Jamiel Shaw Jamiel Shaw II Los Angeles murder News Pedro Espinoza Special Order 40

KTLA: Gang Member Faces Death in Jamiel Shaw case


Pedro Espinoza mug shotKTLA-TV in Los Angeles has just published a report stating that prosecutors will seek the death penalty for accused killer Pedro Espinoza. Espinoza is charged with killing high school football star Jamiel Shaw II last year.

It’s not only an emotionally charged case, but a political one, too. Espinoza, an illegal immigrant, had been released from jail only hours before Shaw was murdered while walking home.

Following Espinoza’s arrest, LAPD’s Special Order 40 received recharged scrutiny from detractors.

Beyond90Seconds has written numerous stories about the Shaw case. You can read them here.

illegal immigrants Jamiel Shaw Jamiel Shaw Jr. News Pedro Espinoza Special Order 40

“Jamiel’s Law” petition falls short of making LA’s May ballot

It’s a murder case that broke many hearts, strained race relations and fueled intense debate over illegal immigration.  Some had hoped that “something good” could emerge from the March 2, 2008 shooting death of a 17-year-old boy named Jamiel Shaw II.

Jamiel Shaw Jr. Shaw (archives) was a high school football star (Rise Magazine named Shaw’s murder one of the top high school sports stories of 2007-2008).  His dad had an “18 year plan” for the boy.  His mother was away serving her country in Iraq.

Then, as Shaw walked home while speaking with his girlfriend on a cell phone, an alleged gang member got out of a car, walked-up to him, and shot him to death.

Police say the suspect, Pedro Espinoza, never knew Shaw. Shortly after his arrest, information emerged that Espinoza had entered the country illegally years earlier. Pedro Espinoza booking sheetAnd that he’d been released from jail  just 28-hours prior to Shaw’s murder.

The “something good” that could come out of Shaw’s death, some argued, could be “Jamiel’s Law”.  If passed by the voters of Los Angeles, Jamiel’s Law would allow the LAPD to arrest illegal immigrant gang members for entering the country unlawfully. Presently, the LAPD’s Special Order 40 states that “officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.”

Two of the most outspoken proponents of Jamiel’s Law have been his parents.

When rumblings emerged on the Internet that the victim had belonged to a gang, Jamiel Shaw I spoke-out forcefully in defense of his slain son.

More than 9 months have now passed since Jamiel Shaw II’s murder.  And with two weeks remaining before their first Christmas without their son, official word came Thursday that the petition to get Jamiel’s Law on the May 2009 ballot had come up short.

According to an article that appeared on the Los Angeles Times Web site Thursday evening:

Supporters estimated they had turned in more than 76,000 petition signatures before Friday’s deadline, but elections officials said they tallied only 18,559 — far short of the 73,963 signatures required. (LA Times)

Shaw’s family hasn’t given up hope that Jamiel’s Law will pass one day.

“We’re not going to stop,” said Althea Shaw, 47, Jamiel’s aunt and a major organizer for the ballot measure. “We can’t bring my nephew back, so we’re going to keep fighting. We have to.” (LA Times)


Beyond 90 Seconds California crimes against children gangs illegal immigrants illegal immigration Jamiel Shaw Jamiel Shaw II Jamiel Shaw Jr. LAPD law enforcement Los Angeles murder News Pedro Espinoza Special Order 40 true crime

Dramatic testimony emerges in Jamiel Shaw II murder case

Pedro Espinoza


Update (June 20)LA Times, Defense lawyer seeks to link slain L.A. student to gang
Update (June 19)
Associated Press, Man, 19, to stand trial in LA athlete murder case
Update (June 19):  KNBC, Suspect in Jamiel Shaw slaying to stand trial
Update (June 19):  KABC, Judge orders Espinoza to stand trial for murder of Jamiel Shaw Jr.

(Los Angeles) More than three months after 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw II was gunned down in his Los Angeles neighbhorhood, dramatic testimony from the victim’s girlfriend and an eyewitness came during a preliminary hearing Wednesday.

