APRIL 09, 2008
Weakening accusations that Judicial Watch is racist for fighting a police department’s don’t-ask-don’t tell immigration policy is a black family’s emotional plea for “ask and deport” after their teenage son was brutally murdered by an illegal alien gang banger one day after the thug completed a jail sentence for a previous felony.
This blog pointed out last month how the Los Angeles Police Department’s longtime policy (Special Order 40) of banning officers from inquiring about suspects’ immigration status essentially allowed a notorious gang member—and illegal alien—to murder a high school football star 24 hours after being released from prison for assault with a deadly weapon.
The renowned 18th Street Gang member, Pedro Espinoza, should have been deported after being released from Los Angeles County jail but local authorities didn’t bother to initiate the process by contacting federal immigration officials. That’s because police in the Golden State’s largest city (nearly 4 million residents) isn’t allowed to ask an arrestee’s immigration status. This enabled a violent illegal immigrant to remain in the country and take the life of a dedicated young athlete, who was being recruited by several top colleges.
Seventeen-year-old Jamiel Shaw, the son of an Army sergeant serving in Iraq, was walking home from the mall when several members from the violent Hispanic 18th Street Gang pulled up in a car. Espinoza shot him on the sidewalk and the star prep running back died instantly. Had the cops identified the gang member as an illegal alien during his previous encounters with the law, he would have been deported and Shaw would have gone on to fulfill his dream of playing college football.
This week Shaw’s parents appeared before the Los Angeles City Council to plead for changes in the LAPD’s outrageous policy forbidding officers from obtaining information on immigration status. His father proposed that the policy be changed so officers could at least check the immigration status of known gang members. This simple move would have saved his son’s life.
Judicial Watch has sued the LAPD over Special Order 40, which violates federal law since no police officer can be ordered to ignore and flout federal laws. The illegal mandate was implemented in 1979 by the city’s former police chief and the city council to supposedly gain the cooperation of witnesses and victims afraid to call police for fear of deportation.
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