July 25th, 2008
02:24 PM ET

Why give sanctuary to alleged killer?

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

In San Francisco, what started off as traffic gridlock at one intersection last month led to deadly road rage. This week, an alleged gang member and illegal immigrant pled not guilty to the murders of a father and two of his sons. Anthony Bologna, 49, along with his sons Michael, 20, and Matthew, 16, were killed by bullets from an AK-47 assault weapon on June 22. They were heading home from a picnic, but never made it.

Three days later, police arrested 21 year old Edwin Ramos. Investigators believe he was the shooter riding in a car with at least two other people. But Ramos' attorney says his client didn't pull the trigger and cops have the wrong guy.

There's another twist. It's tied to Ramos' undocumented resident status. He had been arrested at least three times before the shooting. And in two of the cases, he was reportedly convicted of felonies as a juvenile, but never deported.

Ramos' most recent arrest was just this past March when police allegedly found a gun used in a double homicide in a car he was driving. The district attorney's office decided not to press charges against Ramos. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he was released even though steps were being taken to deport him because his application for legal residence was denied.

Here's where federal and local officials have much different stories. The San Francisco Sherriff’s office says jail officials sent a fax to ICE asking if Ramos should stay behind bars. It says it never got a response.

Meanwhile, ICE says it never was told of Ramos' arrest in March. It claims it got an "electronic message" from the sheriff's department at least two hours after Ramos was let go.

Now months later, Ramos is accused of a triple homicide that's getting national attention. That's because the case has sparked debate over San Francisco's sanctuary law. The city's nearly 20 year old policy blocks local officials from helping the feds in their efforts to deport illegal immigrants. Mayor Gavin Newsom says he voided the policy when juvenile offenders are involved after hearing about it two months ago. And his spokesman says, "The sanctuary program was never intended to shield felons."

Everyone it seems has a different story.

But one thing remains the same: a father and two of his sons are dead. And, many of the victims' family want prosecutors to seek the death penalty. District Attorney Kamala Harris has pledged not to seek the death penalty while in office. Will she change her mind?

Filed under: Crime & Punishment • Maureen Miller • T1
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Hugo

    To all you ignorant rednecks. This issue is not about immigration.

    Let me begin by saying that everyone in this country is an immigrant, except for the Native Americans who inhabited this country before whites brutally killed them all and forced them to change their ways. Isn't it hypocritical of white people to complain about what is going on?

    Second, regardless of race, nationality, status, etc. this was a brutal crime that deserves the death penalty. There are many white Americans that commit brutal crimes(Columbine, CO, Jasper, TX to name a few). The only difference is that white people would rather blame tv, video games, or movies for their sick behavior instead of blaming themselves. Do not blame immigrants, do not blame politicians, do not blame ICE. Blame the sick individual who committed this crime.

    My prayers go out to the Bologna family.

    July 28, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  2. Alex

    As with Mayor Gavin Newsome, he is typical of a group of ultra liberal "leaders" who believe it is within their "power" to serve up whatever fancies their personal agendas. Nancy Pelosi is so typical of whatever is in the water in San Francisco and decides what she wants and not the citizens of their town or the United States. Now Mr. Newsome has aspirations to become the Governor of California and I (as a citizen of California) will certainly remember Newsome's "free-wheeling" leadership that inspires, harbours and promotes violations of the laws of the land. In my way of thinking that makes him an accessory to a crime, albeit of Immigration Laws. But he knows he's safe in San Francisco because "lt's his town." Silly me thought all along the city of San Francisco belonged to the people. With leaders like Newsome and Pelosi, I'm surprised anybody goes to jail anymore in that town. Guess it would only happen if one of their relatives became a victim. Politicians..... what a remarkable breed they are!

    July 27, 2008 at 7:08 pm |
  3. Samuel

    You know, one never knows when it is going to be there time to check out of this world! I sure wish that the States were held more accountable by the Central Government in Washington D.C.
    The states make their own laws of which most run counter to the Constitution of the United States. Make me wonder why we even have a General Election. Why do we even have Federal Lawmakers. They go to Washington to represent us the people and yet what we the people want never gets the attention it deserves. This case is a prime example of Government Run-a-muk. The Death Penalty does not work even as a show.

