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Northwest Commission Gets Ear Full From Angry Residents

The Pasadena Northwest Commission got an earful from a small but passionate group of residents

Angry residents

 who demand an independent investigation of recent incidents involving this year's 3 police shootings.

They are calling for an independent investigation into the February 19 police shooting of Pasadena resident Leroy Barnes, 38, during a traffic stop. "We feel that it is a conflict of interest for the police to investigate itself in regards to this incident", said Michelle White, President Pasadena Branch of the ACLU. "We are calling for an independent inquiry."

Others feel the problem is the police chief. Clarence Nelson says, "Not only do we call for the Police Department to be investigated, we are calling for the resignation of the police chief." He adds, "We want an FBI investigation."

Pasadena NAACP officials has called on the Police Department to release crucial documents and videos surrounding the death of Barnes shooting by officers during an altercation.

Controversy exists involving the circumstances surrounding the shooting of Barnes. Police claimed the shooting was justified, while witnesses' versions of the events differ from the department's.

Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian says his department has a commitment to the public.

"Neither the transparency of this department or my personal integrity has ever been challenged. Its unfortunate! People can say what they want but when this report is released, it will be reviewed by a number of agencies outside the Police Department and by the court of public opinion. We have made a commitment to the family to share the results with them before it is released to the public." He says he intends to continue as police chief.

Ishmael Trone and Shirley E. Smith are disappointed that community leaders have not been more vocal about this situation.

"The faith base community should be doing more but is not willing to put themselves out there because of special interests," says Trone.

"They are concern about their relationship with the city. They are reluctant to speak out because of their reliance on the city and county agencies for revenue. This puts them in a complaisant position." Trone adds, "They will complain about what's going on but accept it."


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