Police Oversight Marathon Continues

Situation: The Pasadena City Council may Vote during the Monday, August 3, 2pm meeting on whether or not to place Police Oversight on the November 2020 Election Ballot.

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.


  • The Pasadena Police Department has a history concerning for racial profiling, unnecessary escalation of force, excessive use of force, and unwarranted killing of citizens.

  • Secrecy, Qualified Immunity, Police Personnel Information Protection Laws, the Local Police Union, Untruths, and Expensive Lawsuits have protected the Pasadena Police Department for years.

  • Officers’ inappropriate and unlawful actions appear to go without significant discipline, even when video evidence supports citizens’ claims against them.

  • The citizens of Pasadena have the opportunity to demand Safety, Accountability, and Community-Connection from the Pasadena Police Department through an Effective Police Oversight Body

  • Please view our prior post for additional and more specific background information including details of two Pasadena Police killings (McDade, Thomas) and the resulting settlement costs taxpayers pay



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

  • Subpoena power and an enforceable disciplinary role empower police oversight groups to perform duties effectively

  • This 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 to be considered by voters this November.

  • A Charter Amendment has been proposed, and, though lacking in some areas, it appears to have potential to provide meaningful police oversight.

  • Proposed Charter Amendment Pros:

  • Grants Oversight Commission and Independent Police Auditor subpoena power

  • Independent Police Auditor is hired and fired by City Council (requires 5 votes), not City Manager (1 person who also supervises Police Department)

  • Proposed Charter Amendment Cons:

  • No enforceable disciplinary role (Police Chief can ignore oversight commission’s recommendations)

  • Commission members chosen by Council (politicization, police union influence likely)

  • No restrictions on police officer membership in oversight commission

  • Note: some cons may be acted upon later when Municipal Code is drafted (ex: may be able to later stipulate Commission composition and selection process)

  • Regardless of the outcome of the 8/3 City Council meeting, Unrelenting Community Attention, Focus and Action are required to bring Effective Police Oversight to Pasadena.


  • Action 1: Before the 8/3 City Council meeting, submit comments in support of an Amendment to the City Charter (see samples under “reference information”). Select the option for your comments to be read aloud.

  • Action 2: Attend the virtual City Council Meeting on Monday, August 3rd at 2pm.

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

  • Action 4: Stay informed and active in the marathon for police oversight.

  • Action 5: Encourage like-minded friends, family & neighbors to perform Actions 1-4.

If Black Lives Matter to You, Take a Moment to Fight for Them.

(See Links Below)

Reference Information