Michigan police under fire after calling Latino war veteran ‘loco,’ contacting ICE

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Activists are calling for the firing of a western Michigan police officer whom they accuse of racial profiling by notifying immigration officials about the arrest of a mentally ill Latino war veteran who is actually a U.S. citizen.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement held Jilmar Ramos-Gomez for three days in December before releasing the Michigan-born man.

Grand Rapids Lt. Curt VanderKooi told ICE about Ramos-Gomez’ November arrest at a local hospital, referring to him as “loco,” or crazy. Interim police Chief David Kiddle says VanderKooi was reprimanded for “unprofessional language.”

Dozens of people attended a city commission meeting Tuesday to express their displeasure with how Ramos-Gomez was treated. Miriam Aukerman, of the American Civil Liberties Union, says Ramos-Gomez was racially profiled.

Kiddle says he’s using the case to review policies.

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