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LETTER: Thoughts following killing of California police officer

January 8, 2019

As a result of the recent killing of a California police officer, allegedly by an illegal alien, Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson stated that in California, law enforcement officers would have been subject to prosecution if they had provided information about the illegal to federal authorities.

Title 18 of the United States Code, section 4, states: Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

While not every illegal alien would be subject to federal felony jurisdiction, at least every illegal entry after deportation is a felony. Put another way, there are God only knows how many illegals taken into state custody who should be reported to the appropriate federal authorities.

I would tackle this issue in the following manner. An organization that has standing to represent California law enforcement officers, perhaps “The California Association Of Law Enforcement Officers,” or some such group, can and should bring a declaratory judgment action against California’s governor or attorney general, or both, seeking a ruling by an appropriate federal court that the officer reporting was protected by 18 U.S.C., section 4, under the doctrine of federal supremacy. - Andy Bagley, Sioux City

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