City of Lancaster City Council Member Angela Underwood-Jacobs to Propose Gabriel’s Law
Named after the late Gabriel Fernandez, Proposed New Law would Require the Recording of all Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Investigations in Lancaster
During this evening’s City of Lancaster City Council meeting, Council Member Angela Underwood-Jacobs will propose a new law, “Gabriel’s Law”, which will require the recording of all Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigations in Lancaster.
The proposed law is named after the late Gabriel Fernandez, a local 8-year-old Antelope Valley child who died in May 2013, after being repeatedly tortured and abused. The boyfriend of Gabriel’s mother, Isauro Aguirre, is charged with murder; with a special circumstances allegation of murder, involving the infliction of torture in connection with the murder.
“As a mother, I find it absolutely inconceivable that anyone could ever harm a child. But, unfortunately this has become much more prevalent than one could ever imagine in today’s society,” said Council Member Angela Underwood-Jacobs. “We must not let such atrocities happen in our own backyard. We must take immediate action to stop such acts now. I am calling on my fellow public servants at the local and state levels to join with me in enacting Gabriel’s Law statewide.”
Throughout the course of the investigation into the murder of Gabriel Fernandez, experts have pointed to the lack of recordings of Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) investigations as being a major flaw in the DCFS system. For instance, in the Fernandez case, more than 60 complaints were logged with DCFS, as well as eight investigations into the family. Despite these facts, custody of the child was returned to his mother in October 2012, just seven months prior to his torturous murder.
“I applaud Council Member Underwood-Jacobs for taking this stand on behalf of all children, not only here in the Antelope Valley, but throughout the state of California,” said City of Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “I am confident that the enactment of Gabriel’s Law will have far reaching benefits throughout not only California, but our nation as a whole.”Tonight’s City Council meeting will begin promptly at 5 p.m., in the City of Lancaster City Council Chambers located at 44933 Fern Avenue, Lancaster, CA 93534.