Statement of Facts Regarding Rampart Crash Arrest of Alex Sanchez

January 26, 2000

Wednesday, January 26, 2000
Statement of Facts Regarding Rampart Crash Arrest of Alex Sanchez

On Tuesday, January 25, 2000, State Senator Tom Hayden, announced at a press conference that Rampart Crash officers have targeted Homies Unidos, a peace group of former gang members, for destruction through arrests and deportations. Hayden further alleged that Rampart Crash officers arrested Alex Sanchez, an organizer for Homies Unidos, illegally because they violated Los Angeles Police Department Policy by enforcing federal immigration laws.

Mr. Hayden is wrong on both counts. The LAPD is not targeting Homies Unidos, and Mr. Sanchez’ arrest did not violate Department policy. The following is a factual account of the detention and subsequent arrest of Mr. Sanchez.

On January 21, 2000, at approximately 8:00 P.M., Rampart Crash officers were patrolling in the area of 8th Street and Normandie Avenue when they observed Alex Sanchez. Rampart Crash had received information from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that Mr. Sanchez was wanted for a violation of the U.S. Government Code. The officers stopped Mr. Sanchez and then notified the INS. Representatives from the INS instructed the officers to arrest Sanchez and book him because he is a prior deportee who is in this country illegally, and he has a prior conviction in the United States for a violent felony. These two issues make Sanchez deportable under Title 8 1251 of the U.S. Government Code.

Los Angeles Police Department policy forbids officers from initiating police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person. However, in this case the INS provided information to the LAPD that they were actively looking for Mr. Sanchez and requested the Department’s help with his apprehension.

Subsequent to his arrest, Mr. Sanchez made allegations of misconduct against LAPD officers. Representatives of the Department’s Internal Affairs Group responded that evening and conducted an interview with Mr. Sanchez. Internal Affairs Group has assumed investigative responsibility for concerns raised by Mr. Sanchez during his interview.

For further information contact Media Relations Section 213-485-3586.

For Release 9:10 am PST
January 26, 2000