California sheriff blames sanctuary law for officer’s death

California sheriff blames sanctuary law for officer’s death

Singh's killer - Gustavo Perez Arriaga, who authorities say is an illegal immigrant and has been previously deported from the USA - was arrested Friday without incident.

According to Christianson, it was California's recently enacted "sanctuary" law, which essentially prohibits local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration authorities, that aided Arriaga in the brutal killing.

About 1 a.m. Wednesday, Singh was tipped off about an intoxicated man in a silver pickup, authorities said.

Other officers found Singh shot and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead, police said.

This undated photo provided by the Newman Police Department shows officer Ronil Singh of Newman Police Department who was killed by an unidentified suspect.

Newman Police Chief Randy Richardson said at a Friday news conference that this has never happened in the history of the 12-member department.

"The last thing in the world I want to do is politicize the death of officer Singh", said Christianson.

Gustavo Perez Arriaga, 32, a Mexican national, was arrested in Bakersfield, a city less than 200 miles (320 km) south of Newman where the officer was shot on Wednesday, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said at a news conference.

At least five people were arrested on suspicion of lying to investigators about Arriaga or helping him evade law enforcement, including some people at the Bakersfield home where he was arrested, authorities said. Referring to the arrest, he said, "I was waiting for this to happen".

"I think that what's being lost here is yes, he was a police officer and that's why all of you are packed in this room-because he was tragically taken from us".

Arriaga came to the United States illegally and was believed to have been fleeing to Mexico, Christianson said. The Madera County Superior Court confirms that Arriaga was arrested twice for DUIs - one on August 14, 2011 and one on June 5, 2014.

On Thursday, another of the suspect's brothers, Adrian Virgen, 25, and a co-worker, Erik Razo Quiroz, were arrested.

"The type of tone and attitude that Sheriff Christianson has taken instills fear and panic in all immigrant communities" that could make people afraid to report crimes, de Leon said.

He said they were trying to protect Arriaga, who was trying to go to Mexico.

On Thursday, the president tweeted about the Stanislaus County case: "Time to get tough on Border Security". Both men also were in the country illegally, he said.

The suspect was arrested at a residence in the Lamont Area of Kern County.

The Kern County Sheriff's Office identified the three as Bernabe Madrigal Castaneda, 59; Erasmo Villegas, 36; and Maria Luisa Moreno, 57.

"When you tie our hands and don't allow us to work with our federal partners and communicate with our federal partners about people that commit crimes and are in this country illegally, we're going to have incidences like this", Youngblood said Friday.

Ana Leyde Cervantes, 30, Arriaga's girlfriend, and his brother Conrado Virgen Mendoza, 34, were arrested on Friday. Cervantes was arrested in in Turlock, and Virgen Mendoza was arrested in Livermore.

A special effort was made to ensure that Singh's handcuffs were used to restrain Arriaga.

Residents, friends, relatives and fellow officers held back tears as they eulogized Singh during the candlelight memorial.

"We can't ignore the fact that this could have been preventable", Christianson told reporters, asking why the state was "providing sanctuary for criminals (and) gang members". It also requires notification to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement of scheduled releases of people who have been convicted of violent felonies.

"This is a criminal illegal alien with prior criminal activity that should have been reported to ICE".

California's statewide sanctuary law limits cooperation between local authorities and US immigration officials and has drawn scorn from the Trump administration.

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