Jamiel’s Law supporters went before the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday to again ask that the Supervisors to order a comprehensive investigation and report of findings regarding the law enforcement policies and procedures in place at the time of the murder of Jamiel A. Shaw, II. Specifically the policies and procedures of the Office of District Attorney, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Dept., the County Probation Department, California Youth Authority and the Los Angeles Superior Court with regard to the prosecution, incarceration, sentencing and probation of criminal illegal aliens.
For those that don’t know, Jamiel Shaw was a Los Angeles High School junior and star football running back who was shot to death just a few houses away from his home on a quiet street in the Arlington Heights neighborhood a few months back allegedly by a reputed gang member who was in the country illegally. The suspect, Pedro Espinoza, had been released from county jail the day before the slaying.
The argument now is regarding L.A.P.D. Special Order 40 that prohibits officers from initiating contact with people simply to determine whether they are illegal immigrants.
A while back, I clearly articulated my feelings regarding Special Order 40 and Jamiel’s Law, and I still feel the same way.
What happened to Jamiel Shaw is sad and tragic. No person should be gunned down in the street like that. However, funneling our frustrations with increased gang violence onto immigrants is not the answer either. Before Jamiel was gunned down, how many brothers and sisters were gunned down by other brothers and sisters? My point exactly. And where was all of this hoopla about gang violence then? My point exactly.
Jamiel’s Law in my opinion is less about gang violence and more targeted at immigrants…in my opinion. Because if it was about the gangs, immigrants wouldn’t be the only targets.
The truth of the matter whether we admit it or not, is that when it comes to gang violence, Black on Black crime out numbers Latino on Black crime…considerably.
While it’s generally a good thing in my book when any of us care enough to raise up our voices about the injustices faced in our communities, when we do so, we need to do it from a place of intelligence, honesty and responsibility.
It’s easy to blame Mexican immigrants for Los Angeles’ gang problem, and to be honest, this time last year I’d have probably been out there with some you on the corner doing the same. As much as I’d like to point the finger of blame in another direction, common sense and a cooler head on this issue prevail.
The fact of the matter is that while it’s true that Mexican gangs have and continue to target Black people, gang violence was long an issue before the recent surge in Latino on Black violence. The Stop the Violence Movement of the 90s wasn’t targeted toward Latino gang members, it was targeted towards Black gang members.
So if this is really a movement to end gang violence, then why are we limiting our scope to Latinos? We could modify Special Order 40 tomorrow mandating that officers report gang members here “illegally” to federal authorities, what real difference is that going to make in the streets of Los Angeles? Absolutely none. And if those same gang members are then deported back to their home country, do you honestly believe that L.A.’s gang violence would lessen, let alone disappear all together? Nope because brothers will still be dying at the hands of other brothers by nightfall.
But even more basic and simple than that, is this. Anytime the Minutemen are willing to join African-Americans on an issue, be very aware cause’ something ain’t right.
Check out Mayor Sam’s Sister City’s report on the Board of Supervisors meeting here.
H/t Mayor Sam’s Sister City Blog