On Wednesday’s Tennessee Star Report with Steve Gill and Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am – Gill and Leahy talked about the recent “human chain” formed in Hermitage, Tennessee in response to federal ICE agents showing up with a detainer for an illegal immigrant at his home.
Before taking a call, the men discussed how the public affairs manager from the Metro Police Department stated a completely different course of events. The duo came to the conclusion that this was all political theater broadcasting through the national media in order to make it look as though people were banding together to protect immigrants.
Gill: We’re talking a little about that whole incident and I think it was contrived, at the Hermitage home where an illegal alien was coming home where ICE agents confronted him. Tried to get him out of his car so they could detain him on a civil warrant. So he refused. He’s sitting in his car.
Leahy: So he’s in the car, in his house and apparently there are a bunch of neighbors coming around.
Gill: Well they came around after a little while after he refused to get out of the car. People were saying, “What’s going on?”
Leahy: And the police were there to do what? To watch?
Gill: Well the police showed up to “calm the crowd” and prevent any incident with the crowd.
Leahy: But they did not prevent the neighbors from going onto the driveway of this guy? Or to keep them from going to the car of the guy? They didn’t keep them away, right?
Gill: No. And they didn’t prevent them from obstructing the federal agents from conducting their lawful business. Which is a crime. But you know, in and of itself by the way.
Gill: The interesting thing about this whole deal is that the media was just aghast. “Oh my gosh!” They’re showing all these pictures and videos and people are live streaming. And how the neighbors came together and saved this guy. This was the theme…
Leahy: That was the narrative right?
Gill: We saw in the Washington Post and other national media outlets. But it’s not really accurate.
Leahy: So the narrative was, OK, so the ICE agents are there waiting to just pounce on the guy.
Gill: And they formed a human chain.
Leahy: So he’s in his car in the driveway. So the neighbors form a human chain between the car…
Gill: So he can run into his house.
Leahy: The van and his house. That’s the argument.
Gill: And there are pictures of them holding their hands.
Gill: A human chain. So he can rush into his house.
Leahy: But you found something on this that says, “Hmm. Maybe that’s not exactly the story.”
Gill: Yeah. Don Aaron, the Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman issued a statement when he was asked to clarify why MNPD, Metro Nashville Police Department officers where on the scene and what their role was. And Don Aaron noted an ICE representative telephoned the emergency communication center at 7:18 am.
He relayed that ICE attempted to stop a white Ford van. The driver would not stop but did proceed to a driveway on Forrest Ridge Drive. So, it didn’t happen at the house. He refused to stop. He fled from the ICE agents. Despite the fact that they had the red and blue lights flashing.
Leahy: So apparently they had the lights flashing. He didn’t know they were ICE agents. They could have been police.
Gill: That’s right. So again, will the next he’ll go faster and maybe hurt somebody?
Gill: Run into somebody.
Leahy: And by the way, how did he know they had an administrative warrant and not a judicial warrant?
Gill: He didn’t care he’s breaking the law by being here in the first year.
Leahy: Yeah. Or, how did he know they weren’t local police with probable cause to pull him over?
Gill: (Sighs heavily) So the caller to the ICE representative, the caller to the MNPD said the driver was sitting in the van and was not getting out. He requested the police department’s assistance. But he did not specify what he wanted the police department to do.
When the police arrived they learned that ICE was attempting to serve a detainer, only on the individual. The man was sitting in the van with a 12-year-old boy. We don’t know if that’s his kid or not by the way.
Leahy: Yeah. Yeah.
Gill: Anyway. The officers were instructed to not be involved in the service of the detainer but to stand by from a distance to keep the peace if necessary. ICE ultimately left while the man was still in the van. The police left accordingly. So all these pictures of the people holding their hands…
Gill: And creating this human chain to protect the man as he dashed into the house, that was after the ICE agents had left. It was complete political theater.
Gill: It was all for show. It was all for the cameras to create this image that they’re having to protect this man so he can run into this house because ICE is waiting to pounce on him. That. Was. A. Lie.
Leahy: So, you get the impression that the ICE from the mainstream media reports, that the ICE agents only left after the guy went through this human chain and was in his house. And that’s not true according to Don Aaron. They left when he was still in the van before he entered the human chain. Very interesting.
Listen to the full hour:
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