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    Following Downtown Shooting Of Two LBPD Officers By Deportee, Minuteman Project Leaders Urge Mayor/Council To Direct That LBPD Check Arrestees' Immigration Status; CNN Covers LB Shooting & Deportation/Return Angle In "Broken Borders" Series

    (January 3, 2007) -- Following LBPD acknowledgment that its suspect in the attempted murder of two LB police officers was a LB resident who had been deported at least once -- but returned to reside in LB where he was charged with a number of crimes over a period of years -- the deportation/return angle has been covered on CNN (part of its continuing "Broken Borders" series) and has drawn the attention of the Minuteman Project, a grassroots group that drew national attention by deploying volunteers (to assist federal officials) at the border while pressing elected representatives for stronger enforcement of immigration laws.

    The deportation aspect to the story was reported in a CNN "Moneyline" segment which included an interview with Marvin Stewart, a LB resident and Minuteman Project boardmember.

    And on January 2, using the period in which the public can comment on matters not on the City Council's meeting agenda, Minuteman Project leaders and supporters delivered a series of sternly worded addresses to LB Mayor Bob Foster and LB Councilmembers, urging the city's elected leaders to direct that LBPD begin assisting federal authorities by checking the immigration status of arrestees.

    Flanked by a supporters carrying signs saying "Stop Illegal Immigration," Minuteman Project boardmember Stewart introduced himself as a 38 year LB resident and an elected member of the Republican Party's 54th district Central Committee and told the Mayor and Council:
    Minuteman Project Jan. 2/07
    Screen save: LBTV 8

    Mr. Stewart: I serve on the Board of Directors of the Minuteman Project...[T]o have this kind of violence unfold itself on our streets is a direct result of the inefficiency and the disrespect for the oath that each one of you has taken, and every member in leadership in this city have taken.

    I have disseminated a resolution which is being presented to the City Council, it's to list our grievance to the city, and it reads in part...Whereas the Mayor of the City of Long Beach and the Long Beach Council...are not upholding their oath to protect the citizens at large or those in the process of legally becoming citizens from repeat, violent illegal alien offenders. They have also violated federal constitution Article 1, Section 8; also Article 4, section 3, paragraph 2 and section 4, as well as Article 1, Section 26 [of the] California constitution and the will of the people of California...

    We are hereby serving notice on the City of Long Beach that we're condemning what has taken place in this city here, the violations that we have suffered. We do wish to enter into negotiations with the City regarding what remedies can we seek to amend these violations here, but first and foremost we would like each one of honor that oath of office that you took...

    At midafternoon on December 22, 2006, Oscar Gabriel Gallegos opened fire and critically wounded two LBPD officers at LB Blvd./6th St., then shot at a LB police unit while fleeing past LB Blvd. and Broadway, locations in the heart of downtown LB within walking distance of City Hall. Within a day, LBPD identified Gallegos as the suspect and an LBPD manhunt and surveillance located him in Santa Ana...where a gunfight with Santa Ana police officers ensued that Gallegos did not survive.

    LB police chief Anthony Batts has described Gallegos, age 33, as a known gang member who'd been charged with several previous crimes in the LB area and was deported at least once. followed-up...and a regional spokeswoman for federal Immigration & Customs Enforcement told us, and we reported, that Gallegos had been deported three times.

    Asked by a news outlet at a December 28 press event if he believed LBPD should begin checking the immigration status of arrestees, Chief Batts deferred to the city's elected officials. [LB's Chief of Police is non-elected and answers to a non-elected City Manager who answers to the elected City Council which sets city policies.]

    At the Jan. 2 LB City Council meeting, Minuteman Project founder Jim Gilchrist, who lives an OC, told LB's Mayor and Councilmembers:

    Mr. Gilchrist: Mayor and Council, I passionately encourage you to support Chief Batts and all members of law enforcement in the City of Long Beach, to help them, to encourage them, to aid our federal law enforcement agencies in enforcing our immigration laws. And starting today, I would hope that these illegal aliens would be detained, arrested if that's required, and repatriated to their homeland where they could stand in line -- like their legal immigrant predecessors --- and apply for entry into the United States under our rule of law.
    Minuteman Project Jan. 2/07
    Screen save: LBTV 8

    Minuteman Project Nat'l Rally spokesperson Raymond Herrera stated in pertinent part:

    Mr. Herrera: Illegal immigration is a federal issue at the border [but] when those illegal, immoral aliens enter our cities, it becomes a city issue. The shooting of Officers Yap and Officer Wade is a direct consequence of the City Council and its Mayor when you pander to illegal immigrants by having day labor sites and not policing your streets and removing illegal aliens from our streets, you grant them sanctuary in this city...

    Buena Park Pastor Wiley Drake began his testimony by reminding the Council that he'd been part of a successful campaign that persuaded LB's Redevelopment Agency not to use eminent domain against a LB church. "I'm back again, and I'm here to stand for what's right," he said...and stated in pertinent part:

    Pastor Drake: [H]ad the police department, starting with the Mayor -- Mr. Mayor, you're the head legal man in this town, the City Council is over the police department -- I want to say I have all the respect in the world for these fellows and ladies on the police department. They're doing a job above and beyond the call of duty, but their hands are being tied because they cannot profile, and they cannot go against any citizen's rights, and that's true, but these people aren't citizens.

    Had the Mayor and the City Council and the police department been doing its job and arresting Oscar Gallegos, those two men would not be in the hospital and Oscar Gallegos would be sitting in a jail cell somewhere on his way to Arizona back to wherever he came from and be alive today.

    And there's a lot of us who are glad he's dead, Now I know that shoudn't be coming from a preacher but a man that's as vicious as he was, that would shoot policemen on a normal stop, that would come out of the car shooting before they could even get out of the car, deserves what he got in Santa Ana.

    [L]adies and gentlemen, you better wake up and you better put your police department on the streets, you better let these guys and gals do their job, let 'em harass if necessary illegal aliens, get 'em off the street, get 'em in jail, get 'em out of America, so we can protect the men and women on the police department and not have them shot, layin' up in the hospital...

    You have seen just a little bit of what's going to happen in the future if you don't give your police the right to get rid of these illegal aliens.

    Following the presentations, LB Mayor Bob Foster said, "That concludes the public comment period of this meeting"...and Councilmembers made no comments publicly in response to the speakers.

    Later in the Jan. 2 City Council meeting, Mayor Foster announced that wounded LBPD officers Wade and Yap have improved to the point where they've been moved out of intense care.

    And LBPD Chief Batts came to the podium (unplanned, extemporaneously) and thanked Mayor Foster for his personal intervention with hospital officials in resolving an issue involving a familymember of one of the wounded officers (who'd been recently hospitalized).

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