Kansas City Police Officer Helping ICE Tried to Smash Family's Car Window Before Agent Broke Through Glass: Video

In the minutes before the now-viral moment a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent smashed through the glass of a family's vehicle before dragging out a father with his children still in the back seat, a Kansas City police officer seemingly attempted to break the glass first.

By now, many have seen the Facebook live stream video of the moment an ICE agent shattered the glass of the driver's seat window of a Kansas City family's car with a single maneuver. The agent then unlocked the door and pulled Florencio Millan-Vazquez out, while his partner and children, an 11-year-old son and months-old infant, watched on.

In a statement to Newsweek, ICE defended the controversial move, with agency spokesperson Shawn Neudauer asserting that the agent was "left with no other choice" than to physically remove the father, who he branded an "immigration fugitive," after he repeatedly refused to leave the vehicle without seeing an administrative warrant.

Posted by Pucca Love on Monday, July 22, 2019

ICE, the spokesperson asserted, is not required to present a warrant to perform an arrest.

"After attempting to negotiate with Millan-Vazquez for about 25 minutes, the ICE officers were left with no other choice," Neudauer said.

But while it was an ICE agent who successfully smashed through the vehicle's glass, earlier on in the video, which was shared by Millan-Vazquez's partner, Cheyenne Hoyt, it appears to be a Kansas City Police Department officer who tries to break it first.

In the video, the unidentified officer can be seen repeatedly trying to break the glass, despite telling the mother and father that he is aware there is a "months-old" infant in the backseat.

Initially, the police officer tells Millan-Vazquez to "roll down" the window or "I'm gonna break it."

"You can't break it. It's my property," the father says.

"I don't care whose property it is. You roll the window down or I'm gonna break it. That's how it's going to go, okay?" the officer says.

"They're here to talk to you and take you back to where you need to go so you can either get out of the car or we're gonna break the window and you can get out of the car. Which one do you want to do? Cause either way, it's going our way and not yours," he says.

After the father says "you can't, I have a six-month-old in the back," the officer responds: "I know you have a six-month-old there. That's why I don't want to break this window."

Despite that, the officer then says: "It's your last opportunity, man."

As the father says, "you just can't do that," the officer then starts to bang heavily on the window, hitting it more than 10 times in an apparent attempt to shatter the glass.

In a statement, KCPD Public Relations Specialist Sarah Boyd said police officers had been called to assist ICE after Millan-Vazquez refused to leave his vehicle.

"This happens from time to time," she said. "Many times other officers/agents may be on their own and find themselves in the situation where they need assistance. That was the case in this response.

"There was a long process to try to talk the male subject out of the car willingly, both KCPD officers and the ICE agent attempted to talk the male into exiting the vehicle," she said. "After those attempts failed the ICE agent broke the window to the car to gain access and take the male into custody."

Boyd said that she had spoken to a KCPD sergeant on the scene and he assured her that it was an ICE agent who broke the window.

However, the statement made no mention of a KCPD police officer's initial attempts at smashing the window himself.

Asked if KCPD could clarify on whether it was aware of the officer's own attempts to break the window, and if it is, whether it supports the officer's actions, the department did not immediately respond.

In a blog post, KCPD Chief Richard Smith addressed the incident himself, saying he felt it was "important to say upfront that the Kansas City Missouri Police Department does not do proactive immigration enforcement."

"It is not our duty or prerogative to enforce immigration laws," he wrote, adding: "Our policy clearly states, 'Only immigration officers have the authority to detain and arrest suspected undocumented/unauthorized foreign nationals for violations of the immigration laws.'

"We are compelled by Missouri Statute 67.307, however, to 'cooperate with state and federal agencies and officials on matters pertaining to enforcement of state and federal laws governing immigration.'

While Smith's blog post makes no mention of the officer who tried to smash Millan-Vazquez, the police chief does praise the "primary sergeant" who attended the scene for the "respectful way" that he spoke with the father and his family during the arrest.

"His calming presence is part of the reason that KCPD officers respond to assist outside agencies," he said, adding: "Our officers know their communities. They know their problems and fears."

KCPD has not immediately responded to a follow-up request from Newsweek asking why the police chief's blog post did not address the actions of the other officer who attended the scene.

In a statement addressing the ICE arrest, Kansas City's Mayor Sly James said: "This issue is about hate-filled ideologies of the current administration in Washington. Kansas City welcomes everyone. This is our city and these are our neighbors and friends.

"We look out for each other. We mourn together, and we celebrate together. And we must continue to stand together to demand equal justice under the law for all our residents, no matter where we come from or how we got here."

It is unclear whether James was aware of the entirety of the KCPD's role in the arrest. His office has not responded to a request from Newsweek for comment.

Compassion
Hundreds of immigrant rights advocates and others participate in rally and and demonstration at the Federal Building in lower Manhattan against the Trump administration's hardline immigration policies on June 1, 2018 in New York, U.S. Spencer Platt/Getty/Getty

This article has been updated with statements made by Kansas City Missouri Police Chief Richard Smith.

Kansas City Police Officer Helping ICE Tried to Smash Family's Car Window Before Agent Broke Through Glass: Video | U.S.