An Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee claims that three agents attempted to deport him despite an order preventing his removal and allegedly beat him when he refused to board the plane, according to a lawsuit filed Friday.
Bakhodir Madjitov, a 39-year-old Muslim man from Uzbekistan, alleges that three ICE agents attempted to force him on a flight to his home country on June 10, 2019 at John F. Kennedy Airport despite having a stay of removal from the Third Circuit on his asylum case. Madjitov's wife and three children are US citizens and live in Connecticut.
When reached for comment, ICE spokesperson Bryan D. Cox said the agency doesn't comment on pending litigation but noted that the "absence of comment should in no way be construed as to suggest that ICE thinks any particular lawsuit has merit."
Madjitov's attorneys are asking for compensatory and punitive damages from each ICE agent and the United States, as well as any other relief the court deems just and equitable, according to the lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of New York by the Council on American-Islamic Relations New York chapter and the New Haven Legal Assistance Immigrant Rights Clinic.
When the agents took him to the airport, Madjitov informed each of the three agents of the stay, which his wife had confirmed with the court earlier in the day, the lawsuit states. When two of the agents checked, they allegedly said they couldn't find any order from the court, the lawsuit continues, and Madjitov asked them to check again. The agents left the room and came back, one agent said he had called the court and confirmed there was nothing preventing his deportation, according to the lawsuit.
When Madjitov refused to board the flight by standing still and repeatedly asking them to honor the stay, officers allegedly threatened him, saying they would tase him and force him on the plane, according to the lawsuit. When he still refused, the agents allegedly pushed him against a wall and one agent tased him twice in the back, the lawsuit states. The lawsuit then claims that the agents pushed him to the ground and handcuffed him.
The agents then allegedly picked up Madjitov and forced him to go back to the van they brought him in, even though he was crying from the pain of the altercation, according to the lawsuit. Local police officers asked the ICE agents if Madjitov was OK and if he needed medical attention. ICE agents then offered to call an ambulance to take Madjitov to a hospital, the lawsuit says. Madjitov agreed and was transported to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, the lawsuit continued.
While at the hospital, two of the ICE agents allegedly interfered in Madjitov's care and would interrupt when he tried to explain his injuries, the lawsuit says. At one point, one of the agents grabbed his discharge papers before he could see them, the lawsuit continued, and the doctor edited and reprinted the paperwork. According to Madjitov, some of the sections of his discharge paperwork contradict what he told medical officials and didn't include some of his injuries.
CNN has reached out to Jamaica Hospital for comment on the accusations, but the hospital is not listed as a defendant on the lawsuit.
The lawsuit also claims that ICE agents wouldn't allow Madjitov to go to the bathroom until they were leaving the hospital and refused to uncuff him so he could properly wash his hands and face before prayer.