The Los Angeles Times reports:

Two witnesses gave dramatic accounts Wednesday of how a high school football star was gunned down earlier this year near his Los Angeles home, opening a tense courtroom hearing packed with relatives of the victim and the alleged gunman.

Jamiel Shaw II, 17, was talking to his girlfriend on a cellphone when she overheard a voice ask him “Where are you from?” the teenage girl testified. There was no response and then the line went dead, she said.

Another witness testified that she watched a lone, hooded gunman approach Shaw on the street near his Arlington Heights home and fire a single shot. When Shaw fell, the gunman walked around him and delivered a final close-range shot to his head, she said.

“I saw the sparks from the gun,” said Tiffiney Johnson, a neighbor of Shaw who at one point broke down and cried on the witness stand. “I froze and was in total shock.”

-Story from Associated Press, L.A. woman says she drove alleged killer

-Here are links to videos of Wednesday’s story in court:

KNBC-TV story

KABC-TV story

-Pedro Espinoza mug shot and booking sheet

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Alex Alonso border crossers California gangs illegal immigrants illegal immigration Jamiel Shaw Jamiel Shaw II Jamiel Shaw Jr. LAPD law enforcement murder News Pedro Espinoza Special Order 40 street gangs true crime Walter Moore

Shaw’s father to those alleging gang ties: “Shut the hell up!”

It’s an extremely sensitive claim not addressed–to my knowledge–in the mainstream media. But it’s been rumbling on the Web for more than two months now.

Some suspect it’s politically motivated and aimed at protecting illegal immigrants by diffusing support for a proposed amendment to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order 40.

The allegation is that murder victim Jamiel Shaw II was involved in a gang (it’s an assertion that’s also been made by some readers of this blog in a comment section concerning one of my past stories on this case).

It’s a notion that runs severely to the contrary of the media’s account of the high-profile shooting that unfolded in Los Angeles March 2, 2008.

The well-chronicled storyline concerning Jamiel Shaw II goes something like this: Great kid, just 17. Football star. Had stayed true to his father’s “18 year plan.” When shot and killed on the way home from the mall, his mother was overseas fighting in Iraq. Suspect Pedro Espinoza turns out to be an illegal immigrant and is alleged to be a member of the 18th Street Gang. Espinoza had been released from jail just 28-hours prior to Shaw’s murder.

Four days ago, the claim that Jamiel Shaw II had gang ties grew even louder and appears to be largely based on a myspace page. The argument for the claim is outlined in a May 9, 2008 article appearing beneath the headline Jamiel Shaw’s gang association made him a target for murder, not race.

Here is an excerpt from the article written by Alex Alonso:

Jamiel wasn’t a bad kid, but he did have relationships with gang members in his community that led to Espinoza’s fatal assault on him. Jamiel lived in a community occupied by Bloods that have been at war with 18th Street for 12 years.

In response to the claim made by Alex Alonso and others, Jamiel Shaw Sr. recently came out swinging.

In a letter that appeared yesterday on LA mayoral candidate Walter Moore’s Web site, Mr. Shaw insists that his son was never a gang member, doesn’t appear in any police department’s gang database, and was never even arrested for a single crime.

Mr. Shaw also questions the motive of people claiming his son was connected to a gang, asking, “Why are people trying so hard to make my son a gang banger? This is an important question.”

Here is the entire text of Mr. Shaw’s letter:

To the Person or Persons trying to smear my son:

My son Jamiel A. Shaw, II, (Jas) was a SuperStar Destined for Greatness! The Mayor of Los Angeles spoke these exact words at his last State of the City speech. He was right! My Son was destined for greatness and he is, “A SuperStar”!

It’s a shame, that an American Citizen youth, can be gunned down by an illegal alien gang banger, while his mother is fighting a war to defend all of us, and some people have the nerve to try and destroy my son? This makes me angry. My son is the victim! For every person that want to label my son as a hard core gang banger, I can get 100 more that will show that he was not.

Why would some people want to label my son as a gang banger? Why are some people willing to do almost anything to bring my son down? Where is the evidence to support that my son is a gang banger? Michelle Hansee didn’t have evidence to prove that he was a gang banger. A spiderman back pack and a belt? I’m not even a lawyer and I know you need more then this.

