The U.S. Government’s refusal to allow 34-year-old Delon Michael into the country from Belize has delayed the burial of his sister Kisha Michael by nearly a month and a half.
31-year-old Kisha Michael was killed the morning of Feb. 21 when Inglewood police approached a vehicle she was in near Manchester Boulevard and Inglewood Avenue. According to the police, when they approached the car, they noticed Michael in the car with a gun and ordered her and Marquintan Sandlin, 32, a single father of four daughters, out of the vehicle. Officers then took cover and opened fire, killing both people. Michael, the mother of 3 young sons was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting, and Sandlin died later at a hospital.
Rosalind Osler, 54, says that she has been working diligently to get her daughter’s older brother Delon here from Belize so that along with Kisha’s twin sister Trisha, they could properly mourn as a family and lay her to rest.
Last month, the U.S. Embassy in Belize denied Delon, a government worker in Orange Walk, a visa to come to the U.S. for his sister’s funeral.
“He called me on the phone and said he did his fingerprints and passport pictures and took them to the Embassy,” explained Mrs. Osler. “He told me that about three minutes into waiting to be interviewed he was asked his reasons for coming to America. He told the Embassy worker that the police killed his sister and that he was coming to Los Angeles to bury her. He told me he attempted to show the worker documents confirming Kisha’s death but that she refused to look at them and then told him he was being denied because he had overstayed his visa years ago by one year. That was it. They told him no and now we have to bury Kisha without her brother being there.”
Human rights attorney Nana Gyamfi says that it’s not uncommon for the United States to deny visas even in these circumstances under the pretext that those who are given visas will come and stay.
“This is another example of the draconian attitude that this country has regarding Black immigrants especially.”
All three of Rosalind Osler’s children were born in Belize. She says her daughters first came to America in 1994 and her son followed several years later but decided to go back to Belize to live.
Still grieving, Rosalind Osler says that when her daughter Kisha was killed, she was in Los Angeles to take care of personal business including the renewal of her passport. Having recently moved to Las Vegas, her daughter had found a job and needed to get a Nevada state ID card. While she waiting for her passport to be renewed in Los Angeles, she had gotten a job doing housecleaning, completed her taxes, got a driver license and bought a car.
Since the death of her daughter, Mrs. Osler has taken custody of her three grandsons whose father is incarcerated. Osler, a recent widow who works two jobs—one as a caretaker and another as a certified nurses assistant has had to stop working temporarily to care for the three young boys ages 11, 10 and 3, one of whom suffers from asthma.
“It’s unbelievable. It has turned me upside down completely. It has changed me. I raised my kids and now I have to raise my grandkids and not only that I have to go to work. I have to pick them up from school and take them to the doctors and all that. Do errands. It’s just been hard. Right now we’re grieving. It seems like there’s a whole load on me right now. There’s a lot of things about the kids I don’t know. I am learning as I go along and they’re learning. They know me already but I don’t know much about them because my daughter was on her own. She took care of them. She did everything for the kids. It’s hard. I cannot explain how hard it is unless you’ve been in my shoes. It has not been easy.”
Kisha Michael’s family says that she’s still trying to raise the $15,000 needed to bury her but has moved forward with plans to hold the service at Inglewood Park Cemetery on Sat., Apr. 9 at 11 a.m. in The Mausoleum of the Golden West. The family has reached out to Inglewood Mayor James Butts and the Inglewood Police Association for financial help with the services. Both Mayor Butts and the Association say that they will be providing significant financial assistance to the Michael’s family.
“This is devastating because this is his sister and him being far away is hard for him and it’s hard for us. I wish he’d be able to see her at least one more time before we bury her but I don’t know, I don’t know. I know he’s sad. It’s saddened him and it’s saddened me to know that he won’t be here. So I’m just praying for a miracle or anything that would happen for him to be able to come back at least for a little while. You know three weeks or four weeks and then go back because he’s working over there. He cannot stay. It’s not like he’s coming to stay. He will be going back home.”
The independent investigations of the officer-involved-shooting by the L.A. County District Attorney’s office and the Inglewood Police Department are ongoing. No findings have been released as of this story.
Funeral services for Kisha Michael will take place on Sat. Apr. 9 at 11 a.m. in The Mausoleum of the Golden West located in the Inglewood Park Cemetery at 720 East Florence Avenue in Inglewood.