SAN JOSE—San Jose District 9 councilwoman, Pam Foley, called for a citywide meeting to update the neighborhood about changes in the current sanctuary policy in response to the death of Bambi Larson.
Chief of Police Eddie Garcia, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo, and Santa Clara County residents gathered at John Muir Middle School on April 22. They told the community about the efforts they have put in to keep people safe and let them know about working on making calls to ICE when a violent, illegal alien is about to be released from jail.
On Feb. 28, San Jose police officers found 59-year-old Bambi Larson lying dead in her home with multiple stab wounds. Detectives identified 24-year-old Carlos Arevalo Carranza accused of stabbing Bambi Larson to death in South San Jose. He was arrested on March 11.
“This should have never happened, ever,” said Bob Fiore, Bambi’s boyfriend.
“In my opinion, a guy that committed seven crimes in three years should remain in jail. Whether he is illegal, from Sweden, from here, should have been never let out of jail,” he said. “And they let him out on the street.”
He thinks that the current laws on sanctuary policy need to be changed and that it has taken too long.
“It’s ridiculous that this can happen,” said Fiore. “We need to get that law changed ’cause ICE needs to be called as soon as they’re going to let a violent criminal, which he was.”
Carranza has a long criminal record but was freed back to the streets each time because of the sanctuary policy. In an interview with The Epoch Times, District 10 City Councilman Johnny Khamis said laws like Prop. 47, 57, 36 sides in favor of criminals.
“I do think it needs to be looked at, as far as holding on to criminals who are violent offenders,” said Foley. “They ought to be held on whether they are undocumented or documented. They should be held in jail a lot longer than they are now. Violent criminals should not be allowed to walk our streets.”
California’s Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that civil detainers are illegal in the state. A civil detainer is when a person is detained after they are scheduled for release.
“So if a person has been arrested, in jail for a while, they’re going to get out, we can’t call up ICE and say, hey so and so is going to be getting out Tuesday, at 5 o’clock at the West gate,” explained County Supervisor Mike Wasserman.
Why? Because it’s against the law. Immediately, some people listening in the audience repeatedly shouted to “change the law!”
Both Wasserman Mayor Sam Liccardo explained that they do not have the authority to do anything about the law itself, but they can try to do something at a county level.
“The change we are trying to get through is the calling, the notification. We can call up ICE,” he said. “My referral that I made was, if a person is undocumented and has been convicted of a serious and violent felony, I want us to be able to call. And that’s what I’m trying to get done because that’s what we do not do now.”
In the meantime, residents would have to place trust in the police and be more alert.
“Our police officers are here everyday, risking their lives to ensure that residents are safe and they feel safe, even more important,” said Eddie Garcia, San Jose chief of police.
“We’re here to protect our hardworking immigrants that make San Jose better. They make up the fabric of San Jose,” he said. “We’re not here, however, to shield individuals that commit violent, serious crimes in our community regardless of immigration status.”
Garcia encouraged residents to continue to be vigilant and call the police so that they can do their job. He also said installing cameras helps.
“Having a camera is huge. If you have a camera, and you register it on our website, I think it’s very, very beneficial. That certainly helped in the Bambi Larson murder. And helps the police department in solving a lot of crimes,” said Garcia.
He said as of now, the citizens are asked to install the cameras on their own. The city may have ideas to subsidize those funds in setting them up in the future.
In addition to cameras, Foley also recommended creating neighborhood watch groups and looking out for each other.
“Instead of just driving in their garage, and going into their house, walking around and getting to know each other,” said Foley. “You get to know each other, then you’ll be able to protect each other.”