Patterico's Pontifications

2/27/2006

CHP Officer Killed

Filed under: Dog Trainer,Immigration — Patterico @ 7:09 am

The L.A. Times reports that a California Highway Patrol officer has been killed by a suspected drunk driver:

Motorcycle Officer John Bailey, 36, was headed home to Adelanto on Saturday night when he pulled over a suspected drunk driver in a Ford Ranger pickup on Interstate 15 north of Oak Hill Road, said Tony Nguyen, a CHP public affairs officer.

As the officer stood talking with the pickup’s driver on the side of the road at 10:30 p.m., a second suspected drunk driver, Domingo Esqueda, veered off the freeway, struck Bailey’s motorcycle and the pickup truck, then smashed into the officer, Nguyen said.

Bailey is “the sixth CHP officer to die in the line of duty in five months.” He “had returned in November from a 14-month tour of duty in Iraq, where he was stationed with the California National Guard.”

Esqueda is apparently in the country legally. After all, if he were an illegal immigrant, that would be news — right? And that means the L.A. Times would have found out and reported it.

Right?

I’m joking, of course. They probably think it’s racist to even ask the question.

P.S. If you agree that this would be a racist question, then the solution is clear. The paper should make the legal status of a criminal suspect a standard question in any news story about a crime, regardless of the last name of the suspect.

16 Responses to “CHP Officer Killed”

  1. I think that it’s racist of you to even suspect that someone named Domingo Esqueda isn’t a blond haired, blue eyed American of Swedish descent! Why couldn’t his mother, Inga Johannsen, have simply liked the name Domingo?

    Dana (3e4784)

  2. I agree with the fact that ones citizenry should be asked along with address and phone number by Police, Hospitals, Schools and the media.Yes Dana, regardless of the ‘ethnophonicity’ of your name.
    p.s. I want credit for coining ‘ethnophonicity’
    :)

    paul (8e5be1)

  3. Asking folks whether they have their “green card” would get President Bush all riled up too. ‘Can’t have that. It just ain’t fittin’.

    Psyberian (9eb2a7)

  4. I’m sorry, but a CHP officer is killed by a drunk and your pissed ’cause you think the drunk was here illegally? Would it be okay if the drunk was named Billy Dingo Bob and was wearing a white sheet?

    Mad Hatty (de5fcb)

  5. P.S. If you agree that this would be a racist question, then the solution is clear. The paper should make the legal status of a criminal suspect a standard question in any news story about a crime, regardless of the last name of the suspect.

    But that would discriminate against the came-here-illegally race.

    Xrlq (243839)

  6. Would it be okay if the drunk was named Billy Dingo Bob and was wearing a white sheet?

    I’m upset, period.

    But I’m doubly upset if this tragedy could have been avoided through better enforcement of our immigration laws.

    As I say, we don’t know this — my question is whether our local paper is even asking.

    Patterico (4d4be8)

  7. Esqueda is apparently in the country legally. After all, if he were an illegal immigrant, that would be news — right? And that means the L.A. Times would have found out and reported it

    Why are you assuming either way?

    [I’m not sure what you’re suggesting I’m making assumptions about: the legal status of the drunk driver, or the paper’s eagerness to investigate that question. I’m *not* making any assumptions about the legal status of the drunk driver — I’m just saying it’s a valid question. As regards the paper’s eagerness to investigate it, I am indeed suggesting that the paper is unlikely to be digging into that story, and the reason for my suggestion is the paper’s history of reporting on such issues. I would love to be proved wrong. — Patterico]

    actus (6234ee)

  8. Does it matter? Even legal immigrants get deported for felonies like drunk driving…right?

    [Not relevant to my point. If this driver was illegal, he shouldn’t have been here to begin with — and the CHP officer should still be alive. — Patterico]

    jvarisco (2c5028)

  9. #8. In this case, yes, if he is not yet a U.S. citizen. Any offense punishable by more than a year in prison can trigger revocation of status and deportation. If he is a U.S. citizen, he has all the rights every person in America does. He cannot be “deported” unless he voluntarily leaves the country and renounces his U.S. citizenship at an American embassy abroad. (The Padilla case might have carved out an exception to this rule but the government chickened out.)

