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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: Americas | East Bay | U.S. | Immigrant Rights | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Photos and further details from the August ICE/HSI/OPD Raid in West Oakland
On Wednesday, August 16, at about 7am, a convoy of unmarked federal vehicles rolled up in West Oakland and over two dozen armed Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents demanded entry and stormed a Latina home, supposedly in service of a warrant for the "human trafficking of juveniles." Oakland police participated by blocking the street to through traffic, despite legislation passed by the Oakland city council in July rescinding the department's authorization to work with ICE on immigration matters. Almost immediately after the raid commenced, neighbors began spreading the word of what was going down on their block. Eventually, the media presence grew to include television cameras and protesters demonstrated in the street to show support for the family. If HSI or OPD were hoping the raid would go off quietly, they chose the wrong house.
[Two armed HSI agents wearing protective gear over plain clothes enter a West Oakland home about 7:10am.]
Defensive over their participation in the raid, OPD initially declared to the media that the warrant being served was for "child sex trafficking," which couldn't be further from the truth. OPD later updated their statement to "human trafficking of juveniles," but the damage was done with TV news stations running with the original salacious smear against the family in their noon broadcasts. Even human trafficking, though, conjures up images of modern day slavery, when the most likely "crime" HSI would be investigating in this case is assisting undocumented persons coming to the U.S.
Two men were removed from the home, one arrested for immigration-related matters unrelated to the warrant. The first was released later the same day. The other, with no immigration documentation, was not released until August 30, after being held for two full weeks at the West County Detention Center in Richmond, California. He was released on a $5000 bond, pending his appearance at future immigration hearings.
If you witness an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raid in progress in Alameda County or San Francisco, notify the following rapid response hotlines as soon as possible. Trained volunteers will come to the scene to document and provide early support for effected families.
• Alameda County rapid response network (ACILEP): 510-241-4011
• San Francisco hotline to report ICE raids: 415-200-1548
For more information on the August 16 West Oakland raid, please see the following links.
Is OPD Still Cooperating with Deportations?
An Open Letter to Oakland's Elected Officials from Oakland Privacy Working Group
ICE Raids Home in West Oakland with OPD Assist
ICE's Homeland Security Investigations Unit Raids Oakland Home, Arrests One
Family members have thanked this reporter for being on the scene so quickly, noting that once federal agents saw a camera present, they began to be a little more gentle. I bring this up not to pat myself on the back, but to illustrate the importance of documenting raids such as this.
First arrestee removed from the house about 8:10am, not related to warrant but over immigration documentation
Plain clothes bald agent Mark asked not to be photographed: "We're working here." Other agent enjoys himself.
Agents were commonly seen smiling and joking as they came and went early on, that is until the TV cameras arrived.
There was no OPD Press Information Officer present. Sergeant Ashford said he has no details, same as the other cops. HSI agents wouldn't identify themselves or even their badge numbers when asked. Only "Mark" gave a name, referring questions to James Schwab, spokesman for ICE in San Francisco, at (415) 305-1833.
Video of Laura speaking: https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2017/08/18/18801820.php