Officers Under Investigation

Two Separate Investigations are Underway

Complaints Filed Against Two Pasadena Police Officers

By Terry Miller

Phlunte’ Riddle, Lieutenant ,Pasadena Police Department Chief’s Adjutant confirmed Wednesday that there is an internal investigation, just now underway, in Pasadena’s Police dept. reagrding a complaint against Pasadena police Corporal Keith Gomez.
Lt. Riddle said the department is conducting a full and complete internal investigation into all the allegations and couldn’t discuss particulars as all witnesses had not yet been interviewed. There will be “due process” she said.
A second and seperate investigation being conducted by the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Dept. in the complaint against Pasadena officer Kevin Okamoto which Chief Sanchez requested.
Sanchez’s will conduct the internal inquiry, which will focus on Keith Gomez after a complaint was filed by Joe Brown of Pasadena’s NAACP.
Gomez’ name has been brought up recently in regarding another case – the McDade shooting. Gomez was allegedly present at the autopsy of the 19 year old Azusa resident who was shot March 24 which raised concerns the lawyer for the McDade family. Carre Harper says Gomez is the most corrupt cop on the force.
It has been reported that Corporal Gomez is the lead investigator in the McDade case. This is not correct according to Lt. Riddle. The lead investigator is Jason VanHecke.
As for the reason Gomez was present at the autopsy, Lt. Riddle said it was standard proceedure for an officer of the dept. to witness an autopsy.
The recent lawsuit filed by Harper alleges the shooting of McDade is part of on-going abuse by the Pasadena police department and that the investigation “reeks” of a cover up.
The Pasadena Police Department’s internal investigators will focus on actions taken by Gomez in relation to a man identified as Jamaul Harvey who has had contact with Corporal Gomez.
In March of 2011 in a case People vs. Jamaul Harvey, a sworn declaration by an alternate juror claims that Gomez was “ not being truthful” and “invented evidence” in a murder case against Harvey.
The Juror went on to say Gomez lied when he “ denied pushing and shaking Mr. Harvey.”
The juror also said that abuse of power, use of force and harassment were part of Detective Gomez’ apporach in dealing with Harvey four days befoire he was arrested in an “interview”. The juror stated that Gomez told Harvey, “ After the picture I painted for the DA., they’re going to belive whatever I say. You think you’re a gangsta, you’re nothing but a little punk. Your bitch ass is going to die in jail” He also allegedly pullout a gun and said “ I could kill you right now and get away withy it as I know you have a gun.”
The 18 page document obtained by Pasadena Independent cites numerous allegations against Gomez.
Harvey said Gomez told him: “Do you know my reputation on the street? I’m a detective that gets what he wants and I can do what I want.”
Harvey was arrested on suspicion of murder in 2007 which Okamoto and Gomez were named as investigators. After a hung jury and a second trial, jurors found Harvey not guilty after there were allegations of “invented evidence” by Corporal Gomez .
Both officers remain on duty according to Lt. Riddle.

May 23, 2012

About Author

tmiller Terry Miller has been in the newspaper business for 35 plus years, following in the footsteps of his father who was a Foreign Correspondent for the London Daily Telegraph when the family sailed to New York from London abroad the Queen Mary. When not shooting pictures, chasing a breaking news story. or playing drums, Miller spends entirely too much time and effort with Little British Sports Cars like his beloved 74 MGB...more like an addiction, says his wife of 22 years.

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