Hillsboro, OR – Washington County deputies left officers to fend for themselves after they learned that the officers were Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, according to The Oregonian.
Oregon has been a sanctuary state for the past three decades, having adopted laws which prohibit local law enforcement agencies from cooperating with ICE, The Oregonian reported.
“Oregon is a welcoming place for all who call our state home,” Oregon Governor Kate Brown told The Oregonian in January. “As governor, I will continue to do everything in my power to ensure that the rights and values of all Oregonians are protected.”
The incident occurred Friday outside the Washington County Courthouse as the plainclothes ICE agents attempted to take an unnamed Guatemalan man into custody following his court appearance on four new felony charges, according to The Oregonian.
According to ICE spokeswoman Carissa Cutrell, the man had illegally reentered the United States, and had been deported in both 2006 and 2010.
A Washington County Deputy was working court security at the time, and said that an ICE agent had told him earlier in the day that he had permission to take someone in the courtroom into custody.
The agent asked the deputy if that was OK, and the deputy said that he asked the agent if he had a choice in the matter.
“Of course you do,” the agent replied, according to The Oregonian. “It’s your courtroom.”
The deputy noted that the agent loitered around the area for a while before he finally left the courtroom.
Meanwhile, the ICE agents located the wanted man outside the courthouse.
The agents identified themselves, then proceeded to take the man into custody, Cutrell said.
Another deputy said that he witnessed the agents as they were arresting the suspect.
A deputy wrote in his report that the suspect “passively” resisted arrest, “and kept his arms underneath him” while crying and screaming. (Editor’s note: This describes active resistance.)
Another deputy wrote that he initially attempted to assist in subduing the suspect who was resisting arrest, but that he abandoned the effort after he realized he was helping ICE, according to The Orgonian.
Instead of assisting with the arrest, one deputy noted said that he “stood by and made sure no one else would approach” the scene.
“After the male was taken into custody, I noticed the plain clothes officers were ICE Agents,” the deputy wrote, according to The Orgonian. “Throughout the entire situation, I did not hear them identify themselves as such, only ‘Police.'”
He noted that once the deputies learned that the officers were ICE Agents, they distanced themselves and walked back to the courtroom.
Following the arrest, a Washington County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson promised that the agency was investigating the incident in an effort to determine how they could make the courthouse safe for illegal immigrants in the future, The Oregonian reported.