MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A journalist detained after an immigration protest in front of the city’s Criminal Justice Center this week was placed in the custody of immigration authorities Thursday morning.
Manuel Duran, 42, was arrested Tuesday and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing a highway, along with six activists who were imitating immigrants being detained by immigration agents.
Duran, who publishes the Spanish-language Noticias Memphis, was covering the event, described as a “rolling block party” protest.
The charges against him were dismissed in a court hearing Thursday. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement asked Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham to keep Duran in detention so he could be picked up for deportation.
Shelby County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Earl Farrell released a statement saying, “Manuel Duran was taken into custody by ICE agents shortly after release from Shelby County Jail. He would have been released Earlier but he refused to sign bond. He was not being held on an ICE Hold.”
Duran was in ICE custody later Thursday morning.
A petition urging the sheriff to stop Duran’s possible deportation has been circulating among supporters on social media.