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(Credit: Ricardo Levins Morales)

Cell phone video shows Minneapolis Metro Transit officer asking about immigration status


Minneapolis Metro Transit are investigating an incident shown on video in which a transit officer asks a light-rail passenger about his immigration status.

The agency announced it was investigating after Minneapolis artist Ricardo Levins Morales posted video of the incident to his Facebook page on Friday.

Morales says the officer was checking passenger fares, which is routine. The video shows the officer asking one passenger for identification and saying, "Are you here illegally?"

The video was shared to Facebook on Friday. It's since been shared more than 5,000 times.

Morales then asked the officer if he was authorized to act as an immigration agent and the officer responded, "No, not necessarily." The unidentified passenger has his back to Morales during the recording.

Metro Transit Police Chief Harrington said in a statement that it’s not his agency’s practice to inquire about immigration status. He’s asked for an internal investigation.

The incident happened May 14.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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