    July 27, 2008 at 12:28 pm |
  4. kathryn

    I totally resent people who enter the country illegally and demand that we learn THEIR language so they can better assimilate living here. They demand free education for their children in THEIR language. They demand rights and benefits they are not entitled to. Regarding San Francisco, he should suffer the penalties of his actions. He has earned the death penalty. To hell with deportation. He will just buy his way back in and kill someone else. Regardless of his citizenship status, if he breaks the law here, he should be held accountable.

    July 27, 2008 at 11:09 am |
  5. Denise Groves

    Okay, why is the lw protecting this illegal piece of garbage!! Why does he manage to arrive back into this country after being deported? something has to be done about the borders, this is ridiculous. to make matters worse, he is a gang member. that right there tells us he cares nothing about human life.
    a ak47? are you kidding me? i can't even obtain one of those and i was born here!

    July 26, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  6. Regina

    everybody on this sight were being a sympathetic when these people were running over here screaming about wanting a better life. They bought up all these houses, defaulted on the loans and ran back to mexico. had tons of kids and raided the welfare system. they demand rights but were as illegal as a drug dealer selling dope on a street corner, or aren't they. basicly america got exactly what they deserved. when they could have stopped it before it got out of hand they wanted to pretend it wasn't a problem, now it is. These people have come over here and committed some of the most henious crimes, this is just one of many in California. The worst was when they started killing black people in of all places WATTS in Los Angeles because they wanted the whole neighborhood for the Mexicans, and they needed to scare off blacks. Blacks have lived in WATTS since forever but now they wanted it. And Viaragosa (the mayor was sticking with his people and told the blacks if you are so scared then move out.) There was one where a hispanic man beat his 1 1/2 year old son to death in front of bystanders and the police who had to shoot and kill him for him to stop. Drunk drivers killing whole families, all illegal, unlicensed drivers (illegal) making illegal turns and running over people and killing them. The stories are endless. I don't think anybody knows what to do with these people, but if they start fining these companies for hiring them (and I mean a serious fine) from the filipinos, chinese, middle easterners, africans and anybody else (russians) who just come here and stay this problem will never have an ending. When companies started packaging products written in english and spanish we had to know we had a problem. So blame your hispanic housekeeper, lawn mowing, home construction, standing on the street corner selling strawberries on yourselves.

    July 26, 2008 at 8:35 pm |
  7. Dee

    Some more lawbiding citizens killed by some illegal who sneaked into the country and the bleeding heart liberals in California won't do anythng – except whine about the rights of the illegals if someone else does do something to stop them- why is it that they think they have the right to come here when no one invited them? They should all stay where they came from and if they don't like it – they could try changing their laws. I'm tired of having to support bi-lingual education for them – when some of my ancestors came here (legally by the way), there was no free schooling to teach them English, they learned on their own (and in a very short period of time too). Why should we celebrate Cinco de Mayo??? Those of French descent for instantce, to do not celebrate bastille day, the English do no celebrate Guy Fawkes day. Why celebrate their holidays???? We do not need to provide interpreters for these people. They don't belong here. Let them go back where they came from. If they want to wave their national flag, let them do it where it belongs, not in our towns and cities.

    July 26, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  8. Jim .-

    You will note another Story by CNN about a Illegal ailean that was beaten to death in Pennsylvania. & You cannot leave comments- The Man died Because those who are SUPPOSED to ENFORCE the Law didn't do their job & Deport the criminal in the first place. I know many people who basicly say the same thing as the following-" If Your Here ILLEGALLY – Run for the Border now!- WE THE PEOPLE ARE SICK & TIRED OF OUR LAWS BEING BROKEN- LAW ENFORCEMENT-DO THE JOB YOU ARE PAID TO DO OR GET OUT & WE WILL DO IT FOR YOU!" this is the attitude of many people in this country They are getting sick & tired of their jobs being taken, their Houses robbed their children shot or turned on to drugs & Our elected representatives letting them- I expect the violence will get worse & more people will start taking the Law into their own hands.

