Video shows Black jogger stopped by ICE agents in Boston, investigation now underway
29-year-old Bena Apreala was stopped while jogging in Boston by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Apreala told WBUR, he was running a few miles from his home when two SUVs approached him. One of the vehicles blocked the sidewalk and pulled up beside him.
“These guys just hopped out in full camouflage uniforms with masks over their face, and stopped me, and told me to immediately identify (myself),” he said. “I was confused as to whether or not they were even legitimate authority.”
Apreala said three officers who were white, didn’t identify themselves as law enforcement, however, Apreala saw an ICE badge on one of the officers according to the news station. Apreala told them he was born in Boston and was a U.S. citizen. One officer told him he matched the description of someone they were looking for.
The officers were “looking for a previously deported Haitian national with multiple criminal convictions and pending cocaine and fentanyl trafficking charges that may have been residing in the area,” the spokesperson said.
Apreala didn’t have his I.D. with him but gave officers his full name and address. That’s when he started to record the encounter that would later be posted on Facebook by his wife. In the video, Apreala says the officers said he was free to go, but as he proceeded to leave one officer asked him to see his arm.
“Do you have any tattoos on your left or right arm? So we can confirm and we’ll be out of here,” the man said.
“Am I free to go?” Apreala replied. “Do I have to show you? If I’m free to go, then I’m not showing you anything. Thank you. Have a great day, guys.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh called the video “extremely disturbing to watch.”
The ACLU of Massachusetts who’s representing Apreala says it will investigate the incident.
“This incident raises serious constitutional questions and is disturbing on a human level,” Rahsaan Hall, director of the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts, said in a statement.