So where is the evidence?! A Myspace page? I see a picture of my son on myspace making the peace sign…and some words that you say…he said? Please, give me a damn break. Now my son is a hardcore gang banger? Because of a myspace page? Are you kidding me? This is similar to the picture when Obama was oversees and had on a certain garment. Some people tried to label him as a Muslim. Some people are protecting illegal alien gang bangers and they need my son to be a gang member in order to help their case. But he wasn’t! He was and is, innocent!

The person arrested for killing my son is an illegal alien gang banger. A Documented illegal alien, and a documented gang banger. So where is the evidence? Well let’s see, “he was release from jail on March 1, 2008 on gun charges. He had prior arrests before March 1, 2008. It is a known fact that he was not born in the United States and he’s in the gang database”. We all know he wasn’t a boy scout. Why doesn’t this make you angry? Why would this make you want to smear my son? Are you out killing people too? Are you an illegal alien gang banger? What’s up with you?

Twenty eight hours after Pedro Espinoza was released from jail, he’s seen in my neighborhood and now my son is dead. Even if my son wrote the words on myspace, where is the proof that Pedro Espinosa saw this? All he saw was a black kid walking. I continue to repeat, why are you trying to convict my son? Why are you defending illegal alien gang bangers? Could it be that you are illegal. Could it be that you are trying to smear my son because you support Special Order 40? Could it be that you are trying to smear my son because you don’t want to see Jamiel’s law passed? Could it be that you are a gang banger or a gang banger wannabe?

There are people that want to classify all black kids as gang bangers. We’re not going to let this happen! The Community will not let this happen! To any parent reading this, if anyone tries to make your child out to be a gang banger and you know that they are not, please speak up! Don’t let the system or anyone else try and smear your child! Especially when you child is not able to defend themselves. We will always defend the honor of my beloved son, Jamiel Andre’ Shaw, II!

The fact is, my son was born at California Hospital. He was an American Citizen. He was raised in Los Angeles, California. He went to school in the neighborhood. He played sports all over the State. He is a documented athlete. His mother was in the Army fighting a war! I was home taking care of him. His brother loves him very much! His family love and miss him dearly! He was loved by many! My son was gunned down and shot to death! He is an INNOCENT VICTIM. He was gunned down three doors from home. He played on the very street where an illegal gang banger killed him. He was murdered!

This was a HATE CRIME! Anyone trying to bring my son down is someone that is not ready for the facts or the truth. The evidence will prove this and the facts will come out.

There are people that support Special Order 40 and some people don’t want Jamiel’s Law to pass. Is this why they want to discredit my son? Could this be why they attacked Walter Moore and Michael Higby and all of the other people that speak out against illegal immigration? Why are people trying so hard to make my son a gang banger? This is an important question.

Whoever want’s to find evidence on my son should talk with the Gang Intervention Unit at LAPD. You should talk with Gang Intervention Specialists. My son was not in a gang database. My son was never arrested. My son was killed while he was on his way home. He was walking and talking on the telephone. He is innocent!

If you have the evidence to prove that my son was a gang banger, then call Pedro Espinoza’s defense team and see if they will hire you. Until then, shut the hell up!

Jamiel Sr.

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California Commentary gangs illegal immigration Jamiel Shaw Jamiel Shaw II Jamiel Shaw Jr. LAPD law enforcement murder News Pedro Espinoza Special Order 40 true crime

Challenge to LA media: Rule “it” out


Pardon me as I peek out from the blogosphere with hopes of capturing the eye of a reporter in LA.

Not trying to tell you how to do your job. I respect what you do.

And I’m 500 miles from your turf and don’t have the connections you do.

Maybe I’ve even got this story all wrong.

But like the kids say, I’m just sayin’…

First, let me share that I hope the word “challenge” in the headline above is misused…that the point it’s aimed at is already moot.

And that court reporters at the LA Times, local TV stations and elsewhere in the City of Angels have already rolled-up their sleeves, pounded the pavement and ruled-out a claim made within a sensitive, important debate.

