The Office of the Inspector General of the immigration department will visit Kansas City next week to investigate the alleged assault of an attorney by an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer that was captured on video and widely shared.
Immigration attorney Andrea Martinez said she has been told the investigator will spend all week here interviewing her and another attorney at her firm, the ICE officers involved and perhaps others.
The investigation may be complicated, however, by proprietary claims of a Netflix documentary crew that has audio as well as video recordings of the encounter. Netflix will not willingly share that evidence with the Office of the Inspector General, Martinez said Friday.
But amateur video went viral showing Martinez falling to the ground in front of the door to the ICE office at 11125 N. Ambassador Drive in the early morning hours of June 26.
Martinez says ICE officer Everett Chase pushed her to the ground to keep her from entering the office and to separate her from a 3-year-old client she was attempting to reunite with his mother. Martinez sustained a fracture in her right foot and bloody injuries to her left ankle and leg.
Later that morning, ICE deported Kenia Bautista-Mayorga, who was six months pregnant, and her son, Noah, to their native Honduras. But that was not before ICE arrested Bautista-Mayorga's partner and the father of her unborn baby, Luis Alfredo Diaz Inestroza.
Noah had been staying with Inestroza in Texas after he was separated from his mother and she was being held in the Platte County jail pending deportation. Bautista-Mayorga, who illegally crossed the border in early 2016, was arrested May 16 after the Missouri Highway Patrol noticed a car drift onto the shoulder of Interstate 35 about 30 miles northeast of Kansas City. She was a passenger; Inestroza was driving.
Martinez and her law partner, Megan Galicia, say ICE reneged on an agreement that the reunion of son and mother and a chance for the adults to say goodbye could take place in the ICE parking lot. Inestroza was not to be arrested, Martinez said.
Shortly after Martinez went down, she was allowed in the building, where Noah cried as Inestroza was detained for deportation proceedings.
Both Martinez and Inestroza were wearing microphones that allowed the documentary crew to capture everything that was said, Martinez said. The ICE officers apparently were not aware of that.
About 50 people gathered Friday afternoon outside the ICE office to protest the agency's actions. They want Chase and another ICE officer who was present that morning suspended or fired, and they want Inestroza freed.
"I will not be able to walk the streets of Kansas City a free man unless Luis (Inestroza) is free," said the Rev. Rodney Williams of Swope Parkway United Christian Church. "We want ICE to know you are on our watch list."
Roger K. McCrummen read a statement of support from the American Immigration Lawyers Association, which believes this is the first case of an immigration attorney being assaulted by an ICE officer.
Justice Gatson, an organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, said that organization also endorsed the protestors' demands.
McCrummen and Judy Ancel, president of the Cross Border Network for Justice & Solidarity, attempted to deliver petitions in person Friday to Todd Nay, the officer in charge of the ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations office. They left them with officers just inside the door.
Martinez did not attend the protest rally. She said later she was too traumatized to return to the ICE building where she was assaulted.