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Rally Monday after ICE officers storm Brooklyn restaurant, pepper spray worker

Posted: 6:18 AM, Mar 09, 2020
Updated: 2020-03-09 07:39:31-04

FLATBUSH, Brooklyn — Community leaders and neighbors will rally Monday outside a Brooklyn restaurant where ICE officers stormed in and used pepper spray to detain a woman working last week.

The controversial arrest was caught on camera after federal agents barged into La Cabaña restaurant on Flatbush Avenue in the Flatbush neighborhood on Sunday, March 1.

ICE officers used pepper spray to detain Dominican immigrant Maria de los Angeles San Pimental, who reportedly overstayed her work visa and was recently arrested after a bar fight.

Pimental can be heard coughing and struggling on the ground as witnesses scrambled to document the chaos.

State Senator Zellnor Myrie of Crown Heights tweeted the videos over this past weekend, writing that he is "enraged and heartbroken," and claiming the officers made no effort to explain what was happening to Pimental in Spanish.

Pimental's family, Sen. Myrie, neighbors and activist groups plan to rally Monday at 11 a.m. in front of the restaurant where the violent arrest occurred.

An ICE spokesperson said San Pimental was arrested on Feb. 25 for assault and harassment charges, but she was released from local custody, at which point ICE officers were "forced" to locate San Pimental "on the streets of New York rather than in the safe confines of a jail." Officers discharged oleoresin capsicum, or OC spray, after San Pimental resisted arrest, an ICE spokesperson said.

“During this enforcement action, ICE officers were within the scope of their law enforcement duties and acted with professionalism and respect to ensure the safety of all parties involved. On scene, officers maintained effective communication with Sanz Pimentel and bystanders by ensuring them she would be afforded all courtesy to include a translator during processing. Although the scene became chaotic with bystanders, officers continued to conduct themselves with professionalism to ensure the scene remained safe.”