Interesting comments on Pasadena’s officer involved shooting

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Police Link, a blog that serves as a round-up of law enforcement news from around the country has some interesting comments posted regarding last Thursday’s OIS in Pasadena.

Leroy Barnes, Jr. a 37-year-old parolee with a history of run-ins with the law, was shot and killed by officers after a traffic stop. Here’s a link and the photo caption:

Pasadena Police handed out this photograph of the carried by Leroy Barnes. (Photo: Pasadena Police)

 

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Warrants served on Temple City Council members *

DA’s officials say search warrants were served at City Hall this morning and at 2 other locations. Three council members are under investigation for allegedly taking bribes from developer Randy Wang in exchange for providing smooth sailing to Wang’s proposed mixed-use development on Las Tunas.

*UPDATE 1:42 p.m. from reporter Alfred Lee:

Investigators searched City Hall and five (not two) residences: Mayor Cathe Wilson, council members Judy Wong and David Capra, former City Council candidate Scott Carwile (whom Randy Wang has accused of taking cash bribes for his campaign) and Jay Liyanage, the former project manager of Wang’s Piazza mall project.

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Arrests in Monrovia crime spree

Authorities have charged two men in connection with last year’s slaying of 19-year-old Brandon Lee, officials said Tuesday.

Also Tuesday, police announced they have arrested a suspect in the Jan. 13, 2008, shooting of 64-year-old Sanders Rollins.

The slayings were part of a string of gang-related shootings in the Monrovia/Duarte area that left four people dead in late 2007 and early 2008.

On Tuesday, authorities announced that Monrovia resident Uriel Garcia, 24, has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of Lee, who was fatally wounded by gunfire as he emerged from a friend’s car on Almond Avenue in January 2008.

A second man, Valentin Valenzuela, 20, was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of Lee, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office.

Carlos Torres Jr., 16, has been charged with murder in the Rollins slaying, Gibbons said. Rollins was shot in the back outside his Sherman Avenue home as he walked to the front door.

A second suspect has been identified but had not been arrested Tuesday, Gibbons said. Garcia, Valenzuela and Torres are all due in court for arraignment March 11, according to Gibbons.

THe shooter or shooters of 16-year-old Sammantha Salas outside a Monrovia apartment building last Jan. 26 remain at large. A reward has been offered and extended in the case.

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Should Pasadena Chief Melekian resign?

There’s a growing amount of anti-police sentiment brewing in Northwest Pasadena following the officer involved shooting that claimed the life of Leroy Barnes.

Much of the anger and outrage has been directed at Pasadena police Chief Barney Melekian, who stumbled in his initial statements to the press and subsequent appearance at City Hall Monday night.

Doubtless, Melekian was looking to exit the police department when he accepted a role as the citys acting city manager. In light of the recent shooting and brewing community unrest, is it time for Melekian to resign?

 


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Octo-neighbor: “ever since the babies there’s been a lot of commotion”

A neighbor of Octomom Nayda Suleman used a shotgun to threaten paparazzi outside Suleman’s Whittier home, officials said Tuesday.

WHITTIER – A neighbor of Nadya Suleman, who gave birth to octuplets last month, brandished a shotgun and yelled threats last night, prompting Whittier Police to come to the cul de sac. 

<snip>

Sally Ramirez said she lives next door to the man, who she said is usually a quiet neighbor.

“He’s a nice man,” she said. “Maybe he was just trying to scare them off.”

Ramirez said the usually sleepy neighborhood has been busier and louder since the announcement that Suleman, who lives in her mother’s house at the end of the street, was adding octuplets to her brood of six children younger than 7. The family’s home on Sunrise Drive is headed toward foreclosure, according to documents.

Ramirez said Suleman told her she would soon be moving to a large house owned by a friend. She said she hopes that when her neighbor leaves, the street will be quiet again.

“Ever since she had the babies, there’s been a lot of commotion,” Ramirez said.

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Tuesday’s column (living on $13 a week)

I spent a good part of Sunday trying to figure out what to do with an extra $13 a week.

That’s what we’ll all get for six months beginning in June as part of President Obama’s ecomomic stimulus package. Thirteen bucks.

When I was a teenager, my dad used to scold me because (in his words): “Money burns a hole in your pocket.”

Heck, I don’t even have my first paycheck with a stimulus bump and already its spent. It didn’t even get a chance to burn a hole in my pocket.

Maybe I should have been a politician, they definitely know how to burn money.

Take that 13 bucks.

In truth none of us will ever get to see it, because our state government is going to get their hands on the money faster than an Indian casino can get rich opening it doors to bus loads of foreign students.

They will get it in increased sales taxes, vehicle license fees, and smaller income tax credits for children and married couples. We are going to get nailed.

I pushed that out of my mind, so that there was nothing to stop me from dreaming about economic stimulus, rather than worry about any economic ruin the state is attempting to hasten.

At first I thought about taking my $13 and spending it on iTunes. Certainly that will stimulate the economy. After all rock and rap artists need our money so that they can buy drugs, guns, and outrageous clothing.

