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News Release
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Media Relations
   
   
Law Enforcement Honored for Combating Hate

Great Visuals-members of law enforcement with medals.

Awards represent compelling stories about fighting hate crimes, white racist gangs and street gangs committing racial violence (including the investigation and prosecution of the Avenues Gang, Varrio Hawaiian Gardens Gang and PEN1)

Keynote Speaker: U.S. Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez

WHAT:
Assemblage of distinguished Law Enforcement Personnel Receiving ADL Helene and Joseph Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate:

•Avenues Gang Investigation and Prosecution
U.S. Attorneys, ATF, DEA, IRS, LAPD and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for the comprehensive strategy to investigate and prosecute the well known racist Avenues Gang, which had terrorized residents and businesses in northeastern Los Angeles for decades.

Varrio Hawaiian Gardens Gang Task Force “Operation Knockout”
U.S. Attorneys, FBI, ATF, DEA, ICE, IRS, LA District Attorney’s Office and LA County Sheriff’s Department  for the task force responsible for “Operation Knockout,” a collaborative effort to dismantle the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens gang, a group responsible for numerous vicious attacks on African-Americans.

Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Homicide and Gang Units for the prosecution of Orange County’s most notorious white racist gangs, most recently Public Enemy Number One (PEN1).
 
•The SHARE Tolerance Program
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for the SHARE Tolerance Program that utilizes uniformed officers and a mobile learning center to bring a message of tolerance to schools and communities.

WHEN:
Wednesday, April 14, 11:30 a.m.
10:45 a.m. – honorees available for photos and interviews
11:30 a.m. – program begins
12 noon – Keynote speech by Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, United States Department of Justice
12:30 p.m. – awards given (medals and plaques)

WHERE:
Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles    

Many high-ranking members of law enforcement community from throughout Southern California will be in attendance. See attached description of COMPELLING stories of why these groups are being honored.                                                                                                                         (more)

ADL Sherwood Prize – Page 2

ADL Sherwood Prize for Combating Hate

Group Award Honorees
Avenues Gang Investigation and Prosecution
The Avenues gang, a notoriously racist organization, terrorized residents and businesses in northeastern Los Angeles for decades. One neighborhood, Drew-Estara, had become so dangerous that responding officers were frequently attacked with assault rifles upon entering the area. Working together, local and federal law enforcement agencies developed a comprehensive strategy to destroy the Avenues gang as well as ensure that its culture of hatred and racism would be removed from the streets.

United States Attorney’s Office                           Los Angeles Police Department
Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Brunwin     Captain Bill Murphy
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ariel Neuman                 Detective Carlos Camacho                                                                                              Detective Laura Evens
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms                  Detective David Holmes
and Explosives                                                    Detective Howard Jackson    
Special Agent Jason VanBennekum                     Detective Dan Jenks
                                                                           Officer Alfonso Calderon
Drug Enforcement Agency                    
Special Agent Pete Kogler                                  Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
                                                                          Detective Roberto Albarran
Internal Revenue Service                    
Special Agent Daren Leon    

Varrio Hawaiian Gardens Gang Task Force “Operation Knockout”
The 14 core members of the task force were responsible for “Operation Knockout,” a collaborative effort to dismantle the Varrio Hawaiian Gardens (VHG) gang.  The VHG gang was responsible for numerous vicious attacks on African-Americans. Years of investigation and interdepartmental cooperation culminated in 210 indictments and effectively destroyed the gang.

United States Attorney’s Office                  Internal Revenue Service
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lowe        Special Agent Willie Castro
            
Federal Bureau of Investigation                   Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office
Special Agent Maureen O’Connell               Deputy District Attorney Mike Enimoto
                                                                Deputy District Attorney Deanne Castorena
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms            
and Explosives                                           Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Senior Special Agent Richard Robert           Sergeant Anthony Rivera                                                                                                       Detective Jeff Bosket
Drug Enforcement Agency                          Detective Mark Brooks        
Special Agent Antone “TJ” Salfity               Detective Brandt House        
                                                                Detective Gary Sloan
Immigration and Customs Enforcement       Detective Joe Villanueva
Special Agent Kevin Radisay                      Deputy Jerry Ortiz*

                                                                                                                      (*Posthumously)    
Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Homicide and Gang Units
Three attorneys have worked for years to prosecute Orange County’s most notorious white racist gangs. The unit’s efforts against gangs like PEN1 and others have brought about numerous convictions, a wealth of knowledge about gang activities and a greater understanding of how to defeat racist gangs locally and nationally.

Orange County District Attorney’s Office
Senior Deputy District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Levy
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Mendelson

The SHARE Tolerance Program
Introduced in 2008, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s SHARE (Stop Hate and Respect Everyone) Tolerance Program has been an important instrument in the fight against hate crimes and bigotry.  The program utilizes uniformed officers and a mobile learning center to bring a message of tolerance to schools and communities. Since the implementation of the SHARE Tolerance program, over 8000 high school students have participated in group discussions about the evils of intolerance and bigotry.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Chief Cecil Rhambo
Chief Neal Tyler
Lieutenant Michael Bornman

The Helene and Joseph Sherwood Family Prize recognizes law enforcement officers, units, agencies or programs that:

•Demonstrated an outstanding commitment to combating extremism, bigotry and hatred by performing acts outside the normal scope of duties.
•Made an impact on victims of hate crimes or bias-motivated incidents.
•Provided opportunities for education to reduce hate crimes and bias motivated activity.
•Used innovative approaches to enforce or prosecute hate crime laws.
•Made a significant difference in their community and served as a role model for his or her agency.
 
The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.
Visit our website at www.adl.org / www.adl.org/pacific-southwest




     
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