This isn’t your run of the mill police shooting story. It comes to us from the local CBS news team in Denver, Colorado, and the first major difference from other law enforcement activity is that the local cops weren’t involved. This was an ICE unit that stopped a suspect, allegedly over a minor traffic violation. The driver ran and one of the ICE agents wound up shooting him after he pulled a knife on them. It wasn’t a killing shot, however, and resulted in what was described as a “grazing” wound to the forehead.
The man shot by immigration agents after a traffic stop is a felon who had been deported before.
Hector Santana-Arreola was wanted on two outstanding warrants including unlawful sexual contact.
Agents with Immigration and Customs Enforcement pulled over Santana-Arreola near Huron Street and Louisiana Avenue on June 9. He ran away and later allegedly pulled a knife on the officers.
Here’s one interesting aspect of the case, at least in terms of how the local media is covering it. Take a look at the local CBS news report on the incident. (Video follows below.) A reporter managed to get hold of some local security camera footage from a business in the area (a marijuana store, apparently) which caught the shooting on film. They open the news report with a question, and it’s not so much about what the suspect may have done, but rather “why ICE shot a man after a traffic stop.”
The reporter concludes the coverage by saying there’s “no word” about the man’s immigration status. But there’s at least some word on the subject since he’d already been deported once and was on the ICE radar screen for new criminal activity.
Now comes the question of who is holding Hector Santana-Arreola and where he goes from here in the legal process. Keep in mind that this is Denver we’re talking about. How serious is the charge of Unlawful Sexual Contact? You’ll recall that Denver recently changed many of their laws to reduce the penalties for many crimes (including domestic violence) so that they would be “minor offenses” garnering less than a year in jail. Why? Because anyone getting 364 days or less in jail won’t trigger automatic deportation action or cooperation by local law enforcement with ICE.
We don’t know yet where Mr. Santana-Arreola is heading or what sort of court date may be awaiting him. But we should at least keep in mind the possibility that after having already been deported once and returning to America so he could allegedly engage in some form of sexual assault, he may wind up staying here yet again so all of the local residents can enjoy the broad spectrum of diversity which Hector brings to our fine nation. And if that happens, it’s all thanks to the valiant efforts of the Denver municipal government to #RESIST TRUMP and fight those evil villains at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Way to keep your priorities in order, Denver. You citizens must surely sleep soundly in their beds at night.