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Federalizing the Crime of Killing A Police Officer and Fleeing the Country

Location: Washington, DC


The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the order of the House of January 4, 2005, the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier) is recognized during morning hour debates for 5 minutes.

Mr. DREIER. Madam Speaker, I have taken this time today to announce the introduction of legislation. Today my very distinguished colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff), has joined me in introducing legislation that calls for making it a Federal crime to kill a law enforcement officer and flee the country.

Just yesterday we saw the memorial held for the fallen peace officers, and we had here in Washington the Sheriff of Los Angeles County, Lee Baca, who is really the progenitor of this legislation, along with the Chief of Police of the City of La Verne, Ron Ingels, who was representing the California Police Chiefs Association and the Los Angeles County Police Chiefs Association.

We have had over the past 3 years a very tragic case in Southern California. Three years ago this last month we saw the tragic murder of Deputy Sheriff David March by a Mexican national, who chose to first shoot Deputy March and leave and then return and put the gun to Deputy Sheriff March's head and kill him, and then flee the country, knowing full well that he would face, if extradited, the death penalty, and that would prevent the Mexican government from extraditing him.

Well, over the past 3 years, in a bipartisan way, my colleagues the gentleman from California (Mr. McKeon), who represents the March family, along with the gentleman from California (Mr. Schiff), whom I mentioned, the gentleman from California (Mr. Berman), and a wide range of Members, especially of the California delegation, have come together trying to deal with this issue.

While the introduction of today's legislation will not directly deal with the March case, it clearly is legislation that is designed to ensure that as we look at the prospect of someone killing a law enforcement officer and fleeing the country, we will have the full force of the Federal Government behind our quest for a resolution. This does not in any way preempt the opportunity for county and State jurisdictions to pursue with vigor a case such as this, but it does provide the option for the Federal Government to be involved, and also to deal with any kind of negotiating that might be necessary to ensure that someone can be extradited.

Madam Speaker, I encourage my colleagues to join as cosponsors of this legislation, which will federalize the crime of killing a law enforcement officer and fleeing the country. As I say, the bill is going to be introduced today, so I would encourage as many of my colleagues as possible to join on board in this bipartisan effort to help ensure that we bring the killers of law enforcement officials to justice.

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