Maine sheriff won’t detain inmates longer for immigration agents

PORTLAND, Maine — The Cumberland County Jail will no longer hold inmates beyond their release date at the request of federal immigration agents, becoming the first facility in Maine to end the controversial practice.

The policy change comes as President Donald Trump’s administration has ramped up immigration arrests throughout New England and begun using aggressive enforcement tactics not previously seen in Maine.

In Sept. 14 letter to Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s South Portland office, Cumberland County Sheriff Kevin Joyce wrote that his department would no longer honor the agency’s requests to hold people beyond their scheduled release dates.

These requests, known as detainers, place jails in precarious situations. Although frequently made by ICE, federal courts have ruled that the requests do not carry the force of law. And in several wrongful imprisonment suits, sheriffs have had to pay tens of thousands of dollars for honoring them.

Holding someone who could make bail just because ICE asked them to “could violate the individual’s Fourth Amendment right and we could ultimately be sued for false imprisonment,” Joyce said.

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Oklahoma City police shoot deaf man, Magdiel Sanchez, ‘ignoring commands’

Magdiel Sanchez

A deaf man has been shot and killed by Oklahoma City police officers as he approached them holding a metal pipe.

The two officers did not hear neighbours shouting “he can’t hear you”, before opening fire, police captain Bo Mathews said.

Magdiel Sanchez, 35, was fatally shot on Tuesday evening as police were investigating a hit and run.

The shooting is being investigated by city homicide detectives to determine if it was legally justified.

“In those situations, very volatile situations, you have a weapon out, you can get what they call tunnel vision,” Cpt Mathews said, adding that Sanchez was about 15 ft (4.5m) away when both officers fired their weapons simultaneously.

Eight-year veteran Sgt Christopher Barnes fired his handgun at the same exact moment Lt Matthew Lindsey fired a Taser, witnesses told police.

“You can really lock in to just the person that has the weapon that’d be the threat against you,” Cpt Mathews added, explaining why officers did not respond to the shouts of about a dozen bystanders screaming that Sanchez was deaf.

police investigators

The 2ft (0.6m) pipe that Sanchez was holding as he sat on his porch was initially described to officers as a stick.

Neighbours say that Sanchez, who was non-verbal, would use the pipe and his hands to communicate and also to protect against stray dogs near his home where he lived with his father.

Sanchez’s father, who drove the hit and run vehicle, later confirmed that his son was deaf.

Police say the victim had no known criminal history.

 

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