The Tennessee chapter of the ACLU is suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement over an alleged warrantless raid on an apartment complex housing people suspected of being illegal immigrants, during which an officer reportedly said “we don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE.”
In a 37-page complaint on behalf of fifteen plaintiffs, the ACLU and the ACLU of Tennessee allege that on October 20, 2010, ICE agents kicked in the door of several apartments in a complex in Nashville, TN without a warrant, held the tenants at gunpoint, shouted racial slurs and made several arrests.
In one instance, the agents were allegedly knocking on an apartment door, shouting “Police! Police!” in English and Spanish, but when no one answered the agents repeatedly slammed against the door and tried to force it open. “Without a search warrant, the existence of exigent circumstances, or consent to do so, several [ICE] Agents forced their entry through the apartment’s hallway door,” the complaint alleges.
Four of the plaintiffs had gathered in one of the bedrooms of the apartment, and said that one of the agents forced open the door and pointed his gun at them. “We have four here! Four Mexican sons of bitches!”
In one apartment, when the agents were asked for a warrant, one reportedly replied “we don’t need a warrant, we’re ICE,” gestured to his crotch, and added: “The warrant is coming out of my balls.”
During the raids, the ICE agents allegedly also yelled racial slurs at the apartment occupants, like “These fucking wetbacks! They are stupid,” “Little Mexicans,” and “Little Indians,” according to the complaint.
From the ACLU:
Among the plaintiffs are U.S. citizens, including a child detained and interrogated while playing soccer on the playground simply because of the color of his skin. Looking Latino and speaking Spanish is not enough to justify probable cause for questioning and arresting a person. Another plaintiff was carted away in handcuffs in front of his frightened and crying children.
Via Boing Boing.