Credit: CBS SF Bay Area / YouTube
What should have been a peaceful Sunday in a sanctuary ended up being a frightful experience for many churchgoers at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection in San Raphael, Calif. Many of the parishioners had a truly uncomfortable encounter with someone they thought was an immigration official.
A white male wearing a black jacket, with the words ICE written on it, entered the church on June 4 and startled people during the Spanish-language service. According to several news outlets, the man in question was “seen taking photos and video with his cellphone in the church parking lot.” He also took pictures of people inside the church. To those unsuspecting people, the act of an “ICE official” taking pictures of Latinos would seem as if he was reporting on who was there. He was also seen driving a government vehicle registered to the city of San Francisco.
One of those brave people inside the church also took pictures of the man and quickly called authorities. According to police, the man is not a government official, nor a police officer, but a San Francisco city employee, possibly a San Francisco International Airport worker.
When police questioned the man, he couldn’t find the right words to explain why he wore a fake ICE jacket to a Latino church.
According to the Marin Independent Journal San Rafael police Lt. Raffaello Pata said that the man went to the church for a matter not pertaining to immigration at all.
“Detectives contacted the subject who was cooperative with investigators and explained why he was at the church,” Pata said. “He said he lived near the church and had prior unresolved complaints about amplified noise from church services. The subject said he went to the church to document the noise via cellphone video.”
Pata also said that the man was not charged or arrested for impersonating an ICE official.