As I sat next to Kendrec McDade's mother and listened to the scores of people who want change in the Pasadena Police Department after the beating of Chris Ballew, I reflected back to that morning a few years ago. That morning was one of the reasons why the Pasadena Black Pages exist. Kendrec's mother told me that she could not sleep another night in Pasadena after her son was shot down by the Pasadena Police because of a prank call from someone who is free and alive now. Kendrec's life was meaningless to the PPD officer who killed him.
People of all races came to the Pasadena City Council meeting Monday night to express their outrage about the latest infraction by the Pasadena Police. What I realized during the meeting is that the Pasadena Police weren't even in Pasadena when the Ballew beating occurred, they were in Altadena and out of the Pasadena Police's jurisdiction. The PPD was actually in Altadena when they saw Chris Ballew in his car, to begin with.
As I watched Chris Ballew's mother address the city council and talk about her young daughter who has been questioning her about what she now sees on video, what happened to her brother. His mother told the council that when she had a problem before she wouldn't hesitate to call the police, but now she doesn't trust the police.
I don't trust the Pasadena Police right now. If I see those lights flashing behind me my heart starts to beat faster, because of the fear that this could be it for me once I pull over.
Distrust in the police is something no community should have to suffer through because the police are here to protect and serve, but in Pasadena, the Police are the enemy of Black people, there is no other way to state that. The people of Northwest Pasadena do not trust the PPD or the Altadena Sherriff's Department. Intervention is needed and the participation on the PPD has to be willing. The Caucasian and Hispanic officers on the PPD force need to go through some community intervention training before they can step foot on the streets of Pasadena.
At the meeting, we were told that the PPD is having a meeting with the Pasadena NAACP. That is all for nothing because the leader of the NAACP is over 80 years old. He is out of touch with what is going on and so is the NAACP. As long as the city goes this route to deal with issues, the issues will never be resolved. I am not a colored person, I am a Black man in America, in Pasadena, in California and the police are brutalizing people with no remorse or consequences.
As I watched freedom fighter Jasmine Richards Abdullah enter the chambers with posters of Kendrec McDade and JR Thomas it took me back to the day I met JR and finding out the next day that he had been tasered, brutally beaten and killed by Pasadena Police officers who are still terrorizing Northwest Pasadena like the gang they are. The only gang I fear in this city is the Pasadena Police Department.
We have to understand that we live in a police community in Northwest Pasadena. That means we are all subject to the abuse of the Pasadena Police Department without questions asked. Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez, who we have been trying to get a meeting with for weeks is a weak man and he needs to be replaced. It all starts at the top. Mayor Torneck is also responsible because he is out of touch with reality when it comes to policing, politicking, and people.
Jasmine Abdullah at Pasadena City Council meeting