Mayor Bill de Blasio is taking major heat from NYPD union leader Vincent Vallelonga, vice president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, who put the mayor on blast for allowing the catch-and-release of illegal aliens in violation of federal law. Tempers boiled over when an illegal alien who was released from police custody in November allegedly raped and murdered a 92-year-old woman, Maria Fuertes.
“The mayor can say what he wants to say — he owns this,” Vallelonga said. “He should step up and say these are his policies, he owns it.”
Reeaz Khan, an illegal Guyanese immigrant, is accused of attacking Fuertes as she walked home on Jan. 6. Fuertes was reportedly found at 2 a.m. in 32-degree weather and near death on a sidewalk with her clothes pulled above her waist. She was taken to a hospital, where she died from injuries that included a broken spine, according to The New York Post. The Post cited law enforcement sources who said she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
ICE was supposed to have been notified if he was released from police custody because it had issued a detainer on Khan. But NYPD had to follow de Blasio’s sanctuary policies and ignore the detainer ICE requested in November after Kahn was detained in a stabbing incident. As a result, Khan was free to offend again.
Vallelonga says police want to help ICE, not stand in their way. “I can guarantee you every single one of our members wants to help them out, unfortunately, the way the policies are set up, they don’t allow us to,” he said. “How do we have our own hands handcuffed to not be able to work with these guys?
(ICE) Acting Director Matthew Albence attended the press conference in New York and spoke about the intense frustration he has heard from police. He told reporters that police “hate” sanctuary laws that keep them from doing their jobs.
“Go ask the line cops in any jurisdiction — they hate these things, and I’ve talked to many,” he said. “A lot of these guys are repeat offenders, they are violent offenders and these cops are out there day after day putting their lives on the line and it’s got to be incredibly frustrating for them to arrest these guys, knowing they’re here illegally, knowing that ICE could get them off the streets and three weeks later they’re arresting them again for a more dangerous crime or a more heinous crime.”
Albence cited statistics saying that last year ICE lodged 7,526 detainers via its New York field office. Those individuals accounted for 17,873 criminal convictions and 6,500 criminal charges. Those charges and convictions include over 200 homicides, over 500 robberies, over 1,000 sexual offenses, over 1,000 weapons offenses and over 3,500 assaults. Only 10 detainers were honored.
Albence ripped the city for initially denying that a detainer was issued. This prompted ICE to post a copy of it online, shaming the mayor’s office.
“If you’re going to have a sanctuary city policy and you know it’s going to result in people going back out to the street and committing more crimes, at least own it, at least stand up and say ‘yeah that’s our policy,’” he said. “Own it, don’t sit there and try to push the blame onto someone else — it’s disgusting.”
In response to criticism, the mayor tweeted tone-deaf platitudes about how safe New York is.
The last time crime was as low in New York City as it is right now, the Dodgers were in Brooklyn and your boss was in Queens — and in diapers. If you’re serious about keeping our country safe, quit spreading lies about the good work of the NYPD. https://t.co/cfua03lGWn
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 16, 2020
Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter