NJ Transit crewman suspended after falsely announcing ICE agents were on train

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A New Jersey Transit train.

A NJ Transit crewman was suspended without pay Monday after announcing that Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security agents were on his morning rush-hour train to New York, the transit agency said.

NJ Transit said the announcement on the 6:54 a.m. train from Bay Head was false. But it prompted a small storm on social media, with many saying such an action was unlawful and un-American, while others criticized the crewman for compromising a law-enforcement operation.

A tweet from a rider reporting the announcement caught the eye of U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez. If the action were true, the New Jersey Democrat said, it amounted to “outrageous racial profiling.”

NJ Transit said the crew member, a 30-year veteran whose name was not released, had been immediately suspended without pay pending an investigation.

“NJT will not tolerate such reprehensible conduct, which stands in direct contrast with our agency’s culture,” the agency wrote on Twitter.

Nancy Snyder, spokeswoman for the agency, said the announcement was false.