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Force Used in Less Than 1 Percent of Arrests This Year

Guns continue to be a problem in Pasadena

Published on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 8:49 am

So far this year, Pasadena police officers used force in 23 of 3,298 arrests made during 81,090 calls for service, according to statistics released by Pasadena Police Chief John Perez.

All told, police used force in less than one percent of the arrests made, or .69 percent of the time. Force was used in 34 incidents in all of 2019.

The statistics were scheduled to be presented to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21. 

According to the report, Pasadena police officers were involved in two fatal officer-involved shootings this year.

On Aug. 15, officers fatally shot Anthony McClain on North Raymond Avenue near La Pintoresca Park after McClain fled during a traffic stop. McClain’s DNA was later found on a gun recovered at the scene, according to police. The incident is still under investigation. 

On May 8, police shot and killed Lloyd Nelson after the former Marine opened fire on police at the conclusion of a pursuit. Nelson fired two shots at officers through the windshield of the Mitsubishi he was driving.

Nelson had three weapons in the vehicle — one in the center console, one tucked between the passenger seat and the console, and the one that he used to fire at officers. None of the weapons were registered to him. He also had 400 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle.

The department launched 37 personnel investigations against local police officers stemming from 53 complaints received, and there have been 49 assaults on police officers this year.

According to the report, by August crime had increased by 12 percent. Simple assaults and auto thefts increased by 40 percent from last year’s totals. 

“To reduce the trend, we focused on visibility, crime trends, and problem areas, and a reduction is being realized. We need the public’s support in this effort,” said Perez.

Shootings continue to rise, according to the report. There have been 59 victims in 27 shootings so far this year. The report also states there have been two homicides. 

A man and woman were shot when a barrage of gunfire erupted at La Pintoresca Park. Police received reports of 20 to 30 gunshots being fired, said Pasadena police Lt. Anthony Russo.

Responding officers encountered a wounded man in his 30s inside of a car a few blocks away, at Mountain Street and Sunset Avenue, according to the lieutenant.

A second victim, described as a woman in her 40s, was brought to nearby Pasadena Fire Department Station 36 at Fair Oaks Avenue and Hammond Street, he said.

Both of those gunshot victims were taken to a hospital with serious injuries but were initially expected to survive.

The department continues to seize guns. So far this year, 226 firearms have been taken by officers. About 10 percent of those weapons are so-called “ghost guns,” or guns without identifying serial numbers. 

“This year has been a challenge for all of us in the community to reduce illegal gun possession and stop street violence,” Perez told Pasadena Now

“I worry every day for our young people,” the chief continued. “We suffered two tragic OISs [officer-involved shootings], but the community should be proud of the overall approach by our officers, with over 200 guns seized from cars and waistbands. Prevention is our first priority, but it is difficult without enforcement measures as well. It should be the community’s top priority.”

The meeting can be viewed at

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