Grand Rapids Agrees to Pay $190,000 to Veteran Detained by ICE

Veteran detained by ICE given 190,000 settlement

Officials in Grand Rapids, Michigan have unanimously voted to pay a $190,000 settlement to a Latino-American veteran who was wrongfully detained for three days by authorities with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The Grand Rapids City Commission approved the settlement for Jilmar Ramos-Gomez on Tuesday. who was born and raised in Michigan and had served in the Marines between Oct. 2011 and Aug. 2014, military records show.

The incident began last November when Ramos-Gomez was arrested by police for allegedly setting a fire at a hospital, and pulled a fire alarm until he ultimately ended up on the hospital's helipad. At the time, the former tank crewman pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor trespassing charge and a judge ordered that he be released on his own recognizance.

However, instead of being released, Grand Rapids police Capt. Curtis VanderKooi reported Ramos-Gomez to ICE.

According to a statement released by ICE through the sheriff's office, Ramos-Gomez "claimed in verbal statements to be a foreign national illegally present in the US. Based on his statements, ICE lodged a detainer with local authorities."

ICE claims it had been working in good faith with local authorities when they detained Ramos-Gomez for three days. VanderKooi was given a 20-hour suspension by the department for violating policy. He was also ordered to attend supplemental training.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and the Michigan Immigrant Rights Center filed a complaint in April on Ramos-Gomez's behalf, writing that VanderKooi had discriminated against the veteran based on his race.

Photo: Kent County Sheriff's Office

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