Although his department has defended the “rights” of illegal aliens with far more vigor than the civil rights of actual United States citizens and legal residents for decades, Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck took great umbrage at President Trump’s recent allegation that the Sanctuary State law led to his department refusing to honor a detainer for an illegal alien who was then arrested for murder.
During a White House roundtable on Sanctuary State policies, Trump said:
“In January, the Los Angeles Police Department arrested an illegal immigrant from Mexico for drug possession. Instead of honoring the ICE detainer, they set him free. Just a few weeks later, he was arrested again, this time for murder. So they arrested him, they had him, they let him go. Tom, you’ve seen this. They let him go, and he killed somebody.”
The media had a field day fact-checking his statements. Factcheck.org wrote:
“That’s not how it happened.
“The murder occurred last summer — before federal immigration officials say they issued a detainer request — so it did not happen after police released him, as Trump implied.”
Chief Beck couldn’t let that stain on the integrity of his department stand. (Remember, this is the guy who, before SB 54 was even drafted, instituted a secret internal policy that made it more difficult for LAPD officers to arrest a known felon illegal alien than an “ordinary US citizen.) The LA Times reports:
“In fact, Beck told the city’s civilian Police Commission, the murder occurred last summer, before the man was arrested in January on suspicion of a minor narcotics violation.
“There was no such request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Beck said.
“‘Not that we would have honored it, anyway, because we believe those requests are illegal,’ the police chief said.
“Beck said the murder occurred in the Van Nuys area and may have been related to the narcotics trade and the Blythe Street gang. He identified the man as Juan Ramirez.”
In other words, Beck says, don’t believe what that bullying orange man says. Pfft, ICE didn’t request a detainer on this illegal alien, known gang member, and probable drug dealer – but if they did, we wouldn’t have honored it anyway because we don’t believe in federal laws.
An ICE spokeswoman gave the Times a different timeline. According to that agency, Ramirez was arrested on November 27, 2o17 and January 7, 2018, and both times a detainer was issued. The Sanctuary State laws did not go into effect until January 1, 2018, but, as previously mentioned, LAPD operated under Beck’s directive long before that.
“Statements that ICE failed to file detainers for each of Mr. Ramirez’ arrests are incorrect,” said [ICE] spokeswoman, Sarah Rodriguez. “ICE has placed three detainers on Mr. Ramirez in the last six months, all of which were not honored, leaving Mr. Ramirez free to reoffend in an escalating fashion rather than be placed in immigration court proceedings and removed from the United States.”
Ramirez was arrested on February 26, 2018 on the murder charge. The date of offense is August 27, 2017, so yes, Beck is correct that if detainers were issued (and ignored) in those cases, it wouldn’t have prevented the murder. But hey, had he been arrested before that and had ICE issued a detainer, we would have let him go on his merry way!
And, reading Trump’s statement again, it is correct.
The city’s Police Commissioner, Cynthia McClain-Hill, agrees with Beck’s idiotic “It didn’t happen that way, but we wouldn’t have honored detainers anyway” defense.
“I appreciate the chief being so emphatic in defending the actions of the department in not cooperating with ICE, in compliance with the values of the city, the mayor and the commission.”
The LA Times didn’t investigate whether Ramirez had been arrested previously, and a search of news records didn’t turn up any concurrent stories. (If it was a drug murder in Van Nuys, it wouldn’t have made the LA Times, sadly.)
But why is there such a hubbub about this one case and whether or not Trump got it right? There weren’t published fact checks regarding Trump’s comments about Marilyn Pharis, another California victim of illegal alien crime. Jury selection started in the trial of her murderers around the time the roundtable was held, but major media outlets didn’t utter a word about her case. Of Pharis, Trump said:
“We all remember the tragic case of Marilyn Pharis, who was murdered by an illegal immigrant who had been arrested six times prior to breaking into Marilyn’s home, raping her and savagely beating her to death with a hammer.”
Pharis, a 64-year-old Air Force veteran, worked a civilian job at Vandenburg Air Force Base and lived in Santa Maria, California. She awoke one morning in July 2015 to find a man on top of her, sexually assaulting her, while his accomplice stood watch. Her assailant, Victor Ramirez Martinez, had been arrested just two weeks before for possession of methamphetamines. ICE was contacted, but declined to pick him up – but remember, this was in 2015, under the Obama administration’s rules.
She told the 911 dispatcher that she had been strangled and lost consciousness three times. Despite that, former Police Chief Ralph Martin said:
“…Marilyn would not give up. She fought back with all the strength that she could possibly muster, even while receiving repeated blows with the hammer. The suspects left her for dead, but somehow, with her eye sockets shattered from the beating she suffered, including a broken neck bone, she called 911.
“I am not remiss to say that from Washington D.C. to Sacramento, there is a blood trail into the bedroom of Marilyn Pharis.”
Once she arrived at the hospital, she told medical workers she had bitten the assailant “and and I have his hair or tissue in my mouth.”
It’s no secret that the media would rather focus on misstatements by the President about a drug dealer/gang banger/illegal alien murderer than the torture and anguish being visited upon ordinary Americans by criminal illegal aliens.