A Virginia police officer was suspended after he allegedly helped Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials detain an undocumented immigrant after a traffic accident.
Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. announced the suspension Tuesday but did not name the officer. The incident stemmed from a Sept. 21 car accident where the officer in question detained one of the drivers who was suspected of being undocumented and alerted ICE officials, according to The Washington Post.
Roessler apologized for the incident and said it violated the department’s policy.
Roessler noted the officer acted against a department policy that has been in place since 2007 that prohibits officers from confirming individuals’ immigration status and detaining them based solely on civil violations of immigration law.
“This is an unfortunate issue where the officer was confused,” Roessler said Tuesday, according to the Post. “We have trained on this issue a lot. This is the first time we’ve had a lapse in judgment, and the officer is being punished.”
He added that an investigation into the matter is underway.
The Post reported the incident in September occurred as the officer arrived on the scene of a traffic incident and discovered one of the drivers did not have a Virginia driver’s license. The officer ran a check on the driver’s information through the Department of Motor Vehicles, which showed ICE had issued an administrative violation for failing to appear for a deportation hearing.
The county’s system confirmed the ICE warrant, and the officer then called ICE, which responded to the scene.