A man arrested in the shootings of two Houston, Texas police officers- one of whom has died- is an illegal alien.
Breitbart Texas reported that Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a detainer request on 51-year old Elmer Rolando Manzano on Tuesday, with the immigration agency revealing that Manzano is an illegal alien with a history of felony criminal convictions in the United States.
Elmer Rolando Manzano-Martinez, 51, is a citizen of El Salvador and convicted criminal alien who is unlawfully present in the U.S. On Oct. 20, officers from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) in Houston, Texas, placed an immigration detainer with the Harris County (Texas) Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) on Manzano-Martinez after he was arrested for murder.
Two officers of the Houston Police Department had arrived at an apartment complex to respond to reports of a domestic disturbance, with officers having previously been called to the residence in response to instances of Manzano fighting with his wife. Upon the arrival of the police, Manzano opened fire, shooting Sgt. Harold Preston multiple times, including in the head.
65-year old Preston was a 41-year veteran of the Houston Police.
Sgt. Harold Preston was a 41-year veteran of the @HoustonPolice — a cop who led a life of significance. A hero shot and killed today, Harold was a selfless public servant who we will #NeverForget. My prayers are with his family, community, and fellow officers. @ArtAcevedo pic.twitter.com/x1NqL7CBlu
— Bill Bratton (@CommissBratton) October 21, 2020
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo went on to describe Sgt. Preston as a pillar of the community at a press conference at Memorial Hermann Hospital.
“We’ve lost just a wonderful human being,” Acevedo said of Preston after announcing that he had died in the shooting. “He is leading with men and women on streets, instead of choosing to sit in an office drinking coffee and reading the paper. That is the man he was — he is a man who lived with elderly parents to take care of them. As good as he was as a cop, he was a better human being, that is just the guy that he was and we are going to miss him.”
Another officer, Courtney Waller, survived the shootings and is recovering from a gunshot to the arm.
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) October 20, 2020
After barricading himself in the residence, Manzano surrendered to police and was arrested hours after the shooting. Chief Acevedo expects the criminal alien to be charged with murder.
Click 2 Houston reported on Manzano’s extensive history of felony criminal convictions shortly after his arrest. The illegal alien has been convicted of unlawful carrying of a firearm in October 1994; assault in August 2000 and December 2000; felony assault and causing bodily injury to a family member in May 2001; and evading arrest with a motor vehicle in December 2002.
Somehow, the repeat felon has proved capable of remaining in the United States and evading deportation, despite his criminal history.
Crime Watch: Robberies and Rapes Way Down, Homicides Way Up Across US
Some police departments are blaming the increase on the unintended consequences of coronavirus restrictions and the summer’s mass riots.
According to statistics compiled from 223 police agencies, homicides across the United States have risen more than 28 percent and aggravated assaults around nine percent in the first nine months of 2020.
A Washington Post article details some of the cities where homicides have risen dramatically since this time last year. For example, Boston’s homicide rate has increased by 52 percent and Fort Worth’s by 66 percent. Interestingly enough, the cities that experienced some of the worst summer rioting have seen homicides skyrocket the most: Minneapolis (85 percent increase), Louisville (79 percent increase), Portland (68 percent increase), and Milwaukee (110 percent increase).
Overall, 70 percent of the large cities surveyed saw an increase in homicides, 21 percent a decrease, and nine percent no change.
There are several factors that could account for this, such as the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, the mass riots over “police brutality” and “systemic racism,” law enforcement budget cuts, and criminal justice reform.
In Houston, a city that did not see the levels of summer chaos that other cities saw, homicides are up 35 percent, and Houston Police Department Assistant Chief Heather Morris is partly blaming bail reform.
“We had 28 suspects last year who were on bond or parole when they committed a murder,” Morris said, “and this year we’ve had 44. The person who killed one of our officers a week ago was out on $100 bond for unlawfully possessing a weapon. […] Bond reform in some cases is needed, but you have people who allegedly committed violent crimes getting out on bond when they haven’t in the past.”
Chuck Wexler, Executive Director of the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), said of the nationwide spikes: “We haven’t seen numbers like this since the ’90s. We’ve had 20 years of steady declines in crime. Is this just an aberration, or does this portend something for the future? This has been under the radar because of the pandemic, but something’s happening across the country in the most serious crimes. The next administration, they’re going to have to pay serious attention to this.”
Despite these troubling numbers in homicide rates, rapes and robberies are significantly down compared to last year. 73 percent of large cities reported decreases in robberies and 86 percent in rapes. This may be due to the coronavirus pandemic as well, since people are not out and about at the same level as last year.
In other recent crime news, Big League Politics reported that minorities are more likely to commit hate crimes than whites, per FBI statistics.
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