The New York City Sergeants Benevolent Association (SBA), a police union representing the city’s active and retired sergeants, blamed Mayor Bill de Blasio for the death of a 92-year-old woman.
92-year-old Maria Fuentes, was sexually assaulted and murdered on the streets of NYC earlier in January. The man suspected of killing her, Reeaz Khan, is an illegal alien who had been arrested by the New York Police Department in November 2019, but was released and never handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) because of the city’s strict sanctuary policy.
On Sunday, the SBA said that Fuentes would still be alive if the city’s police force had been allowed to comply with ICE’s immigration detainer request, and claimed that her death was on Mayor de Blasio.
“At what point DO YOU take responsibility for a 92 year old woman raped and murdered. If you complied with ICE Detainers she would still be alive. You try to deflect the issue by turning it into exploitation, the FACT is her death is on YOU,” the SBA tweeted at the NYC mayor.
The public statement is the latest indication that the everyday law enforcement officers working in NYC do not support the city’s hostile stance toward federal immigration enforcement. The vice president of the SBA, Vincent Vallelong, stood alongside ICE acting director Matthew Albence during a press hearing Friday and said the city’s cops want to help their federal partners, but simply cannot.
“I can guarantee you every single of our members want to help them out. Unfortunately, the way our policies are set up, they don’t allow us to,” Vallelong said.
The New York City Police Department is forbidden from cooperating with ICE in any manner. If an illegal alien is placed under NYPD custody, and ICE lodges a detainer request for that individual — asking them to hold on to the individual long enough for an ICE agent to arrive and assume custody, NYPD must ignore that request, the BPR reported.
Two months later, Khan was identified on surveillance footage as the man who sexually assaulted and injured Fuentes while she was outside her home collecting returnables. She was rushed to the hospital, but ultimately succumbed to her wounds.
The SBA expanded on their official position regarding cooperation with federal immigration authorities, and their opinion on Mayor de Blasio.
“The Sergeants Benevolent Association of the NYPD supports all ICE Agents and will not leave any agent without assistance or in any position to jeopardize their safety. Regardless of Mayor DeBlasio beliefs and policies,” the organization tweeted out Monday.