The Times scraped around for 40 locals to offer their opinions on Special Order 40; included in the list are Minuteman Jim Gilchrist and libertarian-leaning Anglos Walter Moore, Patrick Frey, Melrose Larry Green, and chismosa Amy Alkon.
The most ludicrous statement in the piece is made by the Times editorial board itself, one of the forty, which said:
The [Jamiel Shaw, Jr.] tragedy exposes deplorable failures in the jailhouse processing of illegal immigrant criminals, but it has nothing to do with the LAPD, much less with Special Order 40.
It's hard to know how they can be so sure of that. Most apologists for SO40 insist that it protects witnesses, and leave things at that. The Times goes much further, denying any possibility of a link between Special Order 40 and the potential to commit a murder; this is in fact a reductio ad adsurdum for the opposing argument. Jamiel's killer may or may not have had a chance to commit a capital crime in the United States at all had his immigrant status been known at the time of his original arrest.
Significantly, Richard Riordan says that the City is right to seek clarification in what may be a wedge-issue for a 2009 Mayoral candidacy.
At La Opini, there was a story last weekend about recruiting more Latinos for the LAPD in which Bratton calls the Latino community the best source of recruiting and the Mayor says that the war is hindering the recruiting effort. Latino officers already compose a majority in the force.