Pasadena police Chief Barney Melekian met over lunch Monday with me and Pasadena Star-News City Editor Hector Gonzalez.
The primary purpose of the meeting was a wide-ranging discussion of the officer involved shooting that led to the death of Leroy Barnes in Pasadena in February.
Melekian said his department’s investigation had concluded the shotting was justified. He also said that the facts of the case in some way explain the two statements issued in the immediate aftermath of Barnes’ death.
The Chief also said he regretted putting together a statement so early. But explained it was his way of compensating for taking 14 hours to release a statement in the wake of the last fatal Pasadena OIS.
“Fourteen hours was too long,” he admitted. “Next time I’ll find that golden window of opportunity between 90 minutes and 14 hours.”
Melekian also lamented the decline of newspapers in America. And likened the plight of journalists and newspapers to the status of police departments and police officers 20 years ago.
“It seems like you all are talking just among yourselves,” he said. Cops “used to do that. But then we learned.”
The lunch took place at Japon Bistro on Colorado. Hector ordered tempura and california roll; the chief had the tempura and sushi plate.