Brian Jones Kraft
The map can be viewed at https://raidsmap.immdefense.org
Gathered from the firsthand accounts of those targeted by the raids, their attorneys, and other witnesses, the project, dubbed ICE Watch, details ICE raids which have taken place across the country since 2013- the bulk of which are nearly six hundred that have taken place in the greater New York City area.
The map provides summaries of often sudden and chaotic raids that range from detailed reports to brief sentences, emphasizing the aggressive tactics used by the agency. They include Warrantless Entry, Ruses (agents impersonating police officers, FBI agents, probation officers and more) Surveillance and Use of Force.
Of the eleven raids that took place in Bushwick, Ridgewood, and North Bed-Stuy, seven involved ICE agents impersonated police officers- a legal tactic encouraged by the agency in its training protocol. ICE instructs officers to announce themselves as ‘police’ while not identifying themselves as part of a particular police department; in some cases, the practice of the tactic has been successfully argued against as unconstitutional.
The tactic may put a significant amount of people at risk. Ridgewood and Bushwick is home to a number of immigrant communities from various countries including Ecuador, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Though the fear of ICE raids is not new in the area, New York is a sanctuary city, which might give some communities believe that ICE raids can’t happen in this city.
In one alarming Bushwick incident that took place in February of last year, a group of eight ICE agents impersonated police acting on a warrant to gain entry to a residence in the early morning, threatening to smash through a door, then held a man identified as ‘ALA’ and his girlfriend at gunpoint while the latter was wearing only underwear, quickly arresting him without identifying themselves or where they would be taking him.
A report of an April 2017 incident details various residents of a Ridgewood building outwitting an ICE ruse:
“7-8 plain-closed ICE agents came to GR’s apartment building around 7 a.m., stating that they were the police and asking to be let into the building. They claimed they had warrants but did not show them. No one would let them inside the building so they went around to the front of the building and knocked on GR’s window asking him to review photos of the people they were looking for. GR did not let them enter the building or his apartment. At some point the agents were let in by someone into the public space of the bulding and they starting knocking on GR’s front door but GR would not let them in. Eventually they left.”
Another cluster of dozens of raids centered around South Bed-Stuy includes a number of ‘Collateral Arrests’- incidents where ICE agents did not find their intended target and instead arrested someone else. A summary of one of these instances reads simply:
“ICE agents went to the family home of KR looking for him and when he wasn’t there, arrested his family members.”
If any community residents have information on raids in the area, don’t hesitate to reach out to Bushwick Daily.
Cover photo courtesy of MRNY’s Facebook