HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Hartford officials say agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, who were only wearing identification saying “Police,” tried to get an undocumented woman to meet them at the City’s Public Safety Complex so they could detain her.
On Sunday, March 12, officials say the ICE agents used the city’s facility to try to get a woman to meet up with them. They believe the agents hid all identification of their affiliation with ICE, and only wore apparel saying “Police” to appear that they were local police.
“To protect our community, our police and other public safety officers need to foster a relationship of trust with all of our residents. Our police officers have worked hard to build that trust, and for ICE agents to present themselves as local police will undermine the hard work our department has done. We follow all state and federal laws, and we will partner with anyone to help get violent criminals off our streets. But federal agents should not be creating the impression that they are local police,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin.
Hartford Police Chief James Rovella also released a statement condemning the ICE agents’ actions.
“All law enforcement officials, not acting in an undercover capacity, working in our community should be readily identified by the agencies that they represent. ICE Agents should not identify as local police as it is misleading and can damage the important relationship with our local communities.”
Hartford considers itself a sanctuary city and does not allow collection of immigration information by local police or city agencies.