As people of faith, Jill and I are concerned about the use of deadly force by Pasadena police, particularly recent instances, such as the shooting of Kendrec McDade and most recently, Paris Holloway. In this particular case, an unarmed 22-year-old black man was shot by police because he was allegedly wearing gang clothing and had a gun. Police chief Sanchez admits that Holloway wasn’t actually carrying a weapon when he was shot, but one was found in his vicinity. Yet Councilman Steve Madison jumps to the conclusion that the gun was the “primary proximal cause of what happened” and “I have little doubt we are going to find there is justifiable use of deadly force in this case.” This may be true, but we need to know the facts before jumping to conclusions, and we need to know that those investigating this incident are not biased. Jeanette Miyamoto of All Saints Episcopal Church noted at a City Council Meeting that this is “another example of the way the police department discriminates against poor people of color. I can’t imagine they would have shot a white man.”
Jesus told us, “Know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8: 13). Jesus also warned us that “those that live by the sword will perish by the sword” (Matt 26:52).
We agree with Councilwoman Jacqueline Robinson that “any time there has been officer-involved shooting that results in the death or even a serious injury at this point it’s one too many.” We also agree with Councilman John Kennedy that we need an independent review board that can provide impartial oversight of officer-involved shootings.