Sanctuary Police Officer Suspended for Handing Illegal Alien Suspect Over to ICE
Cop punished for cooperating with federal immigration authorities
A police officer in a sanctuary county has been suspended for allegedly cooperating with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by handing a suspected illegal alien to agents.
The unnamed Virginia cop is facing disciplinary proceedings after allegedly turning over a suspected undocumented immigrant to federal immigration authorities following a traffic accident last month.
Officials with the sanctuary county Fairfax County Police Department revealed in a Tuesday statement that the incident occurred on September 21 when an officer was dispatched to the scene of a car accident.
One of the drivers in the accident didn't have a Virginia driver's license and the officer ran a check with the state Department of Motor Vehicles, according to the police report.
The DMV check showed the driver had an outstanding violation after failing to show up to a deportation hearing.
The officer alerted ICE officials after verifying the warrant.
According to Fox News, an ICE agent was close by and arrived at the scene.
The officer cited the driver for not have a driver's license and turned them over to the federal agent.
The Fairfax County Police Department enacted a policy in 2007 that prohibits officers from confirming a person's immigration status and detaining them solely based on civil violations of immigration law.
“This is an unfortunate issue where the officer was confused,” Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said.
“We have trained on this issue a lot.
"This is the first time we’ve had a lapse in judgment, and the officer is being punished.”
The driver was released from federal custody after three hours and issued an ankle monitor.
Roessler apologized for the incident and ordered an internal investigation upon learning of it.
"Our county is one of the most diverse counties in the nation and no one should have the perception that FCPD is acting as a civil immigration agent for ICE," he said.
The officer involved has been on the job for a few years, Roessler told The Washington Post.
He added that the officer did not willfully violate the department's policy with respect to cooperating with immigration officials.
He said the officer will undergo remedial training.