Enough is enough for police officers in the City of Downey. After hearing about the disappointing sentences of one of their own officer's murder defendants, many police officers and other officials went to City Hall on Tuesday to take a stand against Senate Bill 1437, according to the Downey Patriot.
Ricardo "Ricky" Galvez, a Downey police officer, was killed in 2015 and the wound is still fresh for Galvez's family, friends, and co-workers because of a light sentence to one of his murderers. 20 year old Abel Diaz, one of the accused suspects in the murder case, is headed back to juvenile hall and is believed to serve a maximum of five years for his crimes.
The light sentence is believed to be the fault of Senate Bill 1437. This bill was signed in September of last year by former Gov. Jerry Brown and allows prosecutors' ability to use the "felony murder rule" to charge accomplices with homicide.
At a council meeting, Mayor Rick Rodriguez asked for staff to come up with a resolution against the legislation. Instead though, it was several officers and local officials who spoke up to take a stand.
Police officer and president of the Downey Police Officers Association, Ralph Diaz was one of Galvez's coworkers who spoke on his behalf against Senate Bill 1437.
"With Senate Bill 1437, the accomplice liability for felony murder, a juvenile in Ricky’s murder case is going to be released possibly by the age of 25 or even earlier,” said Diaz. “I’m a police officer and I understand the consequences of putting on my uniform every day; I understand I may not return home one day. I accept that fate. The suspects in the murder of Ricky were part of a gang, robbing people at gunpoint with reckless indifference. They accepted and understood the consequences of that lifestyle, and they should too accept their fate and remain behind bars for the rest of their life.”
As well, president of the Downey Police Management Association and Police Captain, Mark McDaniel spoke to City Hall on this devastating bill.
“I was in court a month ago when Abel Diaz admitted to the murder of Ricky,” McDaniel added. “How in the world can Mr. Diaz be released out into our community in the next few years?”
It is anticipated that city staff will present a resolution against Senate Bill 1437 to the City Council in the next couple of weeks.
John and Ken stand with the Downey Police Officers and hope a resolution against the bill is resolved.
Photo: The Downey Patriot