Politics

‘Her Death Is On YOU’: Police Union Blames NYC Mayor de Blasio’s Sanctuary Policy For Homicide

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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  • The Sergeants Benevolent Association on Sunday blamed NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for the death of a 92-year-old woman, who was allegedly killed by an illegal alien.
  • The illegal alien, Reeaz Khan, had been previously arrested by the NYPD, and ICE had issued a detainer request for him, but the request was ignored and he was released back into the public. 
  • SBA and ICE said that if the detainer request had been honored, the 92-year-old woman would likely still be alive.

The New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), a police union representing the city’s active and retired sergeants, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio for the death of a 92-year-old woman.

A 92-year-old woman, Maria Fuentes, was sexually assaulted and murdered on the streets of NYC earlier in January. The man suspected of killing her, Reeaz Khan, is an illegal alien who had been arrested by the New York Police Department in November 2019, but was released and never handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because of the city’s strict sanctuary policy.

The SBA on Sunday said Fuentes would still be alive if the city’s police force had been allowed to comply with ICE’s immigration detainer request, and declared that her death was on de Blasio.

“At what point DO YOU take responsibility for a 92 year old woman raped and murdered. If you complied with ICE Detainers she would still be alive. You try to deflect the issue by turning it into exploitation, the FACT is her death is on YOU,” the SBA tweeted at the NYC mayor.

SBA Tweet. 1.19.2020

SBA Tweet. 1.19.2020

The public statement is the latest indication that the everyday law enforcement officers working in NYC are not in support of the city’s hostile stance toward federal immigration enforcement. Vincent Vallelong, the vice president of the SBA, stood alongside ICE acting director Matthew Albence during a press hearing Friday and said the city’s cops want to help their federal partners, but simply cannot.

“I can guarantee you every single of our members want to help them out. Unfortunately, the way our policies are set up, they don’t allow us to,” Vallelong said.

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) is largely forbidden from cooperating with ICE in any manner. If an illegal alien is placed under NYPD custody, and ICE lodges a detainer request for that individual — asking them to hold on to the individual long enough for an ICE agent to arrive and assume custody, NYPD must ignore that request.

Immigration And Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence Speak On Sanctuary Policies

New York Sergeants Benevolent Association Vice President Vincent Vallelong speaks in support of Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Matthew Albence at a press conference on January 17, 2020 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images)

This is what occurred with the prior arrest of Khan, a Guyanese national living illegally in the U.S. He had been taken into NYPD custody in November after allegedly assaulting his father. Following his arrest, ICE discovered that he was an illegal alien and placed a detainer request on him. However, that request was ignored and NYPD released him back into the community. (RELATED: ‘It’s Absolutely Disgusting’: DHS Chief Reacts To New York Sanctuary Laws That Led To Killing Of 92-Year-Old Woman)

Roughly two months later, Khan was identified on surveillance footage as the man who sexually assaulted and injured Fuentes while she was outside her home collecting returnables. She was rushed to the hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her wounds.

The SBA expanded on their official position regarding cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and their opinion on de Blasio.

“The Sergeants Benevolent Association of the NYPD supports all ICE Agents and will not leave any agent without assistance or in any position to jeopardize their safety. Regardless of Mayor DeBlasio beliefs and policies,” the organization tweeted out Monday.

De Blasio, for his part, has vehemently pushed back against criticism. In a response to Albence’s press conference, the Democratic mayor said the “morally bankrupt organization that tears families apart and puts innocent children in cages has ZERO right to tell us how to keep our city safe,” on Sunday, appearing to confuse ICE with Customs and Border Protection.

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