PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Hillsboro police officer is suing a pair of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, claiming they unlawfully stopped and arrested him in August 2020.
According to the suit, Edgar Garfias was driving home from work on Tualatin Valley Highway when the agents stopped him and said they had a warrant for his arrest. Court documents say that while complying with their orders to show them his hands, Garfias reportedly told the agents they had apprehended the wrong person and showed them his police identification.
Despite telling them he was an off-duty officer, the suit claims one of the agents asked Garfias about his “legal rights to be in this country.” After Garfias allegedly told the agents he was born “here,” they continued to tell him he was under arrest.
Garfias claims the agents ordered him out of his car and held his hands behind his back. The agents allegedly showed Garfias a picture of the person of interest and asked if it was him. According to the suit, the person pictured bore no resemblance to him other than they appeared to be of the same race.
The suit states that Garfias has lived in Washington County, Oregon his entire life and has served as a Hillsboro Police Officer for over four years.
Eventually, Garfias said, the agents realized he was not the person of interest and told him he was free to go.
The agents then reportedly told Garfias they had been following him and his family for days and knew his work schedule.
The lawsuit claims Garfias “was substantially distressed” by the incident “and generally feared that he would be wrongfully arrested, detained, prosecuted and/or deported by ICE agents.”
KOIN 6 News reached out to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, but a spokesperson says they don’t comment on pending litigation.