Six Pasadena Officers Cleared in September 2016 In-Custody Death of Reginald Thomas

Published : Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | 5:38 AM


Grainy security video frame shows a portion of the September, 2016 confrontation.

The Justice System Integrity Division of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has completed its review of the September 30, 2016 in-custody death of Reginald Thomas and has concluded that Pasadena Police Department officers used reasonable force in subduing Thomas. No further action will be taken by the District Attorney’s Office.

“We want to thank the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for their comprehensive work and for their commitment to finding the truth in this matter,” said City Manager Steve Mermell. “The loss of Reginald Thomas’ life is tragic but the District Attorney’s review concludes that the responding Pasadena Police Officers acted within reason and their use of force was lawful.”

The District Attorney’s conclusions were based on investigative reports, witness statements, audio recordings, photographs, video, 9-1- 1 recordings and the autopsy report generated by the Los Angeles County Coroner. It also included a review of the compelled witness statements of all of the Pasadena Police Officers who were a part of the incident.

The memorandum issued to the City by the District Attorney’s Office, reveals “that the officers began by simply asking Thomas to drop his weapons and allow them to enter the residence. Thomas refused and began actively and physically resisting the officers’ lawful efforts. The officers resorted to more forcible measures only after other means, including the Taser, proved ineffective. Their escalation of force was in direct response to Thomas’ escalating combative resistance. Further, the Taser deployments and baton strikes, manual strikes, kicks and restraint methods were a reasonable response to Thomas’ escalating and continued resistance.”

The Coroner’s examination of Thomas concluded that the manner of death was undetermined, but the District Attorney’s Office concluded that “all the force used by the officers appears to have been reasonable under the circumstances. Thus, even if the officers’ use of force contributed to Thomas’ death, their use of force was not unlawful.”

The District Attorney’s office will be making a public version of their memo available on their website at a later date.


Related Coverage:

New Details Emerge in 2016 Death of Reginald Thomas Jr. During Confrontation With Pasadena Police

City of Pasadena Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Reginald Thomas Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Activists React to Thomas Settlement Announcement


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