A video showing Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias ordering the removal of a petite grandmother, Laura Basurto, from the May 7, 2019 meeting of the Board of Supervisors has sparked outrage and raised questions.
As she was escorted out of the room, Laura held up an American flag and a picture of her beloved grandson, Fernando Jose Basurto Jr. Fernando was killed on May 19, 2016 at the hands of a man illegally present in the country, just a few days before he was set to graduate from a West Covina high school on May 26, 2016.
Chair Richard Elias responds to the demands of open border activists who signal to him that Laura Basurto must be removed after she says “are you crazy” in a barely audible tone while an open border activist tells supervisors that drugs mostly come through the ports of entry and not where the border is wide open.
Fernando Jose Basurto Jr., 18
By JEANETTE MARANTOS | POSTED JUNE 3, 2016
Fernando Jose Basurto Jr., an 18-year-old Latino, was shot and killed on Thursday, May 19, in the 18400 block of Desidia Street in Rowland Heights, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records.
Basurto, a senior at Walnut High School, was visiting two school friends, who are brothers, at the apartment complex where they lived about 11:30 p.m., said Los Angeles County Lt. Eddie Hernandez.
Two Latinos in their early 20s approached and confronted the young men, Hernandez said. One man pulled out a handgun and demanded to know their gang affiliation, he said.
“The two brothers that live there say they’re not from any gang, and the victim never says anything,” Hernandez said. “So the suspect asks a second time, and they deny it a second time.”
At some point, the gunman turned, Hernandez said, “and at that point, one of the brothers sees an opportunity to defend himself and starts punching the suspect. It was very courageous, actually.”
The other brother began punching the second man, Hernandez said, “so we have the two brothers involved a fistfight with the suspects, one armed and one unarmed, and the victim is just standing there.”
Hernandez said the gunman was able to get away from the brother who was hitting him and then fired a shot that struck Basurto, Hernandez said.
Basurto was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:40 p.m. with a gunshot wound to the head, according to coroner’s records. The brothers were not injured.
In an interview on KNST’s Garrett Lewis show, Laura’s husband, Fernando Basurto, described the couple’s experience.
It was very clear from the start that Laura’s presence at the meeting was a cause for concern and discomfort for Elias. Fernando noted that Elias had specifically referred to his wife and her flag when he introduced the Call to the Audience portion of the meeting. Elias had singled Laura out and warned her to keep her small thin flag down so it would not block the view of others.
Fernando and Laura had planned to address the Board during the Call to the Audience but were denied that opportunity when Elias had Laura removed.
Fernando questioned why his wife was thrown out, but Isabel Garcia, a radical open borders activist was not. According to witnesses, Garcia caused a ruckus when she claimed that a man had called her a “bitch” and demanded that he be removed. However, nearby witnesses denied her claim and Elias merely warned her to behave herself.
The disparate treatment of the two Latina women has raised questions of fairness.
At the conclusion of the Call to the Audience, the Board voted 3-2 to accept the Operation Stonegarden grant, which funds border security partnership efforts between U.S. Border Patrol and local law enforcement agencies.
Supervisors Miller, Christy and Bronson voted for the funding.