In the face of LAPD ‘s adamant defense of every aspect of Special Order 40, former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates said Mondaythat officers were being handcuffed by City Hall politicians (click here gatesclip.mp3)from using it against illegal immigrant gang members.
In a hearing put off for six months by the council’s Public Safety Committee Chairman, Jack Weiss, the wannabe City Attorney, emotional statements flowed freely from the family of Jamiel Shaw Jr. — the South L.A. youth slain allegedly by a illegal immigrant gang member last spring — and others who wanted tougher law enforcement and those who defended Special Order 40 and how it’s being used.
Police Commission member Andrea Ortin, who was the U.S. Attorney for L.A. when Gates adopted Special Order 40 nearly 30 years ago, gave no ground in her defense of the policy or LAPD’s use of it.
LAPD officials took the same tack, conceding only that it was being applied unevenly in different parts of the city by officers. Training is now under way so officers will understand that they are to report when they believe people arrested for felonies or multiple misdemeanors might be in the country illegally
They argued they aren’t authorized to enforce federal laws — a contention that was challenged by Councilman Dennis Zine who introducted a motion to stregthen Special Order back in April shortly after the murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr. .
Gates traced the reasons he adopted Special Order 40 to the failure of federal officials to collaborate in his efforts to crack down on gang activity. He said it was necessary to get illegal immigrants who were victims of crime or witnesses to cooperate with police. It was never intended to protect gang members who engaged in crime from immigration law enforcement
In the end, the committee decided to do nothing more than ask the LAPD to provide periodic reports on training of officers in Special Order 40 without suggesting any changes to it.
So nothing changed. The Shaw family will continue to try to qualify Jamiel’s Law for the ballot through the petition drive and the controversy over illegal immigration and the protection of the civil rights of all immigrants will continue.