IBTimes UK
Metro Transit in Minneapolis opened an investigation into a police officers actions after a video was posted on 20 May, showing the officer asking a light rail rider about his immigration status.Artist Ricardo Levins Morales posted the video of the incident, which he said happened on 14 May, under the banner asking why transit police are asking riders about their immigration status. The officer asks the man for his name and then says that it isnt what the man gave the officer. The officer then asks the man if he has state identification and if hes here illegally. Morales said via email to Storyful that the car was being spot checked by the officer to ensure everyone had paid. Everyone was asked to produce proof of payment, but the man in the video could not produce proof of payment, he said.He did not know what happened to the man in the video because everyone exited the train at the next stop for a bus because the tracks ahead were under repair. Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington issued a statement on Friday about the incident saying they had opened an internal affairs investigation.It is not the practice of the Metro Transit police to inquire about the immigration status of our riders, he wrote. The main priority for our officers is to ensure that our riders and the communities we serve are safe. Our officers do this by enforcing our local and state statutes and have not been trained or empowered to act as federal immigration authorities.