Hillsboro police officer sues Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:48 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - A Hillsboro police officer is suing Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents for an alleged Fourth Amendment violation, citing unreasonable seizure and arrest without probable cause.

Edgar Garcia Garfias’ lawyers said he was driving on Tualatin Valley Highway after work when a silver truck pulled up behind him and turned their red and blue lights on.

The lawsuit goes on to say Garfias made a left turn to pull over, when another car boxed him in, forcing him to slam on his breaks. The driver got out of the car wearing police gear and showing their badge. The suit said another ICE agent told Garfias to show his hands, when he explained to them he’s an off-duty officer and they must’ve confused him with someone else.

Garfias showed the agents his badge when the suit said an agent asked if he has “legal rights to be in this country” and where he was born. According to the lawsuit, Garfias has lived in Washington County his whole life and told the agent he was born “here”, but was still told he was under arrest.

The document said Garfias had his hands put behind his back and was shown a picture of the person ICE was looking for. The agent asked if the person pictured was Garfias. The lawsuit said the person they were looking for looked nothing like Garfias, except that they may appear to be the same race. It also said they have different birthdays names and addresses - Garfias lives in Cornelius while the other person lives in Forest Grove, about three miles away.

The suit said the agents realized they had the wrong guy, though they said they had been following him for several days and knew his work schedule. Garfias was let go.

Garfias felt stressed and traumatized, according to the lawsuit, knowing he could’ve been deported. Garfias “felt humiliated that, because the sound of his name and the color of skin, he had to report to his superiors that federal agents arrested HIM, a local law enforcement officer, despite being born and raised in the United States.”

FOX 12 reached out to ICE for a statement but we’re told they don’t comment on pending litigation. Hillsboro police did provide a statement:

“Officer Garfias is a valued member of our department, and we fully support him. Hillsboro Police Department values the service and dedication Officer Garfias gives to the community every day. Officer Garfias’s lawsuit is a personal matter.”