Riverside Officer Ryan Bonaminio

By Cassandra Levine

I am sure you’re aware of the death of Riverside Officer Ryan Bonaminio a couple weeks back and I wanted to share something very important with you. It doesn't matter what area you live or work in, this is an issue that affects the entire state of California as a whole. Below is a letter, written by LAPD Officer Joe Marx (a friend of mine and close friend of Ryan). He posted this on his facebook a few days after Ryan was killed and I was so moved by it that I’ve been sharing it with everyone I know, family/friends/co-workers, etc.

I attended Ryan’s services last Tuesday and am very close friends with those that knew him, thus making this a much more personal situation for me. The letter Joe wrote is incredibly powerful and well put together. I hope you will take the time to read it and share it with everyone you know as well. I would love for you to share this in your paper, online, over the air, any way you possibly can so thousands of other people are able to see the true impact this situation had on so many people. Ryan has since been laid to rest, and the news videos and articles have stopped, but it is so very important to not forget what happened to this young man, and to continue to stand up against a justice system that is truly broken. Please consider putting this piece into your show, however you see fit. I am going to continue my efforts in getting this letter out there by any means possible.

I would really appreciate you taking the time on this matter, for Ryan and his family, so that an awful situation like this never ever happens again. Thank you very much.

Cassandra Levine (Community Services Officer, Orange County Sheriff's Department- Dana Point, CA.)


November 11, 2010
Mr. Robert Ambroselli Director, Adult Parole Operations
California Department of Corrections
1515 S Street
Sacramento, CA 95811

Dear Mr. Ambroselli,

On the cold rainy night of Sunday, November 7, 2010, Riverside Police Officer Ryan Bonaminio; a decorated two time Operation Iraqi Freedom combat veteran and United States Army reservist was cruelly and savagely murdered in cold blood while in foot pursuit of a hardened criminal that was granted parole by your board.

While Ryan spent his youth volunteering in the ROTC, playing sports, graduating high school, and becoming an exemplary young man; Earl Ellis Green joined a set of the Crips criminal street gang, perfected his criminal ability, and proved beyond any doubt that he had no respect for the general public or the rule of law.

While Ryan made the honorable and noble decision to serve our country in a time of war and valiantly place his very life in the line of fire, Green stole cars, sold drugs, assaulted police officers, and terrorized his family with egregious violence.

While Ryan prepared to come home from the battlefield after surviving the war on terror for a second time, and resume his career as a Riverside police officer, Green proclaimed his atonement to your board and begged for parole, which was granted. I cannot imagine the maudlin plea Green concocted to obtain your pity.

While Ryan was greeted at the airport by his friends and family and embraced by his doting mother and loving father, Green quietly walked through the revolving door of the CA prison system and reentered society - only to return to a life of violent crime.

Nobody truly knows what further crimes Green intended to commit that fateful Sunday night, or how many more countless victims he would create during the remainder of his pathetic, lonely, miserable life. If it had not been for Ryan’s bravery and valor and his tenacity to apprehend one of California’s dangerous parolees; Green would have undoubtedly victimized the citizens of Riverside County for decades.

The juvenile notion that a state prison system, or any other system, can reform or rehabilitate a hardened criminal gang member with a proven track record of felonious crimes is preposterous. How many more police officers have to be gunned down in cold blood before your board will come to its senses? How could your board conceive of the notion that Green is a “non-violent” offender when his past behavior of violence is so well documented? Why was Green granted parole when he should have been locked up until 2012? Prisons were built for the likes of felons like Green.

For the past two decades Ryan proved himself to be a dedicated, giving, honorable man; while Green has done nothing but committed crime, terrorized the community, and created victims. I cannot fathom the rationale behind the parole board granting parole for a proven criminal with a violent past. Ryan is the epitome of a hero, and his blood is on your hands.

You have the ability to stop this senseless violence and unquestionably save hundreds of lives by denying parole to felons like Green. I implore you to deeply consider and heavily weigh the risks inherent in unleashing criminal gang members back into our peaceful community.

While you sit in the hearing room and listen to these criminals recite sob stories and plead for release, remember that they earned their place in the prison system and deserve nothing but to be locked up. Remember the victims they created and the reason they were sentenced to prison in the first place. Remember that over 70% of the convicts that appear in front of your board will ignore the warnings to live a law-abiding life, and will reoffend. Remember the broken hearts of the victim’s friends and family. Remember the families that will have an empty chair at the dinner table because their loved one was stolen from them by a parolee. Most importantly, remember Ryan and the dozens of other police officers who have been murdered in the line of duty by convicts who were granted parole by your board.

Truly yours,
Joseph D. Marx