Los Angeles is currently caught up in a battle against two threats — the Paparazzi and street gangs. It has chosen to do battle with the paps; it has chosen to duck the problem with street gangs.
Let me first tell you about Jamiel Shaw. Shaw, was, by all accounts a good kid, the story would be unremarkable, except that this story takes place in the city of Los Angeles, a city that has its fair share of lost kids. But Jamiel was different; he was an athlete and a good guy. He was a star footballer at Los Angeles High School, and his dad and his mom (who was serving in Iraq) were rightly proud of their son’s achievements. Columnist Sandy Banks quoted Jamiel’s father in the Los Angeles Times, “’College wasn’t an option. He was going to college,'” said Shaw, a high school dropout who passed a general education development test. “‘My job was to get him through high school, get him ready. He did everything I asked him to.'”
Jamiel was a good kid who had interest from Stanford and Rutgers. But Jamiel was murdered just steps from his home in the Arlington Heights section of Los Angeles on March 2. Allegedly gunned down, by Pedro Espinoza, a member of the infamous 18th Street Gang and an illegal alien who had, less than 24 hours earlier been released from the Men’s Central Jail on a felony gun charge. You read that right. Espinoza, an illegal alien, had been released on his own recognizance on a felony gun charge. He was free to go kill.
In the month or so since the murder, the Shaw’s have made the murder of their son their cause. And their cause it just. At issue is not a racial thing; it’s a legal thing. So they took their fight to the Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday April 8. Where they met brutal resistance. They want to repeal Order 40 — and LAPD policy put into place by Police Chief Darryl Gates. The order prevents officers from questioning people solely to determine their immigration status or arresting them solely for violations of immigration law. Gates sold the policy as a way to get criminal intelligence from the illegal immigrant community in Los Angeles (which at a minimum establishes prima facie absurdity!) Instead the Shaw’s want to implement Jamiel’s law, which allow the police to ask about immigration status.
How did the Los Angeles City council react? Well, Councilman Bill Rosendahl said it all. “We need to bring some light on this subject,” Rosendahl said, adding he is talking with colleagues about the best way to approach the issue.” That’s right, a study. They want to study the issue to determine the detrimental effects of actually questioning, reporting and deporting illegals, especially illegal gang members who kill our American born kids.
Councilman Rosendahl’s procrastination and spinelessness was only outdone by Council President Eric Garcetti, who blamed the controversy on: talk radio. President Garcetti would have you believe that the talk show hosts of Los Angeles have invented this problem and that there aren’t record numbers of gang murders being perpetrated by the street gangs of Los Angeles and that a large number of those members are illegal aliens. Sure, Eric, talk radio cooked the whole thing up. They also invented Al Qaeda, and the Tibetan Torch protests. Can the pols in a major metropolitan area like Los Angeles be this spineless, this careless, and this dumb? — Yes they can, they are, that dumb.
But, before you write the LA City Council off completely, as a do nothing institution, understand this; Councilman Dennis Zine remains hard at work at a bill that will protect celebrities from the throngs of marauding paparazzi, desperate to shoot, er, photograph celebrities as they wonder vapidly on the streets of Los Angeles. Why? Priorities! While in recent days Zine has expressed a desire to help the Shaw family, Los Angeles’ kids remain vulnerable while the celebs remain protected.
The comfort of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears is more important than the life of a football star and good son of Los Angeles.