Shared Live On Facebook, Immigration Agents In Kansas City Smash Car Window To Arrest Man | KCUR

Shared Live On Facebook, Immigration Agents In Kansas City Smash Car Window To Arrest Man

Jul 22, 2019

Immigration agents captured on a Facebook live video Monday morning in Kansas City are seen smashing the driver side window of a car, pulling the driver out and arresting him after he refused to get out of the car.

The man had refused to emerge after a woman in the car asked the agents to show a warrant and they didn’t do so, telling her they had a “paperless” warrant.

One of the agents breaks the window about 21 minutes into the video, which was shot in the parking lot of an apartment complex in eastern Kansas City. The man is heard saying, “You know you’re not able to do that,” just before the agent breaks the window, pulls him out and forces him to the ground, where he’s handcuffed face down. A child is heard wimpering in the car.  

Kansas City police are also on the scene, having arrived after the agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement boxed in the car containing the man, the woman who shot the video and two children in the back seat.

As the father is about to be taken away, he’s shown asking to say goodbye to his son. An ICE agent turns down his request.

“Right now we’re being extremely nice to you, but what you just put us through, what we had to go through, you’re lucky I’m letting you talk to her right now,” the agent says. “So no, you can talk to him later, she can bring him up to where you’re gonna be and you can see them there.”  

The video had 2,700 views as of Monday evening. 

The woman who shot the video, Cheyenne Hoyt, told KCUR that the man arrested was Florencio Millan, her boyfriend and the father of her two children.

She said Millan is an undocumented Mexican national who arrived in the United States 19 years ago, when he was 13 years old. She said ICE agents did not say why he was being detained.

“They never stated anything,” Hoyt said. “They just kept saying that they had a warrant. So I kept asking for the warrant and they … they never gave me answer, they never showed me the warrant.”

She said Millan called her later to tell her he was being held in a facility near KCI airport and was going to be moved to Morgan County on Tuesday.

Shawn Neudauer, an ICE spokesman, said in an email that Millan, whose full name is Millan-Vazquez, had a prior criminal history "that includes misdemeanor offenses."

“In 2011, a federal immigration judge granted him voluntary departure.  Millan-Vazquez complied with the judge’s order by returning to Mexico,” Neudauer said.  “However, five days after he returned to Mexico, he was encountered by immigration officials after he illegally re-entered the United States under an assumed name. He was issued an expedited removal order and removed (deported) from the U.S. Millan-Vazquez remains in ICE custody pending removal to Mexico.”

He added that ICE officers “were left with no other choice than make the arrest by physically removing him from the vehicle” after attempting to negotiate with him “for about 25 minutes.”

Kansas City Police Department spokesman Jacob Becchina said ICE was attempting to make a car stop, and because Millan refused to exit the vehicle, ICE called the police for assistance.

“There was a long process to try to talk the male subject out of the car willingly, both KCPD officers and the ICE agent attempted to talk the male into exiting the vehicle,” Becchina told KCUR in an email. “After those attempts failed the ICE agent broke the window to the car to gain access and take the male into custody.”

Hoyt said she and Millan were taking their severely disabled 7-month-old daughter to a doctor’s appointment when they were stopped.

“This, like, came out of nowhere,” Hoyt said.

Hoyt said Millan works as a chef at a local restaurant and is the family breadwinner. She said she stopped working after her daughter was born so she could take care of her.  

Millan’s arrest took place the same day the Trump administration announced a new strategy to quickly deport undocumented immigrants who have illegally entered the U.S. in the past two years. The fast-track process would bypass immigration judges.

Rev. Rick Behrens, a board member of Advocates for Immigrant Rights and Reconciliation, said that after seeing the video, “I can tell you, this is a new low. I don't think we've seen or heard of this.”

He said ICE appeared to be defying the law by not presenting a warrant or even naming the person they wanted.

“It's very disheartening and painful to watch, but it will just inspire us to work harder on behalf of these hard-working people in our community,” he said. 

This story has been updated to include the comments of a spokesman for ICE.

Dan Margolies is a senior reporter and editor at KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @DanMargolies

Laura Ziegler is a community engagement reporter at KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @laurazig or by email at lauraz@kcur.org.