An immigrant advocacy group says law enforcement “violently” detained a man at Duke Manor apartments in Durham early Tuesday morning. Alerta Migratoria posted a video of officers wearing vests marked “Police” and “U.S. Marshal” detaining a man the group identified as Edwin Leonel Reyes.
Here is a video of the encounter, according to the group:
Jail records show that Reyes, twenty-six, was booked into the Forsyth County jail Tuesday as an “INS inmate.” As of nine forty-five this morning, he was still in custody, a Detention Facility employee confirmed.
The video shows Reyes lying on the ground on his back outside of an apartment, surrounded by officers.
“Edwin was violently thrown on the ground causing injury to Edwin’s head,” Alerta Migratoria wrote in a Facebook post this morning. “Witnesses report seeing blood and law enforcement authorities stomping on Edwin’s head.”
Ivan Almonte, who works with Alerta Migratoria, said the officers first approached Reyes at about six a.m. outside of his brother’s apartment in Duke Manor, where Reyes also lives. According to Almonte, the officers asked Reyes his name and showed him a photo of a different man they said they were looking for, named Pedro. The officers asked Reyes if he had ever been detained by ICE and told him he would be arrested, Almonte said.
Before they were able to handcuff him, Reyes “ran away,” Almonte said. He came back to Duke Manor later that morning and the officers were still there. That’s when he was detained.
“They would never admit that they took the wrong person and what they did was really violent,” Almonte said.
Almonte said Reyes has no criminal background and no outstanding removal order.
“All this happened in front of children who were waiting for their school bus to Forest View Elementary,” the Alerta Migratoria post says. “Children arrived at school in a complete state of panic and worried about returning to empty homes.”
Almonte said on Wednesday morning that members of the group were accompanying Reyes’s niece to school for support.
“She didn’t eat at all yesterday,” he said. “If you look at her face you can see how this is affecting her.”