Garcetti Warns Of Possible Riots From ICE Raids

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti predicted that current Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids could bring a future for Los Angeles reminiscent of the Rodney King riots in 1992.

"Imagine a parent who's dropping off their child," said Garcetti to NPR host Maria Hinojosa on "Latino USA," according to The Daily Wire.

"As we've seen, ICE officers, ICE agents take that parent away, and it's videotaped."

"Imagine if that's on the sidewalk and students start swarming, and they're teenagers. It's dangerous for those agents. It's dangerous for our city."

During the first 100 days of President Donald Trump being in office, ICE reportedly made 41,000 arrests with almost three-fourths of those individuals having been convicted of a crime, including drug-related charges and sexual abuse.

Hinojosa asked the mayor about the possible implications of current ICE intervention in so-called "sanctuary  cities," such as Los Angeles, that have large numbers of immigrants in the country illegally.

The term sanctuary city has no official definition, but loosely refers to local law enforcement authorities that do not inform federal immigration officers about a person's immigration status when that person is arrested for a crime.

"As the Mayor of L.A., it has crossed your mind, like, 'Oh my God,'" said Hinojosa. "'The next tinderbox might not be black-white relations, but might end up being immigrant-police-ICE confrontations?' And then that could lead to an ugly, ugly chapter in L.A.'s life?"

Garcetti warned against the impression the 1992 riots left on the city, citing how volatile things can be.

"We just commemorated 25 years since the urban unrest, and we know how quickly things can explode," said Garcetti.

The violence erupted in 1992 after four LAPD officers were acquitted of beating King, an African-American man. The beating was caught on video and broadcast widely. The riots led to the mayor having to call on then-President George W. Bush for federal assistance and call in the California National Guard to quell the unrest.

"If something goes wrong I fear a tinderbox out there, where people will suddenly say 'no,' and try to defend, keep that person from being taken," Garcetti said. "That's a very dangerous situation."

Garcetti, the grandson of immigrants, spoke on the city's official position as a sanctuary city.

"If a 'sanctuary city' means that your police force will not be deputized or take it upon themselves to enforce immigration law, then absolutely we are and proudly so," said Garcetti.

A 2014 estimate put 1 million of the approximately 11 million immigrants in the U.S. illegally in Los Angeles County and neighboring Orange County, collectively, according to NPR.  

Sources: The Daily Wire, NPR / Photo credit: Steve Jurveston/Flickr