    July 26, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  9. Joe

    I am Mexican or Hispanic, which ever you choose to use be politically correct. I simply call myself an American. Although I take pride in my heritage my loyalty is first and foremost to the United States of America and its people. I believe that when politicians are no longer loyal to the people serve they should be removed by those who appointed them. Why pay their salaries if they are doing a half ass job. Would you pay your babysitter to watch your most valuable possession only half the time?

    July 26, 2008 at 12:44 pm |
  10. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    The Mayor of SF should be charged as an accessory to the crime. Any sanctuary city should have ever single federal aid dollar stopped. Nothing for roads, schools, hospital, etc. Anyone who hires an illegal alien should be deported with them. Anyone who turns in an illegal alien should get a $500 bounty. The National Guard should be deployed to the boarders with permission to shoot. We are being invaded. We need to fight back.

    July 26, 2008 at 12:19 pm |
  11. Amy

    This government is out of control. If our "leaders" don't start making changes for the greater good of this nation and it's citizens then they can expect a revolution. It's only a matter of time before everyone becomes sick of posting their opinions on the internet and gets up to do something about this pathetic excuse of a goverment. No woman should have to bury her husband and sons. We might have to take it upon ourselves to make sure this doesn't happen again.

    July 26, 2008 at 12:11 pm |
  12. GF, Los Angeles

    In light of the Sanctuary City in San Francisco and I just discovered one in Laguna Beach – CNN should do a piece on Hispanic in America and truly document the favoritism they receive that much of mainstream media doesn't talk about. Talk about blatant racism against non-Hispanics who don't receive this special treatment.

    July 26, 2008 at 11:35 am |
  13. mike

    Isn't San Francisco the same place they want to throw out the Marine recruiters? What a great place to live. Those people know it all.
    Just another reason to never visit there. Sanctuary, the liberals in the rest of the country think it was a law of compasion, bull. Those elitist idiots didn't want to lose their kitchen help, and lawn workers. They talk a good game but they like the gold they have and want to keep it.

    July 26, 2008 at 10:59 am |
  14. J.C.

    It seems that there's a pretty strong consensus as to the cause and effect of this.

    I'm wondering how long this will go on before our elected leadership makes a serious attempt to correct this situation.

    It seems that a point will come, within 20 years (maybe sooner), after which no solution can be applied, as all the illegal immigrants will have adult children – born into citizenship – but retaining their parents' criminal heritage/culture, and armed with a vote.

    July 26, 2008 at 10:35 am |
  15. m.m

    We are all illegals and the mexicans actually have more birth right to this land than anyone. We don't have the right to ship anyone off because the majority of the population is the same race that stole, killed, and committed heinous crimes against all types of people to get the land. Deportation and "immigration law" is just a form of racism because the major race is terrified they are losing a foothold. Deport everyone and give it back to the Indians. Or else let everyone live here, enforce the laws but don't make it race related.

    July 26, 2008 at 10:29 am |
  16. Leonard Oen

    The otherday I seen the wife/mother of these three innocent people were gunned downed by this animal. Why are there sanctuary cities to begin with? Doesn't local governemnt have to follow federal law? If I was that poor woman I would protest every day at the DA's office and seek the death penalty and Iwould sue the city of San Francisco and the mayor for at least 300 million (100 million for each life). When is the local, state, and federal goverment going to listen to the American people. We are sick and tired of the border problem, they need to learn that if they don't fix it we will and by that I mean at election time. If you break the law to come here then we are sending you back unti you learn to respect the laws of this country. If the laws were enforced this would not have happened.

    July 26, 2008 at 6:48 am |
  17. Dire

    If our government would enforce the laws already on the books, if our politicians, police and legal system would enforce the laws on the books and if we as a nation demanded an immediate enforcement then maybe, just maybe the same people who think its AOK to mosey across our borders would think twice before making the trek. Our banking systems work against us by giving loans to illegals. Our politicians work out deal to get illegal’s semi-valid driver’s licenses because they cater to political action committees and money. We tie our own hands by enacting asinine laws that embolden illegal aliens into coming here. Giving illegal aliens children citizenship simply because they are born here in this country is one such asinine law that begs to be rescinded. Our police, school and medical systems are overwhelmed trying to protect and support our own citizens; let alone protect us against rising violence from illegal aliens and their offspring. You don’t reward people for illegal behavior regardless of their national origin or a countries economic downfall. It’s our governments and politicians faults for failing to protect this country and we are to blame for reelecting them.

