FRESNO, Calif. – State sheriffs and other leaders are speaking out now that the manhunt for the suspect who gunned down Newman police Cpl. Ronil Singh during a traffic stop is over. The debate regarding the highly controversial SB-54 is front and center.
SB-54 prohibits local authorities from sharing information with ICE about certain criminal activity committed by undocumented immigrants. Officials say Gustavo Perez Arriaga had two DUI’s and was reportedly a “Surenos” gang member, reported yourcentralvalley.com.
“There’s a powerful clique in Sacramento that will hang onto SB-54 no matter how much blood is shed.”
Republican Assemblyman Jim Patterson blames SB-54 for Cpl. Singh’s murder. Under SB-54 local law enforcement can’t provide ICE with any information on a crime committed by an illegal that is a misdemeanor the sheriff of Stanislaus County said, voicing his frustration.
“I’m suggesting the outcome could have been different. If law enforcement wasn’t prohibited, restricted or had their hands tied from political interference.”
SB-54 also prohibits ICE agents from being deployed in California jails. Sheriff Margaret Mims says it handcuffs their ability to keep California communities safe.
“It’s ridiculous the state dictates the local law enforcement which other law enforcement agencies they can and can’t talk to,” she said.
Merced County Sheriff Vern Warnke says something has to be done to shake up the status quo.
“Folks want to get after President Trump because of the wall, well you know what come up with an idea, do something, because what we got right now isn’t working.”
Congressman Devin Nunes also released this statement to the press:
“The California left, which is famous for its self-destructive policies, has engineered ‘sanctuary city’ laws that make it impossible to defend our communities from some of the nation’s most dangerous criminal predators.”
Sheriff Christianson reminded us that Cpl. Singh is an immigrant who came to the U.S. the right way.
“Immigrated here lawfully and legally to pursue his American dream. He achieved that goal and his dream was taken from him.”
Moreover, Orange County, home to Disneyland along with professional sports franchises—Angels and Ducks—have joined a federal lawsuit over the preposterous state law.
Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens is trying to work around the difficult law. She has directed her staff to publish a “Who’s in Jail” online database, including the date and time of inmates’ release, to help cooperate with other law enforcement agencies including ICE.
She told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that she does not see her actions in conflict with the highly controversial law.
The news agency yourcentralvalley.com reached out to a few state democratic leaders for comment to this story. Assemblyman Adam Gray of Stanislaus County and Assemblyman Rudy Salas of Bakersfield did not return our calls. Congressman Jim Costa’s representative said he was traveling and could not comment.
History tends to repeat itself. This isn’t the first California cops have been angry over state politics. They were livid following the murder of Whittier Officer Keith Boyer in 2017.
The suspect accused of killing him is Michael Mejia. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in his case.
Mejia is a documented gang member who has been in an out of jail to the point that California’s system looks broken.
In a state that prides itself in police professionalism, rank and file members are frustrated with a lenient system of injustice for career criminals.
Many peace officers believe “crime pays” in the state, which has led to scores of departures upon retirement from active duty. This is an anomaly since it’s geographically desirable.
Gathering himself during a press conference in 2017, Whittier Police Chief Jeff Piper took aim at controversial laws, which have allowed early release of convicted criminals on parole—laws that California law enforcement has vocally opposed on every front.
“Enough is enough,” Piper said. “We keep passing laws that keep raising crime. We have to think about what we are doing to our communities and officers by putting these kinds of people back on the street. You have no idea how things have changed in the last four years,” Piper continued. “People don’t want to follow rules, don’t care about people.”
The chief’s concerns were echoed by Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell who spoke about the passage of new laws that put convicted criminals like this shooter out on the street with an early parole.
“AB 109 provides for some early releases. Prop 47 stops people from entering the system and Prop 51 accelerates their release,” McDonnell said.
“County jail has become a default state prison,” McDonnell lamented. “But people need to be rehabilitated before they get released on to the streets.
“Not mentioned is the reality that punishment for many crimes has nearly evaporated in California,” said Jim McNeff, retired lieutenant from Southern California, and managing editor of Law Enforcement Today. “Cops in the state are fed up with the revolving doors in the penal system.”
“There also needs to be drug treatment and treatment for mental illness first,” said Sheriff McDonnell. “Right now, we are putting people on the streets who are not ready to be on the streets.”
While Chief Piper and Sheriff McDonnell spoke to the issue, their words are tame compared to the livid conversations occurring in police locker rooms up and down the state.
So whether it’s AB 109, Prop 47, Prop 51, Governor Jerry Brown pardoning prisoners, or the recent SB-54, all is not well regarding public safety in California.