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Community Police Oversight Commission Denounces Gun Violence Following Two Recent Shooting Deaths

Published on Friday, December 3, 2021 | 5:49 am

Commissioners of the Community Police Oversight Commission (CPOC) denounced gun violence as they expressed sympathies to the families of 24-year-old Jamal Dion Patterson and  13-year-old Iran Moreno-Balvaneda, who both recently lost their lives from gunfire in Pasadena.

During their meeting on Thursday evening, at least four members of the commission, which was created to strengthen community-police relations and make recommendations regarding ongoing operations of the police department, offered condolences to the family and friends of Patterson and Moreno-Balvaneda.

Patterson died last October 28 at a hospital where he was brought after being fatally wounded in a shooting that happened in the 1000 block of Summit Avenue on October 25.

Moreno-Balvaneda was hit by a stray bullet while playing a video game in his bedroom at home in the 900 block of North Raymond Avenue on November 20.

Mayor Victor Gordo called for increased police presence following the shooting incidents. He also called for more resources for the police department.

“This past couple of weeks in our community has been really painful. From Jamal to Iran to other members of our community, being hurt and injured,” Commissioner Florence Annang said during the CPOC meeting.

While Annang denounced the shooting incidents that claimed the lives of the two, she also expressed her disapproval of the increased police presence and alleged racial profiling she said are taking place following the incidents.

She called for a different approach to address gun violence.

“Yes. We need the police to find out who did this. Yes. We need the police to do their job. But we also as a community do not need an increase of police, increased racial profiling to increase Black and brown boys and girls being stopped on the street because of this,” Annang said.

“We need something else and we’re going to need something outside of the box,” she added without elaborating.

Annang also defended Patterson following allegations that the victim was a gang member.

“Jamal was not a gang member. He was a human being. He was a father of two kids —  of two autistic kids that he was raising himself. The narrative has been put out there that he was, and he wasn’t,” she said.

Commission Chair Raúl Ibáñez also spoke about the recent gun-related incidents.

“I urge our community to prioritize life over death. I urge our community to prioritize love over fear and to commit to bending together regardless of our cultural background, to stop the harm that is being brought on our community because we honestly deserve better than this,” he said.

Commissioners Alexis Abernethy and Phillip Argento also expressed sympathies to the bereaved families during the commission’s public meeting.

The police are continuing to investigate the recent shooting incidents that sparked public outrage. Meanwhile, leaders of the city in concert with Los Angeles County Supervisors have rewards totaling $30,000 for key information leading to the identification of the gunman in the killing of Moreno-Balvaneda.

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