Several social media posts of a possible Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, raid on the 1500 block of Alcatraz Avenue on Friday morning were proven false by Berkeley Police Department.
According to BPD spokesperson Sgt. Andrew Frankel, what community members thought was an ICE raid was actually a BPD special response team carrying out a warrant. The team was called for due to the severity of the crime, Frankel said. Frankel, however, would not disclose the nature of the crime.
One Twitter post described about 30 officers dressed in “army gear and a military vehicle while the street’s blocked off.” According to Frankel, the special response team wears a camouflage pattern uniform and the city borrowed an emergency rescue vehicle from a neighboring agency, as the city does not own one of its own.
The suspect was not at the location and remains at large. Although the crime required a special response time, there is no public safety concern, according to Frankel.
Mayor Jesse Arreguin addressed the false reports with a tweet Friday morning.
“Berkeley continues to be a Sanctuary City and we stand with our undocumented community,” Arreguin said in his tweet.
Reports of an ICE raid happening in South Berkeley are not true. The police were serving a warrant and there was no ICE presence or involvement of any kind. Berkeley continues to be a Sanctuary City and we stand with our undocumented community.
— Jesse Arreguin (@JesseArreguin) November 17, 2017