Judicial Watch • L.A. Sheriff Sued For Freeing Illegal Immigrant Murderer

L.A. Sheriff Sued For Freeing Illegal Immigrant Murderer

L.A. Sheriff Sued For Freeing Illegal Immigrant Murderer

MAY 12, 2009

The family of a murdered high school football star is suing the sheriff’s department for releasing from jail the illegal immigrant gangbanger who pulled the trigger despite knowing he was a “dangerous felon and an immigration violator.”

One day before gunning down the popular teenaged athlete, the illegal immigrant—a longtime member of a renowned violent street gang—was released from Los Angeles County jail where had been serving time for assault with a deadly weapon.  

Because he was freed rather than deported, the gangbanger (Pedro Espinoza) shot the prep running back (Jamiel Shaw) as he walked home from the mall last spring. Several members from the Hispanic 18th Street Gang pulled up in a car and Espinoza shot the talented running back, who had been recruited by several top colleges to play football, on the sidewalk.

In their lawsuit Shaw’s parents accuse the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, which operates the county jails, of wrongful death, civil rights violations and a violation of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act which outlines the agreement between federal and local authorities for immigration enforcement. 

The family’s complaint says deputies negligently released Espinoza from jail on March 1, 2008 despite knowing he was a dangerous felon and an immigration violator and that the sheriff’s department violated immigration laws as well as their civil rights by releasing the killer. 

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca knew or should have known that they were releasing a convicted felon and illegal alien with an extensive history of gang violence into the Los Angeles community to perpetrate killings against African Americans, according to the lawsuit. 

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