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Mayor Reacts After Protestors Demonstrate, Build Memorial to Man Slain by Police in Front of His Residence

Mayor Tornek issues statement

Published on Saturday, October 24, 2020 | 12:26 pm

[Warning: The above video contains profane language] Video of protestors demonstrating in front of Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek’s house on October 23, 2020. (Via Twitter)

Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek issued a statement Saturday morning about a demonstration Friday night outside his residence during which a group of protestors went to his home to present demands related to the officer-involved shooting death of Anthony McClain.

Tornek said he went out to talk with the demonstrators but he was immediately shouted down.

“References made to important Police oversight reforms were dismissed, so I returned to my home,” Tornek said. “What followed was not a vigil for Mr. McClain, but a loud effort to intimidate and attack me personally. I was subjected to obscene chants and personal insults for an extended period of time.”

In his statement, Tornek said the focus of the incident “was not largely not on Mr. McClain, but rather about promoting the agenda of the event spokesperson and organizer and her efforts to compel me to have a variety of criminal charges pending against her dropped.”

Tornek was referring to Jasmine Abdullah Richards, an organizer of Black Lives Matter Pasadena, who led the Friday night demonstration.

Ultimately the group left candles and signage, Tornek said.

Maria and Terry Tornek pictured removing signs left by demonstrators on the parkway in front of their home. Protest organizer Jasmine Abdullah Richards said that in doing so Tornek showed no remorse, empathy or compassion for Anthony McClain’s life. (Screenshot via Facebook)

“Some time later, my wife and I moved the candles from the street right of way and relocated them onto the curb with the others so that a car wouldn’t run into them. We also removed the signage some of which included references to murder and killer cops,” Tornek said.

On her Facebook page, Richards said Tornek is trying to bury the truth about what happened to Anthony McClain.

Richards said she told Tornek that claims residents located near the original memorial on North Raymond Avenue don’t want the tribute to be in their neighborhood are not true.

“I spoke to all of the neighbors no one has a problem with [it],” Richards said. “The community wants the vigil there until we find a way for a permanent one.”

But according to Richards, Tornek told her that she does not speak for the community.

McClain, 32, was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by Pasadena officers near Raymond Avenue and Grandview Street at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 15. Police say he was shot at least once in the upper body after he got out of the vehicle and began running.

Police allege he was reaching at his waistband while running, compelling the officer to fire. Police also reported that after being shot McClain continued running and ditched an unregistered handgun, which was prohibited because he was on probation for robbery. He later died at an area hospital.

In his statement, Tornek said that having a place for people to mourn and grieve Mr. McClain is real and valid.

“I support it; but when I tried to discuss alternatives, that group would have none of it. I believe that the appropriate place for mourning would be at one or more churches; not on Raymond Avenue or my home,” Tornek’s statement read.

“We need to come together as a community.”

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