November 28, 2006, - 11:56 am
OUTRAGE: New Jersey Cops Disciplined for Helping ICE Arrest Illegal Alien; Embarrassing “Timing/Environment”?!
By Debbie Schlussel
Why are we losing the war on illegal immigration?
Well, it might have something to do with the fact that we go after those who try to protect our borders. Or it might have something to do with the fact that politics, not law enforcement, governs the behavior of cops trying to help stem the illegal alien rising tide.
Take the absurd case of Rajnikant Parikh, an illegal alien who used multiple identities. He was ordered deported. Yet, he remained here. On August 2nd, two Edison, New Jersey cops helped Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrest him at a political protest.
Instead of hailing the two cops for helping ICE to enforce immigration laws, the cops have been found guilty of wrongdoing and sentenced them to counseling. Their crime: they shared information with ICE and they arrested this lawbreaker in front of others at a protest, which was very embarrassing to him.
No lie. Apparently, it’s an outrage for a cop to arrest an illegal alien in front of others from his community at a protest (organized by him against Edison cops). Cops are no longer allowed to embarrass people? Come on. I’ll remember that, the next time I’m stopped for speeding. That flashing red light is embarrassing.
Here’s more from IndiaPost, which apparently has a “slight” bias (the paper thinks counseling is not enough!):
India Post News Service
NEW YORK: An internal affairs investigation into the complicity of Edison police with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in the arrest of an Indian man on August 2nd, has found two Edison police officers guilty of wrongdoing.
Ironically though, the police officers are to be let off with mere counseling.
In an emailed joint statement, Edison Mayor Jun Choi and Edison Police Chief George Mieczkowski, say that the investigation and subsequent arrest of Rajnikant Parikh was initiated by an ICE employee and that information was passed between the ICE employee and a member of the Edison Police Department.
The statement further notes that the pre-arrest information was shared with another Edison Officer. “Neither of the Edison Officers have supervisory responsibility. The information was not shared with Command Level Officers. Had the Department known, our local agency would have requested the arrest take place in a different and appropriate manner,” the statement reads.
Mayor Choi and the Police Chief concede that the internal investigation determined that while the arrest of Parikh served a legitimate law enforcement purpose, the timing and the environment of the arrest was inappropriate.
Parikh was arrested from a rally outside the Edison Mayor’s office on August 2 where he was protesting against his illegal arrest and brutal assault by a police officer on July 4 outside his residential complex at Hilltop Apartments on Oak Tree Road.
The protest rally was organized by Pradip ‘Peter’ Kothari, a travel agency owner and community leader, along with about a 100 other members of the community. Mid-rally, federal agents belonging to the ICE arrested Parikh allegedly on pending deportation proceedings against him on grounds that he was an illegal alien.
Mayor Choi and the Police Chief, who maintained ever since that they had no knowledge of the federal action, had instituted an internal investigation to determine as to who in the police department, had leaked information to the ICE officer regarding Parikh.
A statement on the completed report of the Edison Police Department internal affairs investigation was released to the media on the eve of the Thanksgiving Day weekend.
It said the Edison Police Department internal affairs investigation inquiring into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) coordination with local police before an August 2 arrest has been completed.
The joint statement says the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office and the state Office of the Attorney General have reviewed the investigation and concluded that it is a complete and an accurate recitation of all facts leading up to and including the arrest.
Terming it “an unfortunate incident,” the statement says, the Mayor’s Office and Police Department have established various community relations initiatives, including: liaison officers, the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Community Relations, mandatory cultural sensitivity training for all sworn officers and other community outreach programs.
Further it says, measures have been taken to avoid such incidents happening again. “This incident is a singular event in the history of the Edison Police Department and not the normal course of business. Previous to this incident there was an absence of procedures regarding interactions with other law enforcement agencies. The commitment now is to ensure an incident like this will not occur in the future.”
Reportedly, preventative measures have now been implemented and installed in the Department’s rules, regulations and general orders. “If any outside agency contacts an officer, the officer is to notify the watch commander who will then communicate with the Command Staff if necessary. Officers failing to follow this procedure will be the subject of disciplinary actions,” the joint statement said.
The statement also says there was no evidence to indicate any intent to embarrass or undermine the Office of the Mayor or the Chief of Police. The internal investigation showed the Mayor and Police Chief had no knowledge of communications with ICE or that an arrest was going to take place, substantiating previous statements by the Mayor and Police Chief.
“The two Edison Officers involved will be counseled regarding their actions and responsibilities as Edison Police Officers. In accordance with Attorney General Guidelines, the names of the two officers involved will not be released. It is important to note, the ICE agents who made the arrest believed official coordination had been reached between the two agencies,” the statement concluded. . . .
