NASHVILLE, TN – ICE agents arrived in a Hermitage neighborhood Monday morning in an unmarked car wearing civilian clothes. They trapped a father and his twelve-year old son inside the family’s van for four hours in an attempt to detain the father who was on his way to work. Metro police officers were present at the scene and told neighbors that ICE had a proper arrest warrant. They did not, according to immigration rights advocate Cathy Carrillo, who witnessed Monday’s events.

MNPD officers kept people away from the van as ICE agents surrounded it and tried to get the man to give himself up.

From inside the van, the unidentified man filmed ICE officers making verbal threats. “We’ll just call the cops and they’ll arrest you, and then when they’re done with you in the jail, then we’ll get you,” said one ICE agent. And then he threatened to come back for the man’s wife.

Neighbor Jacqueline Samson said the family had lived on the block for fourteen years and created no problems. Apparently, ICE was there to serve a ten-year old deportation order although they did not present it.

Carrillo also filmed the scene and you can view both recordings by clicking the link below. The man refused to get out of the van and immigration activists played a crucial role in getting both ICE and MNPD to leave. On the video you can hear Carrillo arguing with the cops and ICE about their bogus arrest warrant.

At one point, one of the cops says that the man was driving without a license. But he was sitting inside his van in his driveway, and later, MNPD officials admitted no crime had been committed. At one point during the 4-hour stand-off, supporters linked arms and surrounded the van to keep ICE and MNPD at bay.

Mayor David Briley said that MNPD does not use local resources to co-operate with or enforce ICE orders and were only on hand to ensure the safety of neighbors.

But according to eye witnesses, MNPD was on hand and began assisting ICE agents around 7am on Monday. That was long before a crowd gathered on the scene. MNPD’s “peacekeeping” amounted to keeping people away from the van so they couldn’t talk to or help the man.

Eleven civil rights groups have condemned the botched ICE raid and are collecting signatures for a petition to Mayor Briley and the City Council to stop using Metro resources to support ICE raids in Davidson County.

“The actions by Metro Nashville police officers go against MNPD stated policy, which indicates the department does not actively collaborate with ICE. We demand an audit of MNPD practices that waste Metro Government resources by deploying public servants in acts of terror against the communities and neighborhoods they serve,” reads the petition.

“We are calling on our Mayor, our Metro Council Members, and those running for public office to hold MNPD accountable by investigating the practices and procedures that led to the actions and presence of MNPD officers in support of ICE agents during the operation on Monday.”

The man released a statement thanking his neighbors for coming to his aid and he encouraged them to know their rights and never give up. It is available here:

The authorities left around noon. Shortly thereafter, the man, his wife, and two children emerged from the corner house with backpacks and black garbage bags filled with their belongings. They got into several cars waiting for them on the street and drove off.

The white van was still in the driveway Friday. The house is now empty.