Sunday, August 06, 2006

ICE Makes Planned Arrest Of Alleged Police Brutality Victim At A NJ Political Rally

According to the Herald News Tribune article dated August 5, 2006 titled "Arrest like 'bad dream'" by Deborah Lynn Blumberg, Gina Vergel, and Ritu Jha, ICE made a planned arrest of someone who is allegedly the victim of police brutality at a NJ rally that community leaders held to demand justice for the police brutality incident.

Another controversial detail is that according to the Herald News Tribune, ICE claims that it closely coordinated the targeted arrest with local police, but the Edison mayor questions whether that is true.

The journalists suggest that the man arrested, Rajnikant Parikh, has a deportation order against him. It is unclear whether his marriage for two years to a United States citizen would require that ICE stop the deportation.

Regardless of the legal basis for arresting Mr. Parikh, it seems of questionable public policy to make a targeted arrest of someone who is trying to defend his civil rights at a demonstration held to demand justice for him in a case of alleged police brutality. (I say that the police brutality is alleged because both sides hotly dispute whether it an incident on July 4th that left Mr. Parikh bruised should be considered police brutality or justified self-defense by the officer. I suppose what is not disputed is that the officer used force.)

It would be dangerous for ICE to try to defend its actions by arguing that the civil rights demonstration had no basis if ICE believes the use of force was justified. We should encourage everyone living in New Jersey to stand up for their rights and seek justice in cases of suspected racial profiling or police brutality. ICE's action will only discourage immigrants who believe they are victims of police brutality to remain silent and in some cases, the fallout might simply allow officers guilty of police brutality to go free.


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