Published April 08, 2008
The family of a Los Angeles high school football star allegedly killed by a gang member in the country illegally is getting behind a proposed city ordinance intended to crack down on illegal immigrant gangs in the city.
The proposal, dubbed "Jamiel's Law" after shooting victim Jamiel Shaw Jr., was drafted by Walter Moore, a political opponent of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.
The parents of the 17-year-old Shaw spoke in favor of the ordinance Tuesday before the Los Angeles City Council. A 1979 police order bars officers from enforcing federal immigration laws, but the proposed ordinance would require officers to hunt down illegal immigrants who appear to be gang members.
Pedro Espinoza, the 19-year-old suspect in Shaw's death, was released from jail without authorities questioning his citizenship on March 1, the day before he allegedly shot Shaw to death, according to reports by MyFOXLA.com.
Police say Shaw was walking home from a mall on March 2 when Hispanic gang members pulled up in a car and asked him, "Where are you from?" — code for what gang did he belong to, police said. Espinoza then allegedly shot Shaw, who was not a gang member.
Espinoza was arrested March 7 and charged with murder. The charge has been labeled gang-related, which could make him eligible for the death penalty.
Police said Shaw was a standout running back and a good student at Los Angeles High School. He also was the Southern League's most valuable player last season and had been recruited by universities including Stanford.
Shaw's mother, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw, had been serving in Iraq but returned home when her son was killed.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.