In Virginia Tuesday, Fairfax Count Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. publicly rebuked one of his officers.
What’d the cop do wrong? During a routine traffic stop September 21st, he discovered the driver had no license and no legal status in the country.
Therefore, the officer contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
In a press release, Chief Edwin lambasted the act as “unacceptable,” further claiming it had “damaged” the department’s reputation.
The incident was described in detail:
The officer found that one driver did not have a Virginia Operator’s license and obtained the driver’s information to conduct a check to verify the DMV record. During the query of the driver’s information, the officer received notification from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE), that the driver was wanted by ICE for an administrative violation warrant on file for the failure to appear for a deportation hearing. The officer then contacted the ICE agent that was listed as the point of contact on the confirmation of the warrant. The ICE agent advised the officer that they were close by and responding to the location of the traffic crash. The FCPD officer then issued a uniform summons to the driver for not having an operator’s license. The driver signed the summons. However, the officer then decided to detain the driver through a custodial detention and turned over custody to the ICE agent.
And Edwin said that was crappy:
If the response reads “OUTSTANDING ADMINISTRATIVE WARRANT OF REMOVAL” and the individual is not in custody or being taken into custody for any other violation of law, officers shall not confirm the hit through LESC and shall not take the individual into custody based solely upon the IVF hit. The majority of such administrative warrants represent civil violations of immigration law.
Then he bore down on the offending cop:
As a matter of full transparency to our community — our police officer violated our longstanding policy and deprived a person of their freedom, which is unacceptable. We have been informed by ICE that the driver was released after three hours and issued an ankle monitor. When I learned of this event, I directed an immediate internal investigation to look at all factors in this matter to ensure that all are held accountable for this violation.
In his wrap-up, the chief championed diversity while lamenting the damage caused by the officer — who was dadgum suspended:
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. This matter damages our reputation and the longstanding policy that I have stated many times that our officers shall not act as immigration agents. The officer involved in this event has been relieved of all law enforcement duties pending the outcome of this investigation. It is my duty to enforce our FCPD – and Fairfax County – policies and hold all accountable for their actions.”
Does a press release strike you as a surprising bit of much in this case?
It certainly struck some. As a bit of hooey.
The Washington Times reports:
[O]ffers of assistance and support for the officer poured in…and Chief Roessler was harshly criticized for attempting to make an example out of the officer.
But surprise! Due to the public outcry, there was a flip-flop:
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin C. Roessler Jr. announced Wednesday that he had canceled the suspension and restored to duty an officer who had turned an illegal immigrant over to ICE.
This was surely a disappointment to activists, who’d praised Edwin for his bold step and solidarity with their community.
Check out Hump Day’s altogether different tune:
“We have one of the best police forces in the U.S. and I have confidence that our officer will represent us well throughout his career.”
Well, that was nice.
But not too nice — the investigation’s ongoing.
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