If you ever wondered what is the true meaning of being a good neighbour, all you have to do is look at this group in Nashville, Tennessee who banded together to protect a father and son from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The group of loyal neighbours came together to create a human wall around the father and son who were blocked on their driveway by unmarked ICE vans, according to local news reports.
According to the Tennessean, a white van had been driving around the Hermitage neighbourhood for weeks, but it wasn’t until Monday that it started flashing red and blue lights, causing panic among local residents.
ICE agents reportedly followed the father and son, who haven’t been named in the press, before blocking them in on their own driveway. It’s thought they didn’t have a warrant.
Well, my friends, I've got a major confession. I'm a Facebook live idiot. Yesterday I thought someone had reported my livestream of ICE trying to kidnap a man in Hermitage. Brahms Lullaby came on drowning out the other sounds and there were these stupid nightcaps that popped on and off the heads of the ICE agents. I blamed Facebook. But it was me touching the screen where these goofy affects pop up. I'd never noticed them before. So, there's lots of crappy things that Facebook does. This wasn't one of them. Facebook put a music filter on my livestream. The agent gave a name and number to call, but you couldn't hear it. This is how the SS is working now. The family is in the house. We formed a chain to get them in. You know mess is going on when ICE and MNPD drive away.https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSei3iIIva5zPVDCQEWeMRa6F88QI0D9c3b5jnFhW6E061VFjg/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1
Posted by Susan Hudson McBride on Monday, July 22, 2019
Stacey Farley, a neighbour of the man and son, came out for a cigarette at around 8.26am on Monday when she discovered what was going on, and went to alert other neighbours.
Over the next few hours, many of them helped the father stay in the van with his son, bringing them food, water and refilling the gas so they could keep the air con on in the car while ICE agents waited around.
In a video, which she shared on social media, Stacey said: ‘They’re in unmarked cars, they’re not in uniforms.’
Eventually, not only neighbours gathered, but immigration activists, a council member and volunteers from advocacy group Movements Including X appeared to show their support for the two males.
In a live Facebook video recorded by neighbour Tristan Call, another neighbour can be heard saying, as reported by The Daily Dot:
Seeing these children ripped away from their parents in the way they do it makes me wanna cry.
It hurts to see people go through what they’re going through. I understand if they didn’t take proper procedures to be United States citizens, maybe they didn’t know how to do it, maybe they waited too late but there’s a way to do it.
They shouldn’t have to be broken away from their parents.
Susan Hudson McBride also recorded a live Facebook video, however it was difficult to understand as the video has children’s nursery music and a visual filter on the clip.
Nashville Noticias posted footage of the moment the chain formed and the father and son escaped home (24m, 14s):
Un hombre y su hijo de 12 años se vieron sorprendidos por dos agentes de ICE esta mañana, quienes solicitaban que se entregará. Tras la respuesta rápida de organizaciones y vecinos, lograron impedir que fuera puesto bajo arresto. Así se registraron los hechos.
Posted by Nashville Noticias on Monday, July 22, 2019
The videos showed ICE driving away, before the neighbours gather and make a chain around the car while counting to six in Spanish before the father and son run from their car into their home.
Once the pair are safely back in their house, the neighbours cheer and clap.
Metro Nashvillle Police released a statement to CBS affiliate WTFV-TV:
An ICE representative telephoned the Emergency Communications Center at 7:19 a.m. He relayed that ICE attempted to stop a white Ford van, the driver would not stop, but did proceed to a driveway on Forest Ridge Drive. The caller said the driver was sitting in the van and was not getting out. He requested the police department’s assistance, but 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.
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.
Recently ICE has been on a mission to arrest migrants across the country under the orders of President Donald Trump.
However, according to The New York Times, only 35 arrests had been made out of the target of 2,000, set by Trump.
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Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining the LADbible Group team in 2017.