Massachusetts (October 8, 2020) – Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), along with Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) and Stephen F. Lynch (MA-08), today wrote to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) demanding answers to questions surrounding the October 6, 2020, apparent stop-and-detention of Bena Apreala, a Black man, while jogging in West Roxbury. The letter seeks information from ICE about the incident and why ICE was operating in West Roxbury.
On October 6, 2020, unidentified officers in unmarked SUVs with tinted windows stopped Mr. Apreala while he was jogging on the VFW Parkway in West Roxbury. According to Mr. Apreala, before questioning him, these officers did not identify themselves or provide a reason for stopping and detaining him. When Mr. Apreala observed an ICE badge on one of the officers, he asked if the officer worked for ICE, to which the latter responded “yes.” It was not until Mr. Apreala began video recording the interaction that the officers allowed him to leave. An ICE statement issued late yesterday was inconsistent with aspects of Mr. Apreala’s account.
In the letter, the lawmakers express their concern about ICE’s stopping a United States citizen and about ICE’s activities in the West Roxbury neighborhood.
“Interactions such as the one Mr. Apreala experienced with ICE agents raise serious questions about the violation of individual constitutional rights and law enforcement’s targeting and harassing individuals based on race,” write the Massachusetts lawmakers. “More broadly, these incidents heighten suspicion of and erode faith in law enforcement throughout the community.”
A copy of the letter can be found HERE.
In the letter, the lawmakers ask for responses to the following questions: