A Virginia police officer who was suspended and forced to undergo remedial training after he reported an individual with an administrative warrant to federal immigration authorities has been reinstated.
The Washington Times reports Fairfax County Police Chief Edwin Roessler canceled the suspension due to “a public outcry.”
“We have one of the best police forces in the U.S. and I have confidence that our officer will represent us well throughout his career,” Roessler said in a statement, per the report.
From the report:
Immigrant-rights activists had cheered the chief, saying he was showing solidarity with their communities by taking the bold step of suspending an officer for violating a sanctuary policy.
But offers of assistance and support for the officer poured in as well, and Chief Roessler was harshly criticized for attempting to make an example out of the officer.
— Cameron Gray (@Cameron_Gray) October 3, 2019
On Wednesday, Fox News reported that the unidentified Fairfax police officer was suspended after he reported an individual with “a violation for failing to appear for a deportation hearing” to federal immigration authorities.
The initial incident occurred on September 21 when the officer was dispatched to a car accident.
According to the report, one of the drivers involved did not have a Virginia driver’s license. The officer subsequently looked the individual up with the state Department of Motor Vehicles and noticed the administrative warrant.
“The officer verified the warrant and alerted officials with Immigration and Customs Enforcement,” Fox News reported.
This action, Chief Roessler said, violated Fairfax County policy as they do not check for administrative warrants of people they encounter but do not arrest.
And, per Fox News:
Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.
The Fairfax County Police Department enacted a 2007 policy that prohibits officers from confirming a person’s immigration status and detaining them solely based on civil violations of immigration law.
“This is an unfortunate issue where the officer was confused,” Police Chief Edwin Roessler Jr. said. “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.”