SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) — A makeshift sign criticizing San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and Santa Clara County over the county’s sanctuary policy, which was put in place sometime late Sunday night, was removed by Tuesday afternoon.
The 8-foot-wide plywood sign hung temporarily with metal brackets, on the soundwall of the southbound lanes of Almaden Expressway, 100 yards north of Foxworthy Avenue. The sign read “Mayor Liccardo has blood on his hands for what happened to Bambi Larson!! Fix our city you jerk (sic) junkies off our streets.”
“People have a lot of emotions. It’s not for me to say whether anyone’s emotions are fair or unfair. I just know I’m the mayor, I’m responsible for making San Jose safer and I’m going to work everyday to do that,” said Liccardo.
The sign was located 1.4 miles from the crime scene at Bambi Larson’s home, where she was killed in her bedroom on February 28. Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza was arrested days later, and charged with murder.
According to investigators, security camera footage shows the 24-year-old entering Larson’s home in the early morning hours before stabbing Larson multiple times in the neck and torso. Videos show him exiting on foot and dumping bloody clothing in a garbage bin. Larson’s blood and Carranza’s DNA were later found on the clothing, according to detectives.
San Jose Police describe Carranza as a homeless, undocumented immigrant, and an admitted gang member, with a long criminal history.
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Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had submitted so-called detainer requests to hold Carranza until agents could pick him up. But according to county policy, the detainers were not honored and Carranza was released multiples times.
Larson’s death inflamed both sides of the sanctuary policy debate. Earlier this month, after a nearly eight hour meeting with more than 100 public comments, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors voted to study possible changes to its sanctuary policy.
Mayor Liccardo said his position has not changed, reiterating that he wrote a letter to the county four years ago addressing the issue.
“I’ve been very consistent from day one about the fact that we need to treat violent criminals differently from the 99-plus percent of the immigrant community that does not commit serious crime. I’ve always felt that way. I believe strongly in policies that protect our immigrant community, but at the same time, we should not be protecting serious criminals,” said Liccardo.
San Jose Police Chief Eddie Garcia was shocked to see the sign and defended Liccardo. He said the mayor has been consistent in his stance on undocumented immigrants who have been convicted of serious crimes and violent felonies.
“We can and we do support our immigrant community that make up the fabric of what is San Jose, that make us better, and at the same time, hold individuals that are convicted of felonies and causing harm to our communities fully accountable. We can do both,” said Garcia.