Take pop singer Chris Brown. He’s certainly going to need a cash infusion to pay his lawyers.

Since that sickens me almost as much as paying for Octomom’s brood of 14, I decided to think about turning the money to a more productive use.

Where better than a 99-Cents Only store? I hit one on Hacienda Boulevard somewhere between West Covina and La Puente.

The place was so crowded, I almost left.

But after walking in, I gravitated toward the food. Who knew there are so many staples available for just 99 cents?

A loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter and a jar of jelly – three bucks total – added up to lunch for a week.

A head of lettuce, some salad dressing and a six-pack of tomatoes? Salad with dinner for five or six nights.

And I still had $7 to spend, I went for three tins of spaghetti sauce, a package of noodles, two ham steaks and a box of off-brand cornflakes. Mmm mmm good – NOT.

Which is why I put everything back and decided to invest my $13 instead.

A package of tomato seeds, a package of onion seeds, some jalapeno seeds and carrot seeds cost less than $2. I took the rest of the money and spend it on compact fluorescent light bulbs.

We’ll be having salsa and carrots all summer. And saving money on the Edison bill to boot.

After all we’re going to need it. Someone’s going to have to pay for all this stimulus and bailout stuff that’s burning big holes in our economy’s pockets.

The sad part is, it’s going to be you and me.

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No video released from Pasadena OIS

Pasadena police Chief Barney Melekian last week promised he would release a video of the OIS that occurred at Washington and Mentone.

Monday he refused to release the video, citing vague legal ramifications. Melekian also said the video didn’t capture the entire incident:

A video recorder from a police patrol car’s dashboard captured parts of the shooting, Melekian said, but the camera angle does not show the struggle inside Barnes’ car, he added.

He said police were withholding release of the videotape due to unspecified “legal issues.”

Melekian also refused to release the names of the two officers involved, saying the department was protecting their safety.

 

The cops are on adminsitrative leave. Don’t know if that’s a paid or unpaid leave.

Melekian also gave a third version of events. Here’s what the police are now saying about the shooting of Leroy Barnes:

On Monday, Melekian said Barnes was armed with a gun, but he never fired it during the confrontation with officers.

“A struggle ensued in the back seat of that car and Mr. Barnes displayed a handgun and pointed it at one of the officers as they fought,” the chief said. “(An) officer fired one gunshot. The other officer believed that Mr. Barnes had in fact shot his partner.”

The second officer then began firing, Melekian said.

“That accounts for the statement on Thursday night that Mr. Barnes fired at the officer. He did not. However, it appears, at least preliminarily, that he was certainly attempting to do so.”

While 11 shots were fired, investigators won’t know how many times Barnes was hit until the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office issues a final autopsy report, he said.

 

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Budget problems hit Sheriff’s Department

Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca warned he would close two jails and potentially release 4,000 inmates thanks to a $72 million budget gap in the department.  Baca also predicted a rise in crimes throughout the county as a result. Here’s a portion of the AP story that ran this morning:

“There’s no way around me cutting $71 million out of the budget that won’t affect having to close a jail or two,” Baca said. “To turn this battleship … I have to start cutting.”

Baca hasn’t finalized plans, but said he was looking at closing two of the county’s 10 jail facilities: the old central jail, which houses about 2,300 inmates; and part of another facility in Castaic in the north of the county that houses about 1,500 inmates. Violent offenders from the closed jails would be housed in other facilities.

Closing those facilities would eliminate positions for about 400 of the department’s 10,000 deputies and another 200 or so civilian jobs would be lost too. The job cuts would come primarily through a hiring freeze.

A likely consequence would be an increase in crime, especially property crimes.

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Shooting prompts waffling in Pasadena police department

First Police Chief Barney Melekian promised to hold a press conference Monday where he would discuss the officer involved shooting of Leroy Barnes.

Then he rescinded the promise.

Then he rescinded his decision not to speak and talked to reporters after all. Here’s some of what was said:

Apparently 11 shots were fired in the incident. Barnes did not fire his weapon. I’ll have more when it becomes known 

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Three girls assaulted and raped in Northwest Pasadena

Crime out of control in Pasadena:

PASADENA – Three 14-year-old girls appear to have been sexually assaulted at a home in Northwest Pasadena after going home with two adult men on Monday, police said.

Police received a call from a neighbor at 2:30 p.m. after she heard one of the girls screaming and attempting to leave the home, according to Pasadena Police Lt. Randall Taylor.

The home, at 255 Idaho Street, off Lincoln Avenue and not far from the Rose Bowl, appears to not be inhabited, said Taylor. The two men who brought the girls there were not present when police showed up to the address, he added.

“It looks like this house was not lived in,” said Taylor. He said, however, that police are using property records to attempt to track down the assault offenders.

At 4:00 Monday afternoon, over 10 officers were present at the address. The home looked empty, with newspapers in the window, and debris piled up in a driveway on the side of the house.

The girls met the men at the Pacific Paseo mall at Colorado Boulevard, and invited them back to their place, said Taylor. The girls had skipped school Monday, he added.

The men brought out alcohol and marijuana when they brought the girls back to the house, Taylor said.

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