Federal lawmakers are calling on the U.S. State Department to assist a New York City police officer who was detained in India after being arrested for bringing bullets into the country.
In a letter dated Friday, U.S. Rep. Peter King called for U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to intervene and request the Indian government to release Officer Manny Encarnacion.
Officials say Encarnacion was taken into custody on March 10 upon arriving at New Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport after bullets were discovered in his checked luggage.
King wrote that it was an honest mistake and accused Indian officials of acting out of a sense of retribution following the arest of a diplomat from the South Asian country that cause a furor last yeaer.
“This excessive act by the Indian government is clearly politically motivated,” King wrote in the letter.
Sen. Charles Schumer said he hoped that the arrest was not politically motivated. “I would hope that India, a country that we have a good relationship with, would not stoop to the petty level of making a political pawn of this decorated NYPD cop and veteran,” he said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday he was “troubled” by the incident. “We want to make sure we’re providing support for him — and make sure he’s not being treated unfairly.”
NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said the police were working with federal officials to get Encarnacion released and allowed to return to the U.S.
Officials said the officer went to India on vacation wtih his wife.