Black Boston jogger stopped by ICE agents, prompting outcry from local officials: 'Outrageous'

Black Boston jogger stopped by ICE agents, prompting outcry from local officials: 'Outrageous'
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A Black man captured a video of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents stopping him during a jog in Boston this week, prompting an outcry from local officials. 

Bena Apreala, a 29-year-old real estate agent, told NBC Boston that he began recording when the agents told him to stop without identifying themselves while he was jogging in the West Roxbury neighborhood. 

"The police officer started walking towards me, and he said, 'Hey, stop,' and without identifying himself, he started asking me for identification, asking me where I was from, asking me who I was, what my business was around the area," Apreala told the local station.


Apreala said he figured out they were ICE officers from their badges.

The video obtained by NBC Boston shows one of the agents asking him if he has any tattoos on his left or right arm “so we can confirm and we’ll be out of here.”

"Am I free to go? Do I have to show you? If I'm free to go, then I'm not showing you anything," Apreala answered. "Thank you. Have a great day, guys."

A spokesperson for the Enforcement and Removal Operations, part of ICE, told NBC News that its officers did stop a jogger in Boston. 

“ICE officers were conducting surveillance as part of a targeted enforcement action Wednesday in West Roxbury, Massachusetts, looking for a previously deported Haitian national with multiple criminal convictions and pending cocaine and fentanyl trafficking charges that may have been residing in the area,” the organization said.

The spokesperson said Apreala matched the description of the suspect and agents approached him “identifying themselves as Police/ICE.” But the agents determined he was not who they were looking for and allowed him to leave the scene.


NBC News noted it is unknown what happened before Apreala began recording.

Several politicians condemned the stop, including Boston Mayor Marty Walsh who said “racial profiling and stops like these are wrong, unjustified, and will not be tolerated.”

“For him and others who might have lived through an experience like this, I’m demanding that ICE stop this cruel practice of inciting fear in the lives of our residents, particularly our Black and Brown residents, and undocumented immigrants,” he tweeted.

Rep. Ayanna PressleyAyanna PressleyWarren says she'll run for reelection to Senate Bush testifies before Congress about racist treatment Black birthing people face during childbirth, pregnancy Genetic material from 1993 killing revealed years after another man executed for crime, groups say MORE (D-Mass.) called for an investigation into the incident, saying, “We will not stand by and watch them intimidate, harass and racially profile our Black and Brown communities in Boston or anywhere in the country.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts announced on Wednesday that it will represent Apreala and was looking into the case.