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Jamiel's Law fails to qualify for ballot

December 11, 2008 | 10:41 am

Shaw Supporters of a proposed Los Angeles voter initiative that would allow police to arrest illegal-immigrant gang members solely for being in the country illegally failed to collect enough petition signatures to qualify the measure for the May ballot, officials said today.

Only 18,559 signed petitions were turned in – a fraction of the 73,963 required, said Jinny Pak, of the Los Angeles City Clerk’s office. Officials in the elections office didn’t even bother to sample the petitions to determine how many of the signatures were valid registered voters because so few were turned in, she said. Backers of the proposed law can continue to circulate petitions to qualify the measure for a future ballot.

Read the rest after the jump.

--Phil Willon

The next city election is in March 2011, although the measure could be included in an earlier county election or even a special election, Pak said. The proposed law was named after 17-year-old Los Angeles High School football player Jamiel Shaw II, who was gunned down in March allegedly by a reputed gang member who was in the country illegally.

The measure would modify the Los Angeles Police Department's Special Order 40, which prohibits officers from initiating contact with individuals for the sole purpose of determining whether they are illegal immigrants.