Parikh, meanwhile, continues to languish under ICE detention pending procedures.
Writes one long-time ICE agent:
It sounds like PC run amok. The title of the article is, “Edison cops found guilty” Of what? Doing their jobs? Cops don’t think like politicians and shouldn’t be expected to.
From what I could tell, they knew ICE was looking for this guy, they saw him in the demonstration, and they took him into custody.
The article drones on and on about what a terrible thing this entire incident was, but then it ends with, “Parikh, meanwhile, continues to languish under ICE detention pending procedures.” So he’s languishing in ICE detention. So what??? Isn’t that where he belongs if he is here illegally?
What a pejoritive article, with phrases like, “the police officers are to be let off with mere counseling,” “he was protesting against his illegal arrest and brutal assault by a police officer,” and
“continued failure of the administration to take disciplinary action against “guilty” officers.”
Amen. Even more of this absurdity from the New Brunswick Home News Tribune:
Mayor Jun H. Choi and Police Chief George Mieczkowski released a 451-word statement yesterday afternoon calling the incident, which led to the arrest of Rajnikant Parikh, “unfortunate.”
The statement said the timing and environment of the arrest, which occurred at a rally outside of the Municipal Complex, was “inappropriate.” It also said the investigation determined that the mayor and chief were not aware of the planned Aug. 2 arrest, something they both stated on the day of the arrest.
“Measures have been taken to avoid an incident like this happening again,” the statement said. “This incident is a singular event in the history of the Edison Police Department and not the normal course of business. The commitment now is to ensure an incident like this will not occur in the future.”
Choi and Mieczkowski said the investigation and subsequent arrest of Parikh, who was wanted on an outstanding deportation order, was initiated by ICE. . . .
Township officials declined to name the two officers involved in the incident, but said the pair will receive counseling regarding their actions.
“There is no evidence to indicate any intent to embarrass or undermine the Office of the Mayor or the Chief of Police,” the statement said.
[DS: Well, thank Heaven for that.]
Township and police officials have also implemented a new procedure, which states that if any outside agency contacts an officer, a watch commander must be notified. The watch commander will then communicate with the command staff if necessary, the policy states.
“Officers failing to follow this procedure will be the subject of disciplinary actions,” the statement said.
Edison Policemen’s Benevolent Association President Michael Schwarz said he was glad the issue is put to rest and that “proper procedures and policies have been put in place to specify how a situation of this matter will be handled in the future.”
“The arrest was conducted legally and lawfully,” Schwarz said. “However, the incident caused unnecessary turmoil and tension between the police department and the community.”
The three-month investigation, launched on Aug. 4, looked into the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Parikh by federal agents on Aug. 2 at a rally outside the Municipal Complex.
It was the timing of Parikh’s arrest that stunned the Asian Indian community, many of whom were present when he was led away in handcuffs by federal agents.
ICE officials that day said they closely coordinated with the Edison police department before taking Parikh into custody on an outstanding deportation order. Mieczkowski and Choi, however, both said they had no prior knowledge of the arrest.
The rally, organized by members of the Asian Indian community, was set up to protest Parikh’s treatment by Edison police when he was arrested at an illegal fireworks display on July 4. Parikh had accused Edison Police Officer Michael Dotro, the arresting officer, of attacking him during the July 4 arrest.
Dotro was later cleared in an Internal Affairs investigation.
Immigration authorities said Parikh violated immigration law by using multiple identities. He is currently being held at a Hudson County Correctional Facility. Parikh’s lawyer, Jonathan Saint-Preux of Irvington, said his client is a victim of a misunderstanding and is currently appealing the immigration case.
In any other country, this guy would be the hell outta here, and the two cops would be heroes. As they should be here. Instead, they must go to counseling?!
Tags: a watch commander, arresting officer, Attorney General, chief, Debbie Schlussel Why, Edison, Edison Officer, Edison police, Edison Police Department, Edison Policemen's Benevolent Association, George Mieczkowski, Hudson County Correctional Facility, ICE officer, immigration law, India Post News Service NEW YORK, Jonathan Saint-Preux, Jun Choi, Jun H. Choi, law enforcement, law enforcement agencies, lawyer, legitimate law enforcement purpose, Mayor, mayor and chief, Mayor's Advisory Committee on Community Relations, Mayor's Office, Michael Dotro, Michael Schwarz, Middlesex County Prosecutor's Office, Municipal Complex, New Brunswick Home News Tribune, New Jersey, New York, Oak Tree Road, officer, Parikh's lawyer, Police Department, police officer, President, Rajnikant Parikh, Thanksgiving, the officer, Township, travel agency owner, travel agency owner and community leader, watch commander