Watch: ICE appears to illegally arrest a Kansas City man with his kids in the car
Cheyenne Hoyt and Florencio Millan-Vazquez were on their way to a doctor’s appointment for their 7-month-old disabled daughter when ICE agents surrounded them and blocked them in, insisting they had a warrant for Millan-Vazquez’s arrest.
Hoyt began livestreaming the interaction (you can see the full video below), which went on for more than 21 minutes before ICE agents appear to illegally use force to smash the window of the vehicle and drag Millan-Vazquez out of the car in front of his children, who were crying in the back seat. According to KCUR, Millan-Vazquez came to the United States at the age of 13 and has lived here for 19 years, raising his 11-year-old son and infant daughter with Hoyt. The video shows the couple repeatedly asking to see the warrant, and an ICE officer repeatedly refusing, telling them it was a “paperless warrant.” The agents would not tell Millan-Vazquez why he was being arrested.
After they traumatized the couple’s children by smashing the window and dragging their father out of the car, ICE agents then refused to allow him to say goodbye to his them.
Hoyt was allowed to say goodbye, but when Millan-Vazquez asked to say goodbye to his 11-year-old son, one of the ICE agents refused.
"No, right now we're being extremely nice to you, but what you just put us through, what we had to go through — you're lucky that I'm letting you talk to her right now," the agent said.
In a statement, an ICE spokesman justified the arrest, saying that Millan-Vazquez had a "prior criminal history of misdemeanor offenses." Misdemeanor offenses were worth a team of undercover plainclothes agents violently arresting a father and dragging him from his family?
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver represents the Kansas City area in the U.S. House of Representatives. After viewing the video, he is demanding answers.
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Missouri) said the video was "very concerning as to the traumatization of children and the reasonable use of force."
Cleaver said he had reached out to everyone involved to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the arrest.
In a similar situation in Tennessee on Monday, neighbors surrounded a man from their community as ICE agents tried to arrest him. That man knew ICE agents were not allowed to enter his home or vehicle without a legitimate court-issued order, and his neighbors came to his aid, surrounding his vehicle. ICE agents eventually left because, like the Kansas City agents, they did not have a court-issued warrant. My colleague Gabe Ortiz wrote about that case yesterday. The ICE agents in Tennessee tried to trick the man, but eventually complied with the law, unlike the agents in Kansas City. There must be an investigation and there must be accountability for these agents.