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Former Pasadena Police Officers Lay Out Allegations Against Department

Published on Friday, June 7, 2024 | 6:46 am

Two former Pasadena police officers spoke about incidents of harassment and retaliation on Thursday.

Appearing at a press conference with their attorney on the steps of Pasadena Police Department headquarters, former Lt. Carolyn Gordon and Officer Omar Elhosseiny say the department retaliated against them after they filed complaints.

Gordon said she was ridiculed by fellow officers after she was struck by a paintball round during a training exercise.

“I was told as I went down that I was a ‘cry baby’ and I endured the pain for several days and then I saw treatment and I later was told I was bleeding internally,” Gordon said.

“In fact, now women [officers in training] are wearing protective cups and when a lot of people see women with the protective cups, I’ve been teased and they call them the ‘Gordon cups’ because we had to wear them after I was injured,” she said.

According to attorney Brad Gage, Gordon faced retaliation while working in Internal Affairs and standing up for other police officers she says were wronged.

Gordon said she was removed from special assignments and had promotional opportunities taken away from her, and she eventually became isolated, Gage alleged.

Gordon has not yet filed a claim against the City. A claim is the first step in a lawsuit.

Late last year several other police officers represented by Gage spoke up at a press conference.

Three of them have filed lawsuits against the Police Department.

None of those officers was present on Thursday and instead family members rehashed those incidents.

In one lawsuit, Officer Taisyn Crutchfield, a two-year veteran of the Department, alleges she was wrongfully punished for intervening and trying to de-escalate a situation with an officer.

Officer Jarvis Shelby says he was assaulted by his commanding officer, who he claims put him in a headlock, causing career-threatening injuries this past August. Officer Milon White claims he is being retaliated against because he saw the attack on Shelby.

“When you consider the fact that these are police officers that are supposed to protect and serve our community, but they attack their own, particularly Black African-American officers. What does that mean for the security of our community, how is anyone in our community going to feel safe, particularly if they’re a person of color?” Gage said.

In a statement issued after the press conference, the City reiterated that it cannot discuss the allegations due to state laws barring the release of personnel information. The City does not comment on matters that are pending litigation.

“The City of Pasadena cannot respond in a public debate regarding the claims, as they involve personnel matters which are confidential under California law,” said Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian. “With that said, personnel complaints against any Pasadena police officers are investigated thoroughly and fairly, and all personnel throughout our ranks are held accountable for their actions when warranted. We have confidence in the legal process, and, as this involves pending litigation, we look forward to presenting our case in the appropriate forum.”

In March 2023, Elhosseiny complained about on-duty Pasadena Police Department Officers consuming alcohol at a birthday party at his residence.

Three officers were disciplined in relation to that incident.

Afterward, Elhosseiny complained he faced retaliation and said his medal of courage was thrown in his face.

Elhosseiny, who is Muslim, said officers called him “Taliban” and a “terrorist.”

“The Police Department that I used to work for [was an] organization that prevailed in excellence, integrity, and innovation. But what I see from this department is nothing but nonsense, mockery of corruption. I stand here to shed some light to these facts and to make a stance against the injustice that occurred to me officers,” he said.

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