Police officer fired after questioning immigration status of illegal alien


An illegal alien featured in a viral video is being deported following his recorded interaction with a Minneapolis Metro Transit Police officer who questioned his immigration status.

While aboard a light rail train on May 14, Ariel Vences-Lopez was caught on video as he was asked by a transit officer if he was in the country illegally. The man who recorded the video, Minneapolis artist Ricardo Levins Morales, interrupts the officer and questions his authority as it relates to matters of immigration.

According to a statement from Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington, the officer who questioned Vences-Lopez has been dismissed.

“We … are working to reestablish the trust that was broken by this isolated incident,” Harrington said, adding that Metro Transit Police are not “trained or authorized to act as federal immigration authorities.”

Vences-Lopez was detained following the incident for failing to pay the fare to ride the light rail and booked at Hennepin County Jail.

“There was no reference to his immigration status in the police reports, nor did MTPD notify ICE or any other agency of any immigration-related concerns,” Harrington said.

Officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials reported that Ariel Vences-Lopez was detained on May 15 for immigration violations.

On May 23, a federal immigration judge ordered Vences-Lopez to be deported to Mexico.

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