Thursday, September 08, 2016

SANCTUARY STATE: New Mexico State Police refuse to ask for cop killer’s citizenship status!

By Lee Cary

The Alamogordo, New Mexico Alamogordo Daily News reported on September 2, 2016 that 33-year-old Police Officer Clint Corvinus was fatally shot on September 3, 2016 by 38-yr-old wanted fugitive Joseph Moreno. 

In the shootout, following a routine traffic stop, involving Moreno, Officer Corvinus, and a second Police Officer, Christopher Welch, Moreno was also fatally shot.

The report of the investigation of the shooting conducted by the New Mexico Department of Public Safety (NMDPS), updated on September 5, states:

“Forensic evidence at the scene, Officer Welch’s lapel camera video providing footage of the incident, and officer interviews, reveal the following information. During the course of the foot pursuit, Mr. Moreno had in his possession a bag he was carrying. As Mr. Moreno was running away from officers, he reached inside the bag and removed a .357 caliber revolver (later revealed to have had the serial number unlawfully removed).

Mr. Moreno turned toward officers and pointed his firearm at officers. Officer Welch fired at Mr. Moreno after Mr. Moreno pointed his firearm at the officers. At this time Mr. Moreno fell to the ground. While Mr. Moreno was on the ground, Mr. Moreno fired multiple shots at officers. Evidence at the scene indicates Officer Corvinus was struck with one round fired by Mr. Moreno.

Mr. Moreno then got up off the ground and briefly continued to flee on foot. Officer Welch continued to pursue Mr. Moreno and fired additional shots at Mr. Moreno near 602 South Florida Street. Mr. Moreno sustained a fatal shot to the head and fell to the ground a second time. During the time Officer Welch fired rounds at Mr. Moreno, Officer Corvinus was behind Officer Welch and never in his direct line of fire. Officer Welch was unaware Officer Corvinus had been struck by gunfire until after Mr. Moreno had been subdued.

Officer Welch secured Mr. Moreno and the firearm in Mr. Moreno’s possession. Officers later discovered inside the bag in Mr. Moreno’s possession were ten unfired hollow point bullets and a pair of handcuffs. A pistol holster was also found next to Mr. Moreno. Evidence obtained by investigators at the scene will be further analyzed by the state crime laboratory for additional examination.”

Furthermore, the NMDPS report states that:

“At the time of the incident, Mr. Moreno had three outstanding warrants for charges of possession of a controlled substance, two counts of burglary – third degree felonies, and driving with a suspended license. Mr. Moreno had an extensive criminal history and involvement with law enforcement. His criminal history includes arrests for armed robbery, aggravated burglary, multiple counts of possession of controlled substance, multiple counts of possession of firearm by felon, and contributing to the delinquency of minor.”

When queried via emails as to the citizenship status of Joseph Moreno at the time of his death, the report’s author, Sergeant Elizabeth Armijo, New Mexico State Police (NMSP), Public Information Officer stated:

“I don’t have any information regarding the citizenship of Joseph Moreno.  There is no indication he is anything other than a US citizen” (September 7, 2016)

In response to a further query as to if the NMSP “assume US citizenship on the basis of his {Moreno’s} residence in Alamogordo, NM,” Sergeant Armijo responded:

“The New Mexico State Police is not assuming anything regarding the citizenship of Joseph Moreno. Our investigation is pertaining to the incident surrounding his death and that of an Alamogordo police officer. His citizenship has nothing to do with our investigation.” (September 8, 2016)

On January 31, 2011, a press release from the Office of New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez entitled “GOVERNOR SUSANA MARTINEZ RESCINDS NEW MEXICO SANCTUARY STATUS,” states that, according to Executive Order 2011-009:

“SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez announced today that she has signed an executive order rescinding sanctuary status for illegal immigrants who commit crimes in New Mexico while protecting victims and witnesses of criminal acts. The order signed by Governor Martinez directs law enforcement officers to inquire about the immigration status of those who are arrested for committing crimes.

‘This order takes the handcuffs off of New Mexico’s law enforcement officers in their omission to keep our communities safe,’ said Governor Martinez. ‘The criminal justice system should have the authority to determine the immigration status of all criminals,

regardless of race or ethnicity, and report illegal immigrants who commit crimes to federal authorities. Meanwhile, it is important that we safeguard the ability of victims and witnesses to report crimes to law enforcement officers without fear of repercussion.”

So is New Mexico still a de facto sanctuary state?

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