Photo courtesy Pasadena Now
During times when people are fighting for not only racial and social equality, it is highly insensitive and offensive that Pasadena Police Chief John Perez hasn't come out publicly and announced that Black lives do matter to the PPD.
The Pasadena Black Pages received an anonymous letter with some stark accusations within it. The letter rings of whistle-blowing by a concerned colleague.
The letter is full of allegations that ring true. The first one being about Perez acknowledging that Black lives really do matter in Pasadena.
The letter claims that an officer on the force has been accused of sexual misconduct on three occasions and has yet to be disciplined and is still on the force. There is a zero-tolerance policy for civilians who commit those types of crimes, but the police get a pass for the same things they lock people up for.
Officers have had DUI's without discipline. Officers have gotten into brawls within the city without discipline.
But the most disturbing allegation is the PPD, City Manager Steve Mermell, and Mayor Terry Tornek's blind eye to the vigilante spirit of the PPD overall. They live by separate laws from the citizens and they are not only alcohol abusers and sexual assaulters, but there are known physical abusers(Chris Balllew) and murderers(Kendrec McDade) on the force who live up to the Punisher mentality.
Yes, there has been criticism about using the Punisher logo, especially for law enforcement agencies.
Police forces in New York and Kentucky put the Punisher logo on their squad cars and they’ve gotten a lot of reaction to it. The stated reason for the logo addition was to celebrate the Blue Lives Matter movement, which advocates for the safety of police.
Critics say the emblem is the logo of a criminal, a vigilante who operates outside the law. The argument is that it is not an appropriate symbol for the police to use.
Most officers disagree, however. They state that the Punisher logo serves as a warning to criminals that if they’re committing violent acts, the police are coming for them.
But despite criticism, there’s no doubt the Punisher symbol has meaning.
First and foremost, when criminals see that skull on the Punisher’s shirt, they know justice is coming. The skull elicits fear and those long, ugly teeth are likely the last thing the criminal will see, too.
Military personnel and law enforcement enjoy using the Punisher symbol for these same reasons: “Justice is coming, and it’s starting with me.”
Pasadena PD officers don't ride around with the symbol on their cars, but they do have the flag flying proudly in their department gym. If you have ever read or seen the Punisher, you wouldn't want him patrolling your neighborhood.
To the Black community, that skull means racism.
I personally spoke to Chief Perez a few weeks ago and told him that it is scary being a Black man in Pasadena when the cops get behind you because you never know if that cop is one of the killers. From my life's experiences, I have spoken to men who have committed murder and they all told me it gets easier after the first time, especially if you get away with it. PPD has been getting away with abuse and murder for decades. From Michael Zinzun and David Laster to Leroy Barnes and JR Thomas, the Punisher punishment has to end.
Pasadena's swamp needs to be cleaned. Not the one at Devil's Gate Dam, but the ones on Garfield Ave. The police department and city hall.