Video: Protesters Gather Outside Oakland Home Amid Child Sex Trafficking Investigation

July 5, 2018 Last Updated: July 5, 2018

People were seen protesting what they thought was an immigration investigation in Oakland, California, but according to a local report, it was a criminal search warrant that was being executed in connection with child sex trafficking.

The incident took place last year, but it received renewed interest on Thursday.

“There is a growing group of people who are upset about what they’ve been seeing,” said local CBS News reporter Neda Iranpour in the video. “There’s a sign saying ‘we love our neighbors.’ They also wrote on the ground with chalk saying [Oakland Police] is a disgrace, thinking that this was an immigration investigation because Homeland Security was out here.”

But then, she added, “We just got word from Oakland Police that this was in fact a federal criminal search warrant executed in connection with human sex trafficking of juveniles.”

A neighbor explained why she was protesting.

“It’s been really tough because we don’t know what’s going on in there,” said Hadar Cohen, a protester who said she is a neighbor. “We know that there’s a lot of injustices that are happening and we care for our neighbors and we care for immigration rights. No person is illegal.”

It’s not clear if the protesters knew that the home was being investigated for child sex trafficking.

 

According to the agency, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces “federal laws governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety,” and its “mission is to protect America from the cross-border crime and illegal immigration that threaten national security and public safety.”

“People are smuggled and trafficked, while children are sexually exploited at home and abroad,” ICE says on its website. “Most ICE offices and programs have a role in preventing terrorism. Several are on the front lines of this effort, either identifying dangerous persons before they enter the U.S. or finding them as they violate immigration or customs laws. ICE also works to prevent the illegal export of U.S. technology that could be used or repurposed to do harm.”