PASADENA (CBSLA) — The Pasadena Police Department released body cam and in-car video in response to claims that officers violated the civil rights of two people during separate incidents.
John Burton, a local attorney representing the two men, claimed that the officers’ actions were unjustified and that his clients were racially profiled.
The Pasadena Police Department responded to the claims by releasing the video footage.
“You will have the same view of the drivers as the officers did, and you can determine whether race was visible and could have been a factor in the stop,” Chief John E. Perez said. “None of us want our officers to ignore traffic violations or intoxicated drivers, placing all of us at great risk.”
In one incident, officers can be seen forcibly removing Hector Escobedo from his vehicle, after he allegedly failed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
Escobedo said his wrist and shoulder were hurt during the stop, and now he’s exploring the possibility of suing the department.
“They are there to protect people, not harass people and yank people coming off of work, visiting their parents out of their car because of a rolling stop,” he said.
In the second incident, the video shows police and the driver, Kamau Bar, engaged in a physical altercation after he was stopped for allegedly speeding. According to police, Bar was combative and intoxicated.
“If there was reason to initiate a personnel investigation into the actions of any of the officers involved, it would have been done.”
But Burton contends that the city’s gang task force officers have a racial profiling problem.
“In our analysis, we got 197 field interview cards for these kind of stops — 195 were black or Hispanic motorists,” he said. “Is it just a coincidence that out of 197 stops 195 of them were black or Hispanic in a city that is majority white? I don’t think so.”