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Demand Police Oversight by 7/27/20 (Pasadena, CA)

Updated: Jul 27, 2020

Situation: The Pasadena City Council will Vote during the Monday, July 27, 2pm meeting on whether or not to accept the proposed structure for a Community Police Oversight Commission. Your voice is needed to push for a City Charter Amendment that gives true power to the citizens of Pasadena to hold the Pasadena Police Department accountable.


Background:

  • Pasadena Police Officers killed unarmed,19 year-old high school football star, Kendrec McDade, on March 24, 2012.

  • Officers shot him four times from the front and three times from the back.

  • Pasadena Police Officers killed Reginald Thomas, a 36 year old father who struggled with mental health issues on September 30, 2016

  • Officers tased him 6 times for 57 seconds

  • The family states they then witnessed an officer “put a knee onto Mr. Thomas’ neck” and apply “the full weight of his body until he was speechless and finally lifeless.”

  • Unlike George Floyd’s case, no by-stander video cameras captured the killing.

  • These two police killings cost Pasadena taxpayers $2.5 million in settlements.

  • Officers involved in these killings maintained their positions in the Pasadena Police Department.

  • There is no evidence that involved officers received disciplinary action.


Assessment:

  • Effective oversight has the potential to hold the Pasadena Police Department accountable, increase transparency, and aid in appropriate disciplining of officers.

  • The City Council’s Public Safety Committee recently proposed a police oversight structure that grants no subpoena or binding disciplinary powers to a commission of community members and an Independent Auditor.

  • The oversight team would only review information voluntarily provided by the police department and make recommendations that the Police Chief and City Manager may or may not choose to follow.

  • Pasadenans deserve better.

  • Subpoena power and binding disciplinary power for a police oversight team can be achieved by amending Pasadena’s City Charter.

  • Pasadena citizens could vote for this in the November 3rd election, but first, the City Council must vote for a Charter Amendment.

  • A City Charter Amendment would have to be fully developed and acted upon by the City Council no later than August 7th in order to be considered by voters this November.


Recommendations:

  • Action 1: Before the 7/27 City Council meeting, submit comments in support of an Amendment to the City Charter (see sample on reverse). Select the option for your comments to be read aloud.

  • Action 2: Attend the virtual City Council Meeting on Monday, July 27th at 2pm.

  • Action 3: During the meeting, submit additional, real-time responses to be read aloud.

  • Action 4: Encourage like-minded friends, family & neighbors to perform Actions 1-3.

We agree with you: Black Lives Do Matter. Show how much by fighting for them locally.




Reference Information


Submit Comments to be Read During City Council Meeting:

Sample Comment:

  • The best comments are personal, direct and demand specific action. If you find it difficult to draft your own comment, consider the sample comment below as a reference point.

  • I am a Pasadena Resident, ___, ___, and ___ (EXAMPLES: parent, teacher, homemaker, lawyer, etc). I call upon the Pasadena City Council to Amend the City Charter to create a police oversight body consisting of an independent auditor and selected community members with subpoena power and an enforceable disciplinary role. The current proposal does not grant any meaningful power to our communities, which Council members have been elected to serve. Pasadena citizens deserve better. Please Vote to Amend the City Charter.

Email your Comments Directly to All Elected Officials Below: