Things That Matter

Cop Responded To His Cries For Help By Having Him Sent To An Immigration Detention Center

On April 27, 31-year-old Honduran immigrant Marcos Antonio Huete was hit by a pickup truck while riding his bicycle to work in Key West, Florida. When police showed up, Huete was not treated like a victim at all, but rather the immigrant was treated like a suspect. Recently-released police body cam footage shows that the first officer on the scene immediately began interrogating Huete, rather than checking on his safety.

Instead of checking on Antonio Huete’s physical well-being, the officer began asking about his immigration status, video from Univision shows.

UNIVISION.COM

As they approach Antonio Huete, who can be seen laying on the ground after being hit by the pickup, the officer begins questioning Huete’s immigration status, saying, “You illegal? Are you a legal citizen or no? Speak English? You got ID? Passport, visa, or what?” As Think Progress points out, the officer failed to live up to the Monroe County (the County where Key West is located) Sheriff’s Office Code of Ethics, which states officers are expected to “treat people with dignity, good faith and equity; without discrimination.”

Things only got worse for Antonio Huete after he finally received medical attention.

UNIVISION.COM

Antonio Huete was told to return to the scene after he received medical attention. Upon returning, he was fined $75 because officers determined he was at fault for the accident. He was then detained by Border Patrol and has since been held at the Krome Detention Center in Miami, Florida, Think Progress reports.

Antonio Huete’s sister told Univision, “The fact that we do not have papers does not mean that we do not have rights.”


As Think Progress reports, Antonio Huete’s deportation apparently stems from a deportation order from 2010. Critics, however, argue that aside from not offering medical assistance to Antonio Huete, the police department is under no obligation to contact immigration agents. Other criticism stems from how the officer handled the situation. Howard Simon from the American Civil Liberties Union told Univision, “Asking for immigration status to a person after being hit by a car offends human rights sensitivity and is very counterproductive for effective law enforcement.”

This incident is similar to another in which a passenger was questioned by Minneapolis Transit police.

This incident occurred on the Minneapolis Blue Line light rail train, northbound on Sunday, May 14, 2017. Question of the Day: why are Metro Transit Police asking people's immigration status???

Posted by Ricardo Levins Morales on Friday, May 19, 2017

Ricardo Levins Morales / FACEBOOK

Video from Ricardo Morales captured the incident, which occurred on May 14th. Minneapolis Metro Transit police confronted a passenger over fare, but the conversation quickly turned to an interrogation on the person’s immigration status. While filming, Morales asked the officers, “Are you guys authorized to act as immigration police?” He then informed them that asking questions about a person’s immigration status was “very touchy legal territory.” After Morales’ intervention, the video shows, the officer dropped his questioning.

Metro has assured its citizens that Minneapolis is still a sanctuary city, despite this incident.


In an attempt to reassure passengers, Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington released the following statement to the Metro Transit’s Facebook page:

It is not the practice of the Metro Transit police to inquire about the immigration status of our riders. Our policy states:

“It is the policy of the Metro Transit Police Department that all members make personal and professional commitments to equal enforcement of the law and equal service to the public. Confidence in this commitment will increase the effectiveness of this department in protecting and serving the entire community and recognizing the dignity of all persons, regardless of their immigration status.”

(VIA: Univision)

READ: These Videos Show That Latinos Know How To Keep Their Cool In The Face Of Mounting Hatred All Over The Country

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Naked Woman Is Stuck In Storm Drain For Weeks But How She Got There Is Even More Strange

Things That Matter

Naked Woman Is Stuck In Storm Drain For Weeks But How She Got There Is Even More Strange

Rescuers are still scratching their heads after helping a woman out of a storm drain, where she had allegedly been trapped for weeks. Although her family is glad that the woman has been rescued, they have more questions than answers about the woman’s past few weeks.

Woman is rescued from storm drain after being missing for three weeks.

A 43-year-old woman who had been missing for three weeks was rescued Tuesday after she was found trapped inside a storm drain just a few feet away from a busy street in the Florida city of Delray Beach. She was naked and unable to stand on her own.

The bizarre rescue began when a good Samaritan heard yelling coming from a drain and called 911, according to Delray Beach Fire Rescue. How she ended up in the drain is even more unusual:

The woman told officers she went for a swim in a canal near her boyfriend’s home in West Delray Beach on March 3, according to Delray Beach police.

“While she was swimming, she came across a doorway near a shallow part of the canal. She stated she entered the doorway and noticed a tunnel,” reads the March 23 incident report. According to the report, she became curious and began walking down the tunnel, which led to another tunnel and so on until she became lost.

Thanks to the good Samaritan, the woman is now recovering.

Credit: DELRAY BEACH FIRE RESCUE / FACEBOOK

If it weren’t for the compassion of one bystander, the woman could still be trapped. “There’s a lady stuck in a sewer, yes ma’am, she cannot get out. She’s screaming for help … she don’t have no clothes,” a woman told the 911 operator, according to a recording of the call the Miami Herald obtained through a public record request. The woman told the operator she was in her car, with her windows down, when she heard the screams.

The woman will now undergo a mental assessment. Her mother told police she has a history of mental illness and is known for “doing odd things and making bad decisions when she is high on drugs,” according to the report. Police said she is a Methadone patient and that her last dose was the day prior to her disappearance.

Her boyfriend had reported her missing three weeks before her rescue.

The woman had been reported missing by her boyfriend on March 3, after 9 p.m., when he spoke to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

Police say they don’t know how long the woman was in the tunnels. The woman claims she was walking in the tunnels, lost, for about three weeks until she “saw some light” and decided to sit there because she saw people walking by, according to the report. It’s unclear how long it took for someone to notice her.

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Florida Moves To Ban Iguanas (Among Other Animals) As They Start Showing Up In People’s Toilets

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Florida Moves To Ban Iguanas (Among Other Animals) As They Start Showing Up In People’s Toilets

There’s never a dull moment in Florida. The state is well known for its fondness for all things exotic and/or strange, it has a long history of accommodating religious cults and now the ex-President Trump calls the state home. But now the state is trying to clamp down on another unwanted resident – invasive reptiles that are overrunning the state and literally showing up in people’s toilets.

Florida moves to ban iguanas as they become an invasive species in the state.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has ruled that within the next few weeks the breeding and dealing of 16 of the most ecologically-damaging non-native species must be brought to a halt. The ban will apply to several types of python that have proliferated to crisis point in the Everglades, as well as all types of tegu lizards, anacondas, Nile monitor lizards and green iguanas.

Green iguanas have multiplied in Florida to such a degree since they were first spotted there in 1960 that they are regarded as an environmental hazard. They puncture seawalls, tear up sidewalks and carry salmonella.

An animal once prized as an exotic curiosity is now widely decried as a pest. The iguanas hang out on roofs, dig under houses and to the horror of home owners can crawl into sewers only to emerge, thrashing around, in the toilet bowl.

The state conservation commission now encourages Floridians to humanely kill the lizards, which can grow up to 5ft and 17lbs, on their own property. No hunting licenses are required.

Iguanas are just one of many exotic animals that have become a problem for the state.

In an effort to protect local ecology, economy, and human health, the state is making it illegal for Floridians to breed or sell such animals as Burmese and scrub pythons, Green anacondas, Nile monitors, green iguanas, and tegus, among several other invasive species. Finalized on February 25, the new rules are meant to improve the regulations on the ownership of invasive reptiles in Florida, and they’re expected to go into effect later this summer. 

“Stringent biosecurity measures are required for those entities in possession of Prohibited species to limit escapes,” declares the Florida wildlife commission in its guidelines. 

These reptiles are becoming a major menace in the state, ravaging sensitive ecosystems and wreaking havoc in urban environments. The Burmese python, for example, is now endemic in the Everglades, where it consumes a wide variety of prey. 

But not everyone is onboard with the idea of banning the sale of these animals.

When the commission debated the rules last month it was inundated with comments, many from exotic pet owners and breeders pleading for the ban not to go ahead. As the Washington Post reported, one woman burst into tears over the idea of losing her pet iguanas and pythons.

“If you take them away, I would be really messed up,” she wailed.

But the spread of invasive species through sensitive ecosystems such as the Everglades is happening at such speed that the state felt duty bound to act. The reptiles are also causing havoc in urban areas.

To soften the blow to pet owners, a concession has been tucked into the new regulations. Anyone who cannot contemplate the thought of being parted from their iguana or tegu can apply for a free permit. But the reprieve will last only for the life of the animal. Once the critter is gone, it cannot be replaced by a new pet from the list of banned species.

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