Photo by Joshua Henderson
The autopsy on Reginald Thomas Jr. is complete. For reasons we don't understand, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has placed a hold on releasing it to the public. Is this SOP (Standard Operating Procedure)? Or is it a tactic to stall and delay, while the police finish crafting their narrative of what happened.
"There is a security hold for a reason. The investigation is active and open," said Capt. Steve Katz of the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau which is investigating the Sept. 30 death of Reginald Thomas, Jr. Detectives are waiting for the coroner to complete its investigation which includes toxicology tests, according to Katz.
The fact that the police are waiting on the toxicology test results, suggest that the report is useful to them as an explanation of them using excessive force. According the Thomas' family Attorney Caree Harper, witnesses saw Pasadena PD kicking and beating Thomas in the head. She also questions whether the responding officers rendered CPR and intact just let Mr. Thomas die where he lay.
Why didn't they transport him to the nearest emergency room? Why didn't they call for the mental health crisis team? Instead, she contends responding officers decided to put Mr. Thomas out of his misery.
Is a mental health episode a death sentence? We don't believe so. And given Pasadena PD history with dealing with the mentally ill, they've shown restraint and deescalate other situations.
On March 29, 2016, PPD officer's responded to a call of a man threatening to shoot people outside of In-N-Out in East Pasadena. The man struck the officers cruiser with a metal object (pole or tire iron). Then, stole their squad car taking police on a 12 minute chase throughout the city. He was later arrested after a pursuing black-in-white crashed into the stolen police car. But did they kick, beat and leave him for dead?
We suggest you contact City Councilman John Kennedy who is the chair of the Public Safety Committee and express your feelings about police body camera regulations and policies. As a community you cannot allow legislature to continue to be passed that is created to directly affect you in a negative way. Don't ever forget Darrel Williams, who the Pasadena provoked into action that resulted in death caused by the aggression of the Pasadena Police Department.