MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Facebook video captures the moment Glenda Mendez, Blanca Cruz and Maria Martinez were detained on Main near Madison Street after swiping a U.S. Customs Board of Protection vehicle.
"They saw us being Latina, and they started to intimidate us,"
Their pastor Rolando Rostro says The Memphis Police Department was handling the crash and had already checked their identification, but ICE got involved and asked for legal documentation.
"The police officer said I have to detain them, because ICE wants to detain them based on their color because they have no documents to detain them," Pastor Rostro said.
"They didn't have any prior history to have to go through the process. That's why this is such an aggressive conduct to the Latino community," the pastor said.
Rostro came to the scene and shot this video after he says the women were mistreated and their phones were taken away.
"He didn't have to use force and aggressively take our ID's and phones from our hands. It's just abuse to the Hispanic community,"
Mendez says she spoke with one of the MPD officers who was at the scene Wednesday.
"The MPD officer that was there said he had no reason to ask for any kind of documents or passports or what not," she said. "They said they just an abuse of power, because this was an MPD issue, not their issue."
Eventually, all three woman were released.
Two were released that same day and one was released the next day. But Pastor Rostro says this never should've happened.
"They were released for a reason. Some of the ladies are actually going through the paper work on being here, so some of them are here legally. But they were detained and taken into custody," Pastor Rostro said.