The claim/contention/argument goes something like this: Even had the proposed “Jamiel’s Law” already been in effect when this year began, it would not have kept a young man alive because his accused killer’s prior arrest did not occur in Los Angeles.

Okay, maybe.

Admittedly, I’m looking through a thin crack in the door. But it’s what’s on the other side that could be important.

Please bear with me as I list some letters and digits that may seem benign:






All of these numbers are tied to the same name; Pedro Espinoza.

And the same date of birth; March 4, 1987.

These are all criminal case numbers.

All of the files originate out of the municipal court of California’s Santa Clara County Judicial District.

These criminal case numbers establish that Pedro Espinoza has a history of arrests.

Not in Los Angeles County. But up in the Bay Area in Santa Clara County.

Time for another number.


It’s the number on the booking sheet regarding Espinoza’s arrest last November.

In Culver City.

Not in LA.

But, as you know, Culver City is in Los Angeles County.

And now, Espinoza’s most recent run-in with the law is a charge that has captured national headlines.

The murder of Jamiel Shaw II.

The victim, a high school football star, apparently didn’t know his killer. Gunned down without provocation.

Singled-out, we’re told, because he was black. And murdered after failing to answer a question correctly.

Where you from?

Street code for, “What gang are you with?”

As her son collapsed to the ground still holding his cell phone but already releasing his final breaths, Anita Shaw was fighting in Iraq.

Soon, we learned the suspect, Espinoza, came to this country illegally.

15 years ago.

When he was 4.

Just 28 hours before Shaw’s murder, Espinoza had been released from a Los Angeles County jail.

Critics asked, Why hadn’t Espinoza been deported after his arrest last November?

Shaw’s parents soon advocated the proposed “Jamiel’s Law.”

It would allow LAPD to ask suspects about their immigration status.

Right now, a policy called “Special Order 40” prohibits LAPD from doing so.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Instituted in 1979 by then-Chief Daryl F. Gates, Special Order 40 states that Los Angeles Police Department “officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.” The order was meant to send a message to immigrants who had been victimized or had witnessed crimes that they could cooperate with police without fear of deportation. The rule has long been controversial and confusing, with many people — including some LAPD officers — believing it prohibits police from ever inquiring about the immigration status of suspects. Immigration rights groups hail Special Order 40 as an example of progressive policing, but the rule has come under attack from others, including anti-illegal immigration activists, who have sued to kill the order.

Suddenly, Shaw’s murder is entwined in volatile debates concerning illegal immigration.

Of course, everyone seems to agree that Shaw’s murder is a travesty.

But opponents of Jamiel’s Law feel it would be more harmful than good; to include “more racial profiling.”

And some critics of Jamiel’s Law correctly make the distinction that it was not the LAPD that arrested Espinoza last November.

As mentioned above, that arrest went down over in Culver City.

Thus the contention that–even had LA put it into effect prior to Shaw’s murder–Jamiel’s Law wouldn’t have kept a young man alive.

So here’s my humble challenge to any reporter who just might be reading this in LA:

Confirm as best you can that LAPD had no prior contact with Espinoza. Affirm that–had there been a Jamiel’s Law in the past–no opportunity would have ever existed for LAPD to determine Espinoza’s immigration status.


Because claims on either of this very important debate must be investigated.

Especially a claim affecting the possible preservation of an innocent person’s life.

You already know the suspect is a member of the 18th Street Gang.

And that the city is taking the gang problem “seriously.”

And that police departments have Gang Units that often keep files; to include photos and information about identifying markers such as tattoos and scars found on alleged gang members.

You know about the Freedom of Information Act.

So, rule-out any whisper of a notion that the LAPD had any prior contact with Espinoza.

Oh, and in case you have ways of getting information out of juvenile courts or juvenile detention centers, you might want to look there, too.

You know the words to look for. Headings like “Arresting Agency.”

Stuff like that.

As mentioned above, Espinoza reportedly came to the US shortly after getting out of diapers.

Long enough ago that he’s had time to establish a criminal history in Santa Clara County.

Gang bangers don’t respect county lines.

After all, where was Shaw killed?

