By Terry Miller
In the wake of former Pasadena Police Chief Sanchez’ sudden departure from the Department, city executives are re-evaluating the role the department plays, particularly with public relations and police policy.
Interim Chief John E. Perez has outlined some major changes he’d like to see in the department and the general consensus is that Perez is making great strides in a positive direction.
Eight Pasadena-area grass-roots organizations including the ACLU sent out a statement to media commending newly-appointed Interim Pasadena Police Chief John E. Perez for determining the need for Pasadena Police Department to contract with an outside, independent agency, to perform an external review of the beating of Christopher Ballew, 21year-old, African American, Altadena resident.
An independent outside reviewer of this case would “look over the shoulder” of the Pasadena PD as it conducts its internal investigations and review of the Ballew beating will insure the integrity of the PD’s internal processes and likely provide greater transparency to the community.
Chief Perez’ proposal to hire an outside reviewer for the Ballew beating is a ‘breath of fresh air for Pasadena policing,’ the statement read.
An external reviewer for the Ballew beating was one of six demands made by the local grassroots organizations that have mobilized around the Ballew beating for the four months since the bystander video of the incident surfaced.
Including Chief Perez’ initiative on an external reviewer, half of the demands have already been met. Recently, City Manager Mermell agreed to the demand for early implementation of the Racial and Identity Profiling Act; the officers who beat Mr. Ballew were taken off patrol before former PD Chief Sanchez resigned.
The remaining three demands of the grassroots organizations are 1) a revision of the PD’s use-of-force policy; 2) officer misconduct cost/payout analysis annual reporting to the Public Safety Committee; and 3) the hiring of a permanent Independent Police Auditor.
The groups are requesting this information from the police include:
CICOPP (Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police); POP! (Pasadenans Organizing for Progress); ACLU (Greater San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California); ACT; NDLON (National Day Laborers Organizing Network); ALTA-PAS (Altadenans and Pasadenans Against Police Violence); INDIVISIBLE (Alta-Pas Indivisible); and IMA (Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance).