Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) recently urged Democrat Representatives to support a bipartisan bill that puts cop killers in prison, which recently passed the Senate. The House Minority Leader notes that the bill will end a loophole that has enabled cop killers to be set free.
The bill, entitled “Jaime Zapata and Victor Avila Federal Officers and Employees Protection Act,” honors Jamie Zapata, an ICE Special Agent who was brutally murdered in 2011 by various members of the Los Zetas drug cartel in Mexico.
Tragically, cartel members had their convictions, at least in part, overturned on the basis of a technical loophole in the legal system.
Zapata, along with fellow special ICE agent Victor Avila, had been deployed to Mexico in 2011 in order to investigate and thwart the massive flow of drugs into the United States.
Both agents had been driving in an armored SUV that had diplomatic plates, and they were subsequently ambushed by a hit squad from the Los Zetas drug cartel. Upwards of 100 rounds were fired into the vehicle with various assault rifles and handguns, killing Zapata and wounding Avila, according to the Department of Justice.
The Mexican government eventually extradited seven cartel members after intense pressure from the United States. Two of these members, Jesus Ivan Quezada Pina and Jose Garcia Sota, were found guilty of numerous federal charges in 2017, which included the homicide of a federal law enforcement officer under 18 USC 1114, which is a federal statue related to murder or attempted murder of United States officers.
However, last month, a panel on the federal appeals court in Washington D.C. invalidated part of the convictions for Quezada Pina and Garcia Sota, pointing out that Section 1114 presumably is not applicable to violations that have been committed outside of the United States.
Consequently, the families of the ICE special agents wrote a letter to McCarthy and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, pleading with the representatives to pass a bill to address the Section 1114 loophole in the Democrat-majority House.
Despite the fact that the bill has cleared the Senate, House Democrats apparently failed to vote in favor of passing McCarthy’s bill this week.
In a statement to The Daily Caller, McCarthy noted that Democrat Congressional Representatives “had the opportunity to pass a bipartisan bill … that would have corrected [the Section 1114] technicality … but they chose not to do so.”
Despite the resistance of Congressional Democrats, McCarthy continues to urge support for the bill, adding that “Congress must pass this bill to close this loophole so no other law enforcement officer … will be denied the justice they deserve.”
Adding that the bill will also bring justice to the families of law enforcement officers, McCarthy proclaimed, “House Democrats must bring this bill to the floor immediately.”