    July 26, 2008 at 5:07 am |
  18. Joe

    This has nothing to do with immigration.

    We have been invaded and overrun by a foreign country called Mexico. When tens of millions of foreign nationals march through our streets waving foreign flags demanding changes to our laws, and trash our communities, and murder our citizens with impunity, that is not an immigration issue. It is a national security emergency.

    It cost us a trillion dollars to invade Iraq. Mexico has successfully invaded the USA and we pay them to do it. Our leaders are worthless.

    July 25, 2008 at 10:11 pm |
  19. stan

    Ahhh... what a wonderful town, San Francisco,.... and what a wonderful mayor and city council... I'm curious... if I rape and murder a bunch of woman and children, move to Mexico, denounce my citizenship, sneak back into the U.S.,....... Can I still live a long and happy life in San Francisco???

    July 25, 2008 at 9:27 pm |
  20. CaseyJPS

    Mayor Gavin Newsome and local officials don't make law or change the laws all on their own, but it IS their responsibility to uphold the law. Yet another fine example of the type of ignorant and selfish bleeding heart politics that forced an exodus from San Francisco around the turn of the century. HOLD THE BLEEDING HEARTS RESPONSIBLE WHO PUSHED SUPPORT FOR THIS POLICY IN THE FIRST PLACE.

    July 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm |
  21. Annie Kate

    The country must do something about the illegal aliens, especially the ones that commit crimes. They break one law by coming here; we do nothing to them for breaking that law and it implicitly sends the message that other laws can be broken. In this case when he did effective action was not taken and he was let out where he killed this family. While we don't seem to be able to round up all the illegals and deport them why can't we at last deport the ones that commit crimes – on the first crime instead of letting them stay to commit more?

    Annie Kate
    Birmingham AL

    July 25, 2008 at 9:07 pm |
  22. Lazarus

    Hmmm.. just a thought.. The law was never meant to shield felons, but isn't illegally entering the country a federal felony? What a wacky city.

    July 25, 2008 at 8:53 pm |
  23. Sunny

    Regardless of his legal status, if he committed triple homicide and he deserve nothing but death penalty.

    July 25, 2008 at 8:40 pm |
  24. Sandy

    Get rid of this vermin.

    July 25, 2008 at 8:36 pm |
  25. Mari, Salt Lake City

    Regardless of whether the murderer was legal or illegal, it is a tragedy that a father and his sons were killed!

    July 25, 2008 at 7:20 pm |
  26. A.J,

    An ILLEGAL ALIEN is what this scum is. Broke the first law by sneaking into this country. He then committed more crimes, and the 'soft' prosecutors will not seek the death penalty? Convict him, then roast him just to make sure he won't be coming back to this country.

    July 25, 2008 at 7:09 pm |
  27. Jim Ca.-

    Our wonderfull politicians need to be removed until they understand what the word ILLEGAL Means- Against the Law- anyone helping someone commit a Crime is AIDING & ABBETTING a Criminal & BOTH should be arrested & Thrown in Jail- If San Fransisco wants to be a Sanctuary tell you what we do- Take all the Criminals in the U.S.- put them in San Fransisco Get all the Law abiding people out, Put a wall around it & let them do whatever,whenever,to whoever they want within those walls. Want to come here Illegally- Go to SanFransisco, Want to murder people & get away with it Go to San Fransisco, Want to Rob, Rape, pillage use & sell drugs, Go To SanFransisco .There is one catch- You STAY THERE-Climb over the wall You get shot dead period.& we put the Genius politicians that refused to protect their citizens in the center of town & let the criminals do to them what the politicians have allowed the criminals to do to us the Law abiding citizens that have suffered being robbed, raped, murdered because of the Politicians stupidity- Bet you'd see crime drop in this Country real quick & a very small population in San Fransisco because all the criminals would be killing themselves off.

