapolis transit cop caught on video asking about the immigration status of a rider has gone viral on Facebook with more than 1.1 million views in an incident that has prompted an internal affairs investigation.

The video was posted Friday by Ricardo Levins Morales, who was riding the Minneapolis Blue Line light rail train, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Morales wrote on Facebook that he recorded the incident on Sunday, May 14.

The Blue Line connects downtown Minneapolis with the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the popular Mall of America in Bloomington.

"A young man standing in front of me didn't have a satisfactory answer" when the officer asked for proof that he paid his fare, Morales told the Star Tribune. Morales, a local artist, told the newspaper that he started recording the interaction, "because these are the kinds of situations that can escalate quickly."

"Do you have a state ID? Are you here illegally?" the transit officer is heard asking the man on the video after checking for proof of fare.

That was when Morales, who can be heard off camera, ask the officer, "Are you guys authorized to act as immigration police?"

The officer responds, "No, not necessarily."

Morales responded: "I would stay out of that. It's very touchy legal territory." After confronting the officer a little more, the video end with him responding, "OK."

Morales told the newspaper that the crowd dispersed at the next stop and he never saw how the situation with the officer and young man ended or if he just exited the train.

The Star Tribune said that the video attracted more than 54,000 views within three hours, and piqued the interest of Metro Transit, the primary public transportation operator in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington responded to the incident in a statement on Facebook, saying that he has launched an internal investigation and reiterating that it is not the practice of the officers to inquire about immigration status.

"The main priority for our officers is to ensure that our riders and the communities we serve are safe," Harrington said in the Facebook message. "Our officers do this by enforcing our local and state statutes and have not been trained or empowered to act as Federal Immigration authorities . . . At this time, no further details regarding this specific incident are available."

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
A Minneapolis transit cop caught on video asking about the immigration status of a rider has gone viral on Facebook with more than 1.1 million views in an incident that has prompted an internal affairs investigation.
transit, cop, immigration, minnesota
398
2017-33-22
Monday, 22 May 2017 01:33 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved