Crime

No criminal charges for ICE agent accused of shoving Kansas City immigration lawyer

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement official who was videotaped shoving a Kansas City attorney to the ground last year won’t face criminal charges, the U.S. attorney said Thursday.

Lawyer Andrea Martinez said she suffered a fractured foot in the incident last June at an ICE office on North Ambassador Drive in Kansas City, North.

When asked for comment about the announcement Thursday, Martinez said in an email, “we are not releasing a press statement at this time.”

Martinez filed a complaint alleging unlawful use of force on the part of the official, Everett Chase. Her complaint was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General.

Timothy Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said Thursday that he had reviewed the investigation into the incident and all available evidence and consulted with career federal prosecutors.

“I have determined that the evidence does not support the allegations,” he announced Thursday.

Garrison said such allegations are taken seriously by the Department of Justice and added “this office will prosecute—and has prosecuted—such cases when the evidence establishes a violation of federal law.”

The incident occurred when Martinez was escorting her client, a 3-year-old who was being reunited with his mother, a Honduran citizen who was being deported.

Martinez alleged that the officer forcibly took the child from her and shoved her, causing her to fall to the ground.

A number of demonstrators were there, along with a documentary film crew that Martinez had invited.

“In light of circumstances created by more than 30 people who came to a routine law enforcement operation at 3 a.m. for the purpose of making a spectacle, the officer’s actions were justified in order to secure and control access to the ICE office entrance from unauthorized persons,” Garrison said in his statement Thursday.

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Tony Rizzo covers federal and state courts for The Kansas City Star, where he has been a reporter for more than 30 years. He is a Kansas City native and veteran of the U.S. Army.
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