Oakland Muralist Antonio Ramos was painting an anti-violence mural in West Oakland when he was shot and killed last September with a gun stolen from the car of a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Removal Operations officer. It was a theft that was reported after it occurred, earlier that month in San Francisco at 2nd Street and South Park. Today, attorney Frank Pitre of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy announced that he is filing and administrative claim against ICE on behalf of Ramos's family alleging that the agency "failed to train their employees” and “follow mandatory regulations, policies and/or procedures for securing and storing a firearm.”
“Unfortunately, this is a rampant, agency-wide problem for ICE that has been well- documented for nearly a decade," reads Pitre's statement. "Despite ICE’s knowledge and awareness of the problem and despite recommendations by other government agencies for corrective action, ICE agents continue to have their unsecured firearms stolen at alarming rates."
As you've likely noticed, auto burglaries and unsecured weapons have been in the news with alarming consistency: Yesterday, for example, we learned that although an FBI agent's stolen gun had been retrieved, three more firearms had been taken from a car near Japantown. In February, another ICE agent left a loaded gun atop a vehicle and drove off, losing it. The alleged Golden Gate Park Killers obtained the gun they may have used in two killings last fall from an unlocked car. And, not a week ago, the family of Kate Steinle — the woman slain at Pier 14 — announced a federal lawsuit against several parties including the Bureau of Land Management, as it was a gun stolen from the car of an officer from that agency that was used to kill her. That suit was also filed by Frank Pitre.
In the case of Ramos's murder, a suspect was arrested in November, Maquise Holloway. The Oakland Police Department believes that an altercation between Holloway and Ramos led Holloway to pull the trigger on the ICE agent's gun, a Glock.
"According to reports, the firearm was left in a bag in an unattended vehicle along with the agent’s badge, a pair of handcuffs, three fully loaded ammunition magazines, and a baton," the filing alleges. "The bag was left in the vehicle by one or more ICE agents and/or officers who were visiting the City and County of San Francisco. Later, a parking lot attendant in the 500 block of Howard Street discovered the other paraphernalia belonging to the ICE agent(s) and/or officer(s), but not the firearm or handcuffs."