On February 3rd, 2019, a preventable and brutal murder took place on a New York City subway platform involving rival gang members. The suspect who is now in custody, Ramiro Gutierrez, is a suspected MS-13 gang member. The victim is an alleged member of a local “18th Street” gang.
As you will hear in the video, the suspect shoots the victim six times in the face, after a physical altercation on the subway platform. You can see video of the fight and subsequent shooting here *graphic warning*:
As disturbing as this video is, one thing that immediately caught my attention, were reports stating the suspect was out on $2,500 bond when this shooting took place.
$2,500 bond despite being an identified MS-13 gang member!? We give MS-13 gang members $2,500 bond? Wow. Good to know.
But wait, there’s more. Not only is Gutierrez a member of a violent gang, he’s also undocumented and here illegally.
Oh I know. I’m wading into controversial territory here. Dare I mention ICE? You know, the federal agency that some politicians want abolished. As always, I’ll try to stick to the facts, instead of political fodder.
So the question remains, why wasn’t a “detainer” placed on Gutierrez after his arrest in December 2018? That is the standard procedure for someone charged with a felony, with a questionable immigration status. Let alone someone who is a member of an extremely violent gang. It only makes sense. Doesn’t it?
Go figure, that is exactly what happened. But not until he shot someone in the face six times on a crowded New York City subway platform.
According to an article published by ABC7NY, “ICE was one of the law enforcement agencies involved in 26-year-old Ramiro Gutierrez’s burglary arrest in December but then did not confirm that he was undocumented so he was freed on bail.”
Of course, the article goes on to say, “Only after his arrest earlier this week for the fatal shooting did ICE determine “he entered without inspection” at an unknown prior date. ICE has now placed a detainer on Gutierrez for possible deportation.”
So there’s the proof that this is what normally happens. It begs the question, why didn’t it happen in December 2018?
Political interference? Political pressure on ICE? ICE dropped the ball? I’m not above saying law enforcement could have made a mistake. Considering ICE was involved with the arrest in December 2018, the reason for not issuing a detainer at that time has to be an interesting one to say the least. There has to be an explanation or reason. Maybe we will get one, maybe not? We can speculate until the cows come home.
I don’t expect the judicial system to be perfect. I certainly realize people arrested for crimes have a right to be freed on bond before trial. I also recognize someone arrested for minor or non-violent crimes could be freed on bond and proceed to go on a murderous crime spree. We aren’t fortune tellers. If we were, we could prevent all crime.
I guess the question becomes, when do we take the criminal element seriously and put our safety above political cries to be lenient? I said my goal wasn’t to be political, doesn’t mean it’s entirely avoidable. I can’t help but wonder if political pressure played a role in the release of Gutierrez in December 2018.
Let me put it simply. If someone is arrested for a felony, AND they are identified as an active criminal street gang member, AND they aren’t here legally, that is PRECISELY when ICE should be involved and allowed to do their job. If their immigration status is cleared up, then and only then, should bond or bail even be entertained.
I believe this murder could have been prevented. The problem with certain political policies, especially those of lenience, is they have to be applied uniformly. Being concerned about bail being too expensive and disproportionately affecting the poor or minorities, makes sense, I get it. It’s certainly an issue worthy of discussion and future corrective action.
However, given the mitigating circumstances involving Mr. Gutierrez, certain procedures should have been followed preventing his release. This particular case isn’t about race, ethnicity, or financial status, it’s about criminality. When you are a member of a criminal street gang, you deserve to be treated like one.
Allowing MS-13 gang members who aren’t even here legally, back into society on a $2,500 bond is insane. It isn’t racist to keep MS-13 gang members locked up, it’s smart. Especially for felony charges. We aren’t talking about jaywalking or littering.
Violent people shouldn’t be afforded the opportunity to continue their violence in our society. Period.
Luckily, the only person killed in this horrific incident was another alleged gang member and not an innocent person in the NYC subway system. Despite that, I can’t help but feel bad they had to witness such a heinous act. Especially considering it could and should have been prevented.
No matter who is at fault.
It’s a damn shame.
The Officer Next Door