The man, 29-year-old real estate agent Bena Apreala, started recording the interaction after being stopped by the agents, who did not identify themselves. Speaking with a regional NBC outlet earlier this week, Apreala said that one officer (later determined to be an ICE agent) began walking toward him and told him to "stop" without stating his own identity or status as an agent. The man then asked him for identification and questioned where he was from and why he was in the area.
According to Apreala, he was never informed who the men were and only realized their status as ICE agents when he spotted their badges.
The ACLU of Massachusetts announced this week that they will represent Apreala. In a statement, Rahsaan Hall—director of the Racial Justice Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts—said that the incident "raises serious constitutional questions" and described it as "disturbing on a human level."
Others to have publicly condemned the incident include Ayanna Pressley, U.S. Representative for Massachusetts' 7th congressional district, and Senator Ed Markey.
"We will not stand by and watch them intimidate, harass, and racially profile our Black and Brown communities in Boston or anywhere in the country," Pressley, who noted that ICE and CBP have been allowed "for too long" to act with "impunity," said.
Others have also joined the call for an investigation into the incident, including Boston mayor Marty Walsh.