On Sunday, March 2, 2008, Jamiel Andre Shaw, Jr., was murdered not five minutes from his home in Los Angeles. He was 17 years old.
Jamiel was a star football player, a "stand-out," with one coach describing him as a "Houdini on the football field." He was found on the ground outside by his father, who had come out after hearing gunshots. His mother Anita, a sergeant in the army, was in Iraq on her second deployment and had to return home to bury her son.
To say that the loss of this young man is a tragedy would be a major understatement. From everything that I've been able to glean through the pages upon pages of news articles, memorials, and tributes, this was a fine young man with his future fully ahead of him. I look at my own son, who is 18, awaiting graduation in a month and looking forward to entering college this coming fall to pursue his dreams. I look back, thinking, at the time when I was the same age, and the dreams I had of my own future.
Yes, my heart goes out to the Shaw family, and I am fully behind them in what they are undertaking as a result of their son's murder. I can not fathom the grief that they are feeling, and I can not imagine the anger that they feel inside concerning the incident surrounding the senseless death of their son.
You see, Jamiel Shaw's murder could have been prevented.
That's right, it didn't have to happen, because the gang member accused of his murder, 19 year old Pedro Espinoza, who is a documented member of the 18th Street Gang, is an illegal alien.
Nineteen-year-old Pedro Espinoza was arrested Friday and appeared in court Tuesday for arraignment, but it was postponed until March 25 at his request while a public defender is assigned to him. Espinoza is a "documented member" of the 18th Street gang.
The charge includes the special circumstance allegation that the defendant was "an active participant in a criminal street gang and the murder was carried out to further the activities of the criminal street gang."
Prosecutors are expected to decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Espinoza, who was arrested last Friday by Los Angeles police.
Shaw's family is taking an active stand in the wake of the loss of their son. There is an old saying, "You can't fight city hall." The Shaw's are doing otherwise, joining in the fight against the Los Angeles policy of being a "sanctuary city," a municipality that allows illegals to come in without worry of being apprehended for their status. In Los Angeles, this falls under "Special Order 40."
Drafted by Walter Moore, a political opponent of LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the Shaw's and supporters are pushing for the city council to adopt an ordinance named "Jamiel's Law," which would enable Los Angeles law enforcement to begin checking the legal status of suspected gang members and illegal immigrants. At this point, the ordinance is not expected to pass. (Video available here for email subscribers.)
Anita Shaw is scheduled to return to duty with the army in early April.
To some, Jamiel Shaw is a statistic, a casualty in an ongoing war in Los Angeles between ethnic groups. But to the Shaw's, and the friends and family of Jamiel Shaw, he was more than just a statistic. He was a young man on the verge of becoming an adult, with a promising future laying before him.
Jamiel Shaw is but one death, not just in Los Angeles, but across the country. But each life lost in the quiet invasion of this nation by illegal immigrants is a life that someone cherished, a life that touched and affected others, a life ended by someone who is here illegally. Each of those lives, each of those people, are mourned and missed by their families and friends.
What part of "illegal" is so hard to understand? Before you answer this question, those of you who want so desperately to simply forgive and allow those here to be given amnesty, think about how you would sell it to Sgt. Anita Shaw and tell her your answer. I'm sure she'd love to tell you her opinion as well.
Once and Always, an American Fighting Man