Immigrants rights groups respond to new video of ICE encounter

Posted at 9:53 PM, Jul 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-25 23:15:32-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Tennessee Immigrants and Refugee Rights Coalition is reacting to a video that apparently shows a new angle to the encounter between federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and a Hermitage man on Monday.

The Nashville immigrants rights group The Mix provided the video, saying it was shot by the man being confronted by ICE agents this week.

"We'll just call the cops and they'll arrest you," the man -- said to be the ICE agent -- tells the man inside the van. No faces are shown in the cell phone video. "And then when they're done with you in the jail, then we'll get you. You understand? And then, we'll probably come back and talk to your wife," the man outside the van says.

Metro police officers were at the ICE scene in Hermitage Monday, but Mayor David Briley said they were only there to keep neighbors safe and secure a perimeter.

"Our police officers do not actively participate in immigration enforcement efforts and only serve as peacekeepers," Briley said in a statement earlier this week.

But at a meeting Thursday night, TIRRC spoke about how they say Nashville is making it easier for Immigration agents to intimidate neighbors.

Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, a representative with TIRRC, said even if Metro Police aren't taking part in the raids themselves, their presence alone is being used by ICE agents to spark fear.

"MNPD needs to establish clear procedures about their interactions with ICE and to make sure they're not used by ICE to intimidate and threaten people as we have seen in the video that has surfaced," Sherman-Nikolaus said, referring to the part in the newly-released video where the ICE agent says "the cops" will arrest the man in the van.

The Davidson County Sheriff says anyone arrested in any ICE raid will not be held in his facilities.

"That person would never interact with the Sheriff's office," he said on Monday. "They do not house them here, we do not keep that person here, we're not involved with ICE, at all, there's a lot of misunderstanding and confusion about that."