Video shows transit officer asking about immigration status

Image from a video posted on Facebook.
Image from a video posted on Facebook by Ricardo Levins Morales.
Courtesy of Ricardo Levins Morales on Facebook

Minneapolis Metro Transit are investigating an incident shown on video in which a transit officer asks a light-rail passenger about his immigration status.

The agency announced it was investigating after Minneapolis artist Ricardo Levins Morales posted video of the incident to his Facebook page on Friday. Morales says the officer was checking passenger fares, which is routine. The video shows the officer asking one passenger for identification and saying, "Are you here illegally?"

Morales then asked the officer if he was authorized to act as an immigration agent and the officer responded, "No, not necessarily."

The unidentified passenger has his back to Morales during the recording.

Metro Transit Police Chief Harrington said in a statement that it's not his agency's practice to inquire about immigration status. He's asked for an internal investigation.

The incident happened May 14.

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