City of Grand Rapids to Pay Marine $190,000 After He Was Unlawfully Detained as ‘Illegal Foreign National’
According to November 14, 2019, news reports from dailykos.com and nytimes.com, the city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, will pay $190,000 to former U.S. Marine Jilmar Ramos-Gomez after he was illegally detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) for three days.
Ramos, who suffers from PTSD, was arrested after he pulled a fire alarm at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital and then made his way to the hospital’s helicopter pad.
Footage from a body camera worn by one of Ramos’ arresting officers shows a police officer holding Ramos’ U.S. passport. In the video, one officer asks if Ramos has been identified and another answers, “His passport is down there.”
In spite of this evidence, Captain Curt Vanderkooi of the Grand Rapids Police Department sent an email to ICE, requesting the agency check Ramos’ status. Allegedly, the request was based on Ramos’ physical appearance.
ICE Deportation Officer Matthew Lopez interviewed Ramos at the Kent County Jail and later informed Vanderkooi that Ramos was a foreign national who was in the U.S. illegally and that he should be detained by ICE after his release from local authorities.
In Vanderhooi’s reply, he referred to Ramos as the “Spectrum Helicopter Pad Loco.”
Ramos was held in ICE’s custody for three days, until a lawyer hired by his mother provided documentation proving Ramos was born in Michigan.
Vanderhooi was disciplined with 20 unpaid hours and supplemental training.
Lopez claimed that Ramos stated during the interview that he was a foreign national, but ICE refuses to release the recording of the interview.