    July 25, 2008 at 6:36 pm |
  28. Fay, CA

    From what I've heard about this case, Anthony Bologna politely moved out of the intersection without any argument when Ramos indicated he wanted to pass, but Ramos still was angered and went on to shoot this entire family. I don't know what action SF will take regarding their sanctuary law, but it's a frightening thought that a relatively minor incident like this could incite someone to take three lives and leave a family devastated and having to deal with a tragic loss. I hope the Bologna's relatives will find peace and justice.

    July 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  29. GF, Los Angeles

    @ RL In order not to offend/discriminate against the illegals Special Order 40 was created to prevent the police from checking their immigration status when these criminals, or anyone for that matter, are pulled over or placed in custody. So you expect ICE to only deport the violent illegals and leave the non-violent one's here? Your girlfriend and her family did do something wrong – they crossed our borders and lived here illegally which is against the law. All illegals need to be deported.

    July 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm |
  30. RL los angeles

    This is a exactly the problem of America today. I live in LA and ICE and and police do NOTHIING to stop the violent illeagal defenders. Instead they go after the hard working immigrants who dont get in trouble. Yet the gangbangers in south LA go around killing people and are let go back on the street. Unfortunatley immigration is too scared to do there job where its needed. I am and American citizen and proud, but deeply saddened by or immigration policy. In my opinion anyone who wants to come here should. If you come here and work hard and dont get in trouble after a few years citizenship should become automatic. You come here and commit crimes and dont work, then back you go!
    By the way call me biased, my girlfriend and her family were rounded up in the middle of the night by ICE, they are a hard working family that have done nothing. My girlfriend who came here when she was 10, doesnt speak her european language and has a bachelors from Cal state is now being deported back to a country she doesnt know. All the while the mexican and elsalvdorean gangbanger run wild and free
    "Goodwork guys keep it up"

    July 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  31. Heather

    Gavin Newsom is not above the law. That includes federal law. If he thinks all these lovely decisions he has been making to create his own law are going to impress the voters hes fooling himself. I hope the feds come in and take him and those local officials out.

    July 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  32. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Bring the troops home from around the world and put them on the borders!! Deport this piece of human sewage.

    July 25, 2008 at 4:09 pm |
  33. JC- Los Angeles

    If our nation can pass bills like Sarbanes Oxley which holds executives liable for accurate financial reporting, surely we can pass a bill the holds leaders responsible for a lack of immigration enforcement.

    Our nation has become a cesspool lacking oversight, enforcement and qualified leadership.

    It's as if we try to make everyone happy while in the end, we please no one.

    The Bologna family deserves an apology from President Bush for our nation failing them.

    Lastly, a "Bologna Bill" needs to be passed immediately that affords criminal prosecution for any lack of oversight, period.

    July 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  34. Jaquita

    This is easy....he just just die. Simple no questions and who really cares. I mean this is just a waste of tax payer money to let this Taco have a trial. Of course I'm sure he will also need an interpreter and thats just something else thats wrong with tis country. This guy has no right's period and if your one of those that thinks they have a rihgt to live in the US well just wait till MS-13 moves into your hood and kills your kid!

    July 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  35. GF, Los Angeles

    Thank you so much for blogging about this Maureen. John and Ken on KFI have been talking about this issue for the past week and actually had Anthony Bologna's wife speak on the air. It's the Sanctuary Laws of San Francisco and Special Order 40 in Los Angeles that allows these illegal thugs to continue their crimes against innocent civilians (look up Jamiel Shaw Jr.'s death). It's time for us to take back this country and abolish those laws so that these criminals can no longer stay in this country and commit more crimes.

    July 25, 2008 at 2:49 pm |
  36. Cindy

    Well it seems like once again that the law has failed us, the American citizens. An innocent man and his two sons were mercilessly killed for nothing, by someone who shouldn't even be here in the states to begin with. if Edwin were arrested and deported when he committed his first crime or when they found a gun used to kill other people in his car then the Bologna family would still be alive. But instead he was allowed to go free and innocent people died. If they don't go for the death penalty it is a shame!


    July 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm |