​To: Chief John E. Perez, Pasadena Police Department
Deputy Chief Cheryl Moody, Pasadena Police Department
Roger Boldan, President, Pasadena Police Officers’ Association
Cc: Steve Mermell, City Manager, City of Pasadena
Honorable Victor Gordo, Mayor, City of Pasadena
Pasadena City Council
Re: Statement Regarding Pasadena Police Department’s Administrative Review of the
Christopher Ballew Incident

A group of clergy have recently met on multiple occasions to discuss the current increase in violence, the current state of policing in Pasadena, and the deteriorated state of police-community relations. We did so in the hopes to identify ways that local clergy and congregations, in particular, could be helpful in improving public safety and police-community relations.

Last week, however, we were stopped in our tracks as we learned the news about the conclusion to the Pasadena Police Department’s administrative review in the Ballew incident.

On the Pasadena Police Department website, it states that “Chief Perez and the Pasadena Police Department are dedicated to serving the Community of Pasadena with Excellence, Innovation, and Integrity.”

It further goes on to say that the Pasadena Police Department’s policies, training standards, and hiring practices support all of the #8Can’tWait Points of Change”; policies that prevent excessive force.

On the Pasadena Police Officers’ Association (PPOA), website, Chief Perez writes that “the Pasadena Police Department’s Mantra, “Mission First; People Always” underscores the two primary principles of the organization’s mission, which includes public safety and that he looks forward to maintaining the police department’s progressive relationship with the association as we continue to ensure a high quality of life for all who live in, work or visit Pasadena.”

As clergy, we the undersigned, understand the importance of mantra, mission and calling. We understand that these guiding principles are what take us beyond the “letter of the law” into the “spirit of the law”. The law should always serve the mission and not the other way around.

Because we believe in the “Imago Dei”, that all are made in the image and likeness of God, we also want to ensure a high quality of life for all who live in, work or visit Pasadena. This is why we object to the administrative review’s conclusion that the two officers involved in Chris Ballew's case will not be fired. Chief Perez has stated that, “while instances of use of force can be difficult to watch, our decisions must be based both on law and Department policies rather than on emotions”. Without further explanation of his statement, the decision appears to be incongruent and antithetical to the “8Can’tWait” policies, mission, mantra and calling we both espouse.

The timing of this alarming decision, in light of the Chauvin trial, has created deeper pain and a wider divide in the community we seek to serve. It is difficult for the clergy community to be “ministers of reconciliation” in our community when decisions like these undermine that good work. A recent sign displayed at Duante Wright protest sums up our exasperation, “We live in a world where trained officers can panic and act on impulse while untrained civilians must remain calm with a gun in their face.”

We call on the Pasadena Police Department and the Pasadena Police Officers’ Association to adopt and demonstrate a proactive model of being community Peace Officers that hold all of their officers to a higher standard of accountability that serves their mission, rather than the reactive model that is focused on the letter of the law.

Signatories
Pastor Mayra Macedo-Nolan, Executive Director, Clergy Community Coalition
Pastor Kerwin Manning, Sr. Pastor, Pasadena Church, CCC President
Pastor Jean Burch, Sr. Pastor, Community Bible Church, CCC Board Member
Pastor John Lo, Sr. Pastor, Epicenter Church Pasadena, CCC Board Member
Pastor Eric Johnson, New Abbey Church, CCC Board Member
Reverend Faith Romasco, Racial Justice Coalition, CCC Board Member
Pastor Michael Alfaro, Lead Pastor, The Calling Church
Pastor Marcelo Alvarado, Sr. Pastor, Dunamis Pasadena Church
Pastor John Jay Alvaro, Sr. Pastor, First Baptist Church of Pasadena
Pastor Cameron Armstrong, Epicentre Church Pasadena
Pastor Brad Arnold, Pasadena Church
Pastor Josefina Arnold, Pasadena Church
Pastor Moira-Cecily Brady-Rogers, New Abbey Pasadena
Pastor Clare Bravo, Lead Pastor, Rose City Church
Rev. Dr. Larry Campbell, Sr. Pastor, First AME Church & President, Interdenominational
Ministerial Alliance (IMA)
Pastor Troy Campbell, Lead Pastor, The Secret Place
Reverend Marcos Canales, Lead Pastor, La Fuente Ministries, Pasadena Church of the Nazarene
Pastor Janet Chen, Executive Pastor, Epicentre Church Pasadena
Rev. Dr. Matthew Colwell, Knox Presbyterian Church
Reverend Dan Davidson, Rosebud Coffee
Jonathan DeCuir, Program Director, Harambee Ministries
Reverend Connie DeVaughn, Altadena Baptist Church
Pastor Carlton Edwards, Sr. Pastor, Pasadena Christian Fellowship
Dr. Edens Elveus, Independent Clergyman
Pastor Michael Field, Fellowship Church
Pastor Mark Fields, Area Director/ Minister, Young Life Pasadena
Caryn Fields, Children’s Director, New Abbey Pasadena
Pastor Curt Gibson, Stars
Pastor Daniel Huang, Pasadena Covenant Church
Reverend Mike Kinman, Rector, All Saints Church Pasadena
Brandon Lamar, Exec. Pastor, Abounding Grace Ministries & Commissioner, Human Relations
Commission
Pastor Angela Lee, Fellowship Church
Andrea Lynch, Pasadena Church
Pastor Treveal Lynch, Associate Pastor, Pasadena Church
Pastor Madelyn Manning, Pasadena Church
Pastor Cory Marquez, Lead Pastor, New Abbey Pasadena
Bryan Mayer, Stars and Pasadena Covenant Church
Reverend Stephen Mubanga, Vision Christian Fellowship
Rajeev Nandakumaran, Outreach, Lake Avenue Church
Reverend Hannah Petrie, Unitarian Universalist Church of Studio City
Pastor Brita Pinkston, Lead Pastor, Pasadena Foursquare Church
Pastor David Pinkston, Lead Pastor, Pasadena Foursquare Church
Pastor Rosa Ramirez, Associate Pastor, La Fuente Ministries - First Church of the Nazarene
Pastor Gretchen Saalbach, Pastor in Residence, First Baptist Church of Pasadena
Sandy Schaupp, Racial Justice Coalition of Greater Pasadena
Pastor Simeon Sham, Epicentre Church Pasadena
Rev. Dr. Tyrone Skinner, Sr. Pastor, Metropolitan Baptist Church
Pastor Lucious Smith, Sr. Pastor, Friendship Pasadena Church
Reverend George Van Alstine, Sr. Pastor, Altadena Baptist Church
Pastor Frankie Velasquez, New Abbey Pasadena
Pastor Carolyn Williams, Marriage Pastor, Pasadena Church
Chaplain Misty Wise, Providence St. Joseph Hospital
Pastor Stephen Wong, Sr. Pastor, Pasadena Covenant Church​

open letter

Clergy Community Coalition Send Open Letter to Police Cheif Perez Over Chris Ballew Decision

Posted April 21, 2021
By Eric Johnson

626-241-5714