|Pasadena City Council meeting video footage here.|
Brutal Beating Of Ballew Sears Itself Into History As Pasadena’s ‘Rodney King Moment’ (Pasadena Independent link): Dozens of enraged citizens recently packed the city council chambers as the outrage over a video showing 21-year-old Chris Ballew brutally beaten by Pasadena police came to a vicious boil.
The footage, captured on Nov. 9, 2017 at an Altadena gas station, shows officers Larry Esparza and Zachary Lujan quickly escalating a questionable traffic stop into a brutal beatdown in which Ballew was repeatedly punched, slammed to the concrete pavement, and hammered so ruthlessly with a baton that the weapon was seen visibly bent and unable to be sheathed at the conclusion of one the body-cam videos.
Ballew, who was himself seated in the second row of the audience during council’s first meeting of the year, was approached by Pasadena police as he was walking to the gas station mini-mart for having tinted windows and no front license plate on his white Mercedes-Benz.
|Chief Junta Hat gets the raspberries.|
It must have seemed like déjà vu for many local activists in attendance, as many of the same faces crammed into the council chambers just over a year ago, in October 2016, following the controversial in-custody death of Reginald Thomas – an African-American male who died following a struggle with Pasadena PD, in which he was tased three times. The coroner’s report and investigation report for this case have yet to be released.
Four years prior, in 2012, 19-year-old Kendrec Mcdade, unarmed with no prior criminal record, was slain by Pasadena police in a hail of bullets – a shooting that was ultimately deemed to be justified, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Unlike McDade and Thomas, Ballew was able to walk away from the incident with his life, yet the barbaric footage, which quickly went viral, has proved to be a third strike for the Pasadena Police Department in the eyes of the citizens they are sworn to protect.
“Rodney King haunts this city now, as we relive another black man lying on the ground beaten by police,” proclaimed local civil rights attorney Dale Gronemeier.
Tensions inside the chambers ran high and the comments ranged from calm requests, to assertive demands. Some members of the community pleaded with the council to take action, implement an independent investigation, and remove officers Esparza and Lujan from the streets.
Others attacked Pasadena police and Chief Philip Sanchez with profanity-laden tirades, essentially accusing the department of institutional racism and of resembling a militarized, occupying force.
But, the most moving request of the evening came from the victim’s mother, who calmly asked for a public, written apology.
City Manager Steve Mermell, in tandem with some representatives from the Pasadena Police Officers Association and Council Member Victor Gordo, urged the public to respect due process – all were met with substantial heckling and “boo’s” from the crowd.
Mod: The rest of the article can be viewed at the link provided above. Below are some details on a series of demonstrations taking place this evening and tomorrow.