ACLU suit claims LI teens being illegally detained by ICE

Posted: Updated:

The ACLU has filed suit against Immigration and Customs Enforcement, claiming some Suffolk teens are being detained illegally due to alleged gang affiliations.

News 12 Long Island's Eileen Lehpamer spoke exclusively with a detained teen's attorney. Bryan Johnson represents a 17-year-old Brentwood teen identified only by the initials FE. Johnson says the teen was suspended from Brentwood High School in June for writing (503) - the area code of El Salvador - in his notebook. Johnson says the teen was then accused of being an MS-13 member and routinely was followed by Suffolk County police officers.

“They’re really just hunting these kids, as if it's a police state, there's no rules,” says Johnson. “He was right outside in front of his house, play wrestling with his friend and police officers from Suffolk County arrested him and charged him with a violation of disorderly conduct.”

Johnson says the teen was turned over to ICE and detained in California.

While the ACLU civil suit names ICE and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Johnson accuses the Suffolk County Police Department of unconstitutionally following around Hispanic teens looking for reasons to arrest them.

ICE told News 12 Long Island it does not comment on pending litigation, but that should not be construed as agreement or stipulation of the allegations. Suffolk police also did not have a response, saying it couldn’t comment on pending litigation in a lawsuit the department is not named in.

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