LOS ANGELES — The father of former Los Angeles High School football star who was gunned down by a gang member living in this country illegally used a 3 1/2-minute speech at the Republican National Convention July 18 to praise presumptive presidential nominee Donald J. Trump’s support of ending illegal immigration.
After recounting how his 17-year-old son, Jamiel Shaw II was killed in 2008, Jamiel Shaw said “only Trump called me on the phone one day to see how I was doing.”
“Only Trump will stand against terrorists and end illegal immigration,” Shaw said, drawing cheers from delegates at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The convention closed July 21 with trump formally accepting the Republican Party’s nomination for president.
“Only Trump mentions Americans killed by illegals. Trump will put America first, not crooked Hillary,” Shaw said, using the derisive nickname for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton often used by Trump.
Shaw’s speech followed another address by a Southern Californian with a child killed by a man living in the country illegally.
The son of Sabine Durden of Moreno Valley was killed in 2012 at the age of 30 in a collision with a Chevrolet pickup truck driven by an unlicensed driver who was in the country illegally.
Clinton has said that immigration enforcement must be humane, targeted and effective. She has pledged that as president, she would focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety.
Shaw has spoken at previous events featuring Trump. At a Trump rally in Costa Mesa in April, Shaw said that when he saw television coverage of Trump announcing his candidacy on June 16, 2015, “for the first time, it gave me real hope.”
Shaw also stood next to Trump at a July 10, 2015 news conference in Beverly Hills. Trump asked Shaw if his rhetoric was racist. Shaw replied, “It’s not racist. What he’s doing is he’s speaking for the dead. He’s speaking for my son.”
Jamiel Shaw II was shot and killed in 2008 near his Arlington Heights home by a gang member who prosecutors said mistakenly perceived him as a gang rival because he was carrying a red Spider-Man backpack.
Shaw was a star running back at Los Angeles High School and the Southern League most valuable player in 2007. He had been contacted by Stanford and Rutgers about continuing his football career at the time of his death.
Pedro Espinoza, convicted of first-degree murder in 2012 and sentenced to death for killing Shaw, was living in the United States illegally at the time of the killing.
He had been freed from jail two days before the shooting without immigration authorities placing a hold on him.
Trump said in 2015 that the younger Shaw was “shot from nowhere by an illegal who shouldn’t have been in the country, and nobody wants to talk about it. … The system is really screwed up.”