    As for Patterico’s question: My former home, a very, very, large midwestern city, has a policy that its police do not, in any way whatsoever, inquire into any suspect’s immigration status. It went head to head with Homeland Security on the issue and prevailed. So, for example, the police will ticket an illegal alien for driving without a license but Immigration will never hear about it from them. Anyway, since the question just came into my head, what happened with driver’s licenses for illegals in California.

    nk (d5dd10)

  10. I wanted to say “every person born in America does”. Sorry.

    nk (d5dd10)

  11. “He [Esqueda] did not have a valid driver’s license.

    What he did have was a fake identification card, a Mexican identification card and other identification all with different names and different variations of names, Sgt. Kevin Eads, of the CHP’s Victorville office said.”

    http://www.desertdispatch.com/2006/114106033830713.html

    steve (ab55e3)

  12. Perhaps the guy was out looking for those jobs America won’t do, while drinking the booze America won’t drink, driving a car some American wasn’t using at the time, mostly on lanes not being used by Americans, sending the officer to an Emergency Room Americans aren’t using.

    Wesson (c20d28)

  13. I’d think the LAT would have a policy of reporting all basic biographical background essential to truthfully retelling the story; nationality, whether actual or fraudulently claimed, is certainly central to the many stories. Do you know if they have that kind of policy? Did you, Patterico, try to find out before speculating that it doesn’t?

    From the last few days’ reporting, there’s evidence they do: For example, the LAT didn’t hesitate to identify the maniac who split the Enzo at 170 mph on the PCH as a Swedish millionaire.

    That kind of factual info gives us a fair idea of ‘what happened.’

    Same with a their reporting on the capture of the cop-killer Armando Barcia Arroyo. The LAT, in its Feb 24, ’06 article, quoted investigators, “who they said was an illegal immigrant and drug dealer.”

    On the the other hand, Steve has a great point: the Desert Dispatch didn’t seem to have any problem getting the info about Esqueda’s various aliases, which certainly suggest he was an illegal immigrant.

    A bit of perspective: Looking bact to local journalism from the ’60s and ’70s quickly shows the pernicious side of racial detailing of ‘detail’ if it’s not balanced and consistent. Back then, blacks caught committing crimes were invariably described as negro males, or black males; while, on the other hand, the “race” of whites (or Jews or Chinese or whatever) was rarely identified in newsprint. From the perspective of ’06, the practice back then was embarrassingly racist.

    So, what kind of background information is relevant. And when? How do journos today draw tht line, or lines, between accurate reporting, or erring political correctness, or erring on the side of racism — or simply not having the time to get all the information by deadline?

    jmaharry (74c3ec)

  14. […] This is a follow-up to my post this morning about the drunk driver who killed a CHP officer. It turns out that there is clear evidence that points to the possibility that the drunk driver is an illegal immigrant. (Thanks to commenter steve for the link.) Barstow’s Desert Dispatch newspaper reports about the suspected drunk driver, Domingo Esqueda: Esqueda had a blood alcohol level nearly three times the legal limit, [CHP Sgt. Kevin] Eads said. He did not have a valid driver’s license. What he did have was a fake identification card, a Mexican identification card and other identification all with different names and different variations of names, Eads said. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Suspected Drunk Driver Who Killed CHP Officer Most Likely Illegal — and We’ll Be Reading About This in the L.A. Times Real Soon (421107)

  15. Man, Patterico, you were a hell of a lot more polite to “Mad Hatty” than I would have been. But then, you already know that.

    CraigC (4525c5)

  16. […] I have previously blogged about the importance of the “suspected” drunk driver’s immigration status in previous posts on this topic here, here, and here. Quite simply, if a CHP officer died through the actions of someone who didn’t belong in this country to begin with, that’s news. And it’s news that the region’s largest newspaper is, unaccountably, not reporting. […]

    Patterico’s Pontifications » Southern California Newspaper Reports that Killer of CHP Officer is Indeed a Suspected Illegal Immigrant (421107)


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