Originally published on Wednesday, July 8. To view the Zoom police reform meeting, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nathaniel Imel applauded the South Pasadena City Council’s actions in creating a forum to open dialogue about reform at the local police department.
“I ask that the council remember there are still residents protesting every day in our city, asking that South Pasadena act urgently to stand with the movement for Black Lives (Matter),” wrote Imel in a letter read during the public comment period of last week’s virtual City Council meeting. “I support all of South Pasadena Youth for Police Reform’s demands, and I urge the council to study them carefully as we begin to make decisions that affect the safety of historically oppressed populations.”
A subcommittee comprised of Councilmembers Dr. Marina Khubesrian and Dr. Richard Schneider will work with a subcommittee of the city’s Public Safety Commission to examine policing in South Pasadena.
In addition, a task force, made up of leadership from the South Pasadena Police Department, will work with the Public Safety Commission and will review “the use of force policies, establish the need for police reform, and focus on the eight policy reforms urged by Campaign Zero,” according to a statement released by the city. “Collaboratively, the groups will foster on-going listening and dialogue forums with the community around police reform.”
The first of the forums will be held on July 16 from 3 to 5 p.m. and is open to the public. It will be a virtual meeting, via Zoom, and will follow a town hall format with concerned community members.
Imel is among those pleased that the meeting will be held. “Indeed, if you are seriously considering budget changes, charter amendments, reforming policy, and releasing transparency materials, then you will be spending a lot of time on the topic of police reform,” he wrote. “I would like to see more time spent on police reform in our council meetings very soon.”
Josh Atlas, upset by the state of policing and police oversight in the community, is another South Pasadena resident who welcomes the discussion about police reform close to home.
“Though there are local and national protests, the city council and public safety commission have offered little acknowledgment that our local police office is in need of reform,” he wrote in a letter also read during last week’s City Council meeting. “The city council should immediately enact the reforms outlined in Campaign Zero (found at 8cantwait.org). Specific policy language can be found there as well. As labor negotiations progress with SPPD, the city must also insist that officers involved in violent and abusive conduct be removed from their positions and held legally accountable for their actions.”
During June’s Safety Commission meeting, Atlas claims South Pasadena Police Chief Joe Ortiz said that “most, if not all” of his officers had received anti-bias training.
“Why haven’t all officers been trained?” asked Atlas. “When will all officers have received training? These are all very minimal questions and requests to start creating a more just community. We cannot tolerate the council’s negligence.”
To view the Zoom police reform meeting, send an email to email@example.com