Claim filed against ICE in death of Oakland artist shot with gun stolen from agent's car

June 2, 2016

The parents of an artist shot dead in Oakland last year with a gun stolen from the car of a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent announced Thursday that they have filed a claim against the agency.

The claim, a first step in suing ICE, says that the agency has "failed to train their employees" and failed to "follow mandatory regulations, policies and/or procedures for securing and storing a firearm," said Frank Pitre, the attorney for the family of Antonio Ramos. Ramos was killed in Oakland on Sept. 29 as he was painting an anti-violence mural under an I-580 overpass on West Street.

Speaking with reporters at his Burlingame office Thursday morning, Pitre said Ramos' family wants to "hold people accountable for not enforcing regulations that weapons be secured by law enforcement."

The 9 mm Glock handgun used to kill Ramos was stolen from a bag left in an unattended vehicle in San Francisco's South of Market district on Sept. 13.

An ICE spokeswoman, Virginia Kice, declined to comment on the claim, writing in an email that it was agency policy to not discuss pending litigation. The alleged gunman, Marquise Holloway, is charged with murder and remains jailed without bail. He is due in court later this month.

The claim comes during a period of growing concerns about weapons being stolen from law enforcement officers after the theft of an FBI agent's handgun in San Francisco last week. It was recovered Tuesday.

On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, announced he is introducing a bill that would "require standards for federal law enforcement officers to lock their guns when not in use and to institute a reporting mechanism to better understand the frequency and severity of this problem."

In February, an ICE agent lost his gun in San Francisco when he drove off after leaving it on the roof off his car.

In January, three FBI weapons were stolen from a car in Benicia in Solano County.

Pitre also represents the family of Kate Steinle, who was shot and killed on a San Francisco pier last year with a gun stolen from the vehicle of a Bureau of Land Management ranger. The Steinle family filed suit against the BLM last month.

Her killing, allegedly by Juan Francisco López-Sánchez -- a homeless Mexican national who was in the country illegally after being released to the streets from the city jail despite an ICE request to be notified when he was freed -- ignited a national debate last year on illegal immigration. The rhetorical flames were fanned mostly by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who cited the case as one reason to build a wall along the nation's southern boarder... (To read the entire article, please click HERE)