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After shooting, officials want ICE agents in NYC to wear body cameras

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Wes Parnell and Leonard Greene
New York Daily News

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams wants Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to wear body cameras like NYPD cops, after ICE officials shot a man in the face while trying to detain an undocumented Mexican immigrant.

ICE agents should not even be operating in a sanctuary city like New York — but if they are rounding up undocumented immigrants in the five boroughs, they should at least wear body cameras to ensure transparency, Adams said Friday.

“The question of ICE is what happened inside that house, and we state that we can remove the question, if we can have ICE ... to have the same video surveillance that our police officers are required to have,” Adams said. “There should be no questions of what happened in the day of technology.”

Adams spoke outside Maimonides Hospital in Borough Park, where Eric Diaz-Cruz was expected to undergo surgery after he was shot in the face by an ICE agent while trying to stop his mother’s boyfriend, Gasper Avenando-Hernandez, from being taken.

Diaz-Cruz, 36, was in critical but stable condition Friday. A Mexican diplomat said Diaz-Cruz is in the country legally with a visa.

The shooting brought protesters out to the hospital, and ramped up calls for ICE to de-escalate in the city.

“We don’t want this young man, Avenando-Hernandez turned over to ICE,” Adams said Friday. “We would like for him to be released back to the city and then remain here. This is something we’ve asked for. To be clear we don’t believe ICE should be here in our schools, in our courtrooms. This is a sanctuary city and we want to make sure that sanctuary mind set is carried out.”

Adams said he would ask Congress to take action that would force ICE to stand down.

Diaz-Cruz’s mother, Carmen Cruz, stepped out of the hospital briefly to thank supporters, including Assembly member Felix Ortiz, who decried the shooting of an unarmed man.

“We would like to see any kind of video or evidence they have to justify why they pulled out a gun,” Ortiz said. ”How In the hell are they going to pull the trigger on an innocent man that didn’t have a gun, didn’t even have a knife, nothing.”

Mayor de Blasio called the agency an “illegitimate force."

“It’s a highly politicized agency,” de Blasio said during an interview with NY1. “It’s basically a wing of the Donald Trump campaign at this point. If ICE wants to compare itself to the NYPD or fight with the NYPD, the NYPD will win every single time. For decades in this city, there’s actually been a bipartisan consensus, regardless of who has been mayor, that the NYPD would not ask immigration status of the people that it protects in this city.

"Half-a-million people happen to be undocumented, but they’re still part of our city. They’re our neighbors. They are part of what makes New York City as great as it is. We are not going to poison that well.”