Los Angeles Times, 12/6/2008
Supporters of a proposed Los Angeles voter initiative that would allow police to arrest illegal-immigrant gang members solely for being in the country illegally said they collected enough petition signatures before Friday’s deadline to qualify the measure for the May ballot. Jamiel’s Law, as it is known, is named after 17-year-old Los Angeles High School football player Jamiel Shaw II, who was gunned down in March allegedly by a reputed gang member who was in the country illegally.
The measure would modify the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order 40, which prohibits officers from initiating contact with individuals for the sole purpose of determining whether they are illegal immigrants.
Immigrant-rights advocates and LAPD Chief William J. Bratton strongly oppose Jamiel’s Law, saying it is unnecessary and opens a backdoor to “racial profiling” by law enforcement. Bratton, when testifying before the City Council in April, said officers already have the authority to tell immigration authorities when known gang members have committed crimes.