Back in December 2015, a San Francisco man who tried to report a stolen car was turned over to immigration authorities by members of the San Francisco Police Department.
The San Francisco Examiner reports that 33-year-old Pedro Figueroa-Zarceno went to Southern Police Station on Third Street to report his car stolen. When police officers ran his name, they discovered that there was a warrant out for Figueroa-Zarceno, however unable to find details on the report, the police let the native El Salvadorian leave through a side door. It was there that ICE agents were waiting.
Figueroa-Zarceno told CBS 5 that his 8-year-old daughter could see him being arrested by immigration officials. "I could hear my daughter screaming outside the van, Dad! Dad! I could hear her telling them not to take her dad," he said.
Figueroa-Zarceno was sent to a detention center in Martinez for two months and his legal status is still up in the air. Adding insult to injury, SF Weekly reports that his car was auctioned off while he was in detention. He was eventually released on bond thanks to immigration attorneys at Van Der Hout, Brigagliano & Nightingale LLP. Read our previous coverage on Figueroa-Zarceno's plight here.
SF Weekly explains what's happened since:
...the Asian Law Caucus was introduced to Figueroa-Zarceno's case after his immigration attorneys reached out to FREE SF, a coalition of 21 organizations which together advocate for 'community safety, transformative justice, immigrant rights, and self-determination.' Figueroa-Zarceno's arrest, his attorneys suspected, had violated the city's Sanctuary Ordinance, which bans city employees from assisting ICE in detentions or arrests. Upon investigation, FREE SF agreed, and the Asian Law Caucus filed a suit against the city on behalf of Figueroa-Zarceno in January. ... "It's really important for San Francisco to remain a sanctuary city not in name only but also in practice. Our hope is that the department is going to look into this further and really examine the way that the department can do more," said Saira Hussain, Figueroa-Zarceno's lawyer and a staff-attorney with the Asian Law Caucus.
For their part, back in January the SFPD told the Chronicle that it had opened an internal investigation into the officers who notified ICE. "It is the policy of the San Francisco Police Department to foster trust and cooperation with all people of the city and to encourage them to communicate with SFPD officers without fear of inquiry regarding their immigration status. We are aware of concerns this incident has raised with some members of our community," said Sgt. Michael Andraychak.
Last week, the SFPD issued a statement that claimed "there will be serious consequences" for any policy or procedure violations found in their investigation into the incident.
While the City Attorney has approved granting Figueroa-Zarceno a settlement of $190,000, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors must vote on it. That vote is scheduled to happen sometime later this month.
"This proposed settlement is a fair resolution for all of the parties involved," City Attorney's office spokesperson John Cote tells CBS 5.