El Monte police chief candidate withdraws after immigration debate

The man picked to head El Monte’s police department has withdrawn his name from contention for the job after a dust up over his stance on immigration.

Eric McBride, who is currently San Bernardino Police Department Assistant Police Chief, was set to be sworn in as El Monte’s top cop earlier this week.

But immigrants rights activists mounted a campaign against him because of anti-illegal immigration policies he pushed while he served on the Hemet City Council from 2006-2010.

“This selection is a slap in the face of the community and it is dangerous given his radical views on so-called illegal immigration,” El Monte resident and activist Veronica Tomas-Castro told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “This is a community of immigrants and we are just shocked that we would have Joe Arpaio as a police chief,” she continued, referencing the controversial sheriff of Maricopa County, Arizona.

The public outcry led to McBride taking his name out of consideration for the job.

“I have always forged strong relationships with the communities I’ve served, including immigrant communities,” McBride said in a statement. “But given the political dynamic this is raising, I want to be respectful and just remove myself as a candidate.”