In your city of angels.

Arrested by LAPD.

This was their first run-in with Espinoza?

Please confirm.

Then let the debates move forward.

I’ll dip back down into the blogosphere.

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Beyond 90 Seconds crimes against children gangs guns illegal immigrants illegal immigration Jamiel Shaw Jr. LAPD Los Angeles News Pedro Espinoza Special Order 40 street gangs true crime Walter Moore weapons

Student gunned down while Mom serves country in Iraq

Recent updates:

Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton said Wednesday that the department’s controversial policy on dealing with illegal immigrants was widely misunderstood by the public and some of his own officers, and he would clarify the rule in the next couple of weeks. -Los Angeles Times

  • KNBC, 19-year-old pleads not guilty in Jamiel Shaw, Jr. homicide case, April 9
  •, Shaw’s family proposes law to help curb violence (VIDEO), April 8
  • FOX News, “Jamiel’s Law” targets illegal immigrant gang members, April 8
  •, Jamiel Shaw’s parents meet with city leaders, April 8
  • The Daily Collegian (Penn State University) Cities bleed with ‘death by percentages, April 8
  •, Fear of a Black-Brown race war in Los Angeles, April 3
  • Independent Weekly (North Carolina), For Eve and Jamiel, and everyone else (commentary), April 2
  •, Family of Jamiel Shaw to voice support for “Jamiel’s Law” on Doug McIntyre tomorrow morning (posted April 1) *note: Doug McIntyre is a radio host on KABC (Los Angeles). You can listen to his program here.
  • Pedro Espinoza mug shot and booking sheet
  • Daily News (Los Angeles), Barbarians are within the gate, March 30:

    The latest atrocity was the slaughter of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr., a star footballer who caught the eye of top college recruiters. Tragically, he also caught the eye of an illegal-alien gangbanger who gunned him down while Jamiel’s mother served in Iraq.

    You can’t make this up. The irony of fighting a war against terrorism half a world away while a generation of Angelenos is shot to pieces by local terrorists, while your own son is cut down at home…. Wow.

  • CNN, Dad faces son’s alleged killer; sees ‘normal’ youngster, March 26
    Murder suspect Pedro Espinoza
  • Times Record News (Wichita Falls, Texas), “A horrible waste,” March 25

    Jamiel Shaw Jr., a teenager on the verge of living out an American dream, was gunned down by someone who authorities believe had no business still living in America. -Times Record News

  • MyFoxLA, Arraigment postponed in Jamiel Shaw case, March 25
  • KABC-TV, Man accused of killing teen heads to court, March 25

Odds are you’ve never heard of 17-year-old Jamiel Shaw Jr. At least not until this week.

But if you’re a parent, you know something about what the young man represented.

You see, for 17-years Shaw’s parents poured their lives into raising a child that would know the difference between right and wrong. The value of hard work. And how to be successful in life.

Imagine their devastation when they learned someone–allegedly a gangster–simply walked up to their first born and blew him away. Shaw’s mother, Army Sgt. Anita Shaw, was informed of her son’s murder while she served her country in Iraq.

Jamiel Shaw Jr. was set to graduate from high school this year. And, oh yeah, he was a helluva football player. Stanford and Rutgers were among the schools pursuing him. Jamiel Shaw Jr. The “football star” angle’s been heavily played-up in media reports ever since Shaw was murdered Sunday as he walked home while speaking with his girlfriend on his cell phone.

But Shaw was more than a football player. He was a son. A strengthening testimony to the love and hard work his parents had invested throughout his short life.

Just as so many of you have done for your children.

That’s why, if you’re a parent, you have an intimate understanding of what Jamiel Shaw Jr. represented: The hope and love we have for our kids. And yes, the worry, too.

Shaw’s parents have already shown great strength. Not only in media interviews. But in a a community gathering aimed at addressing recent violence.

I strongly recommend that you watch an interview with Shaw’s parents conducted by Shephard Smith of FOX News. Hang in there until the very end and you’ll be rewarded with the poignant words of the father, Jamiel Shaw Sr.

Other Links:


Los Angeles Times