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Public Safety Committee, Council Hold Joint Meeting Monday on McDade Shooting OIR Report

Published on Sunday, December 6, 2015 | 3:59 pm

The Pasadena City Council’s Public Safety Committee will be joined by the balance of the City Council in a special joint meeting Monday to publicly review the Pasadena Police Department’s responses to procedural recommendations made in a report which examined the circumstances surrounding the officer-involved shooting death of Kendrec McDade in 2012.

The unusual joint meeting starting at 5:30 p.m. in the City Hall’s Council chambers will allow public comment. Anyone from the audience will be able to address the Council for three minutes or less about matters related to the McDade shooting and the OIR report.

Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez will be presenting a set of police department-formulated responses to the recommendations contained in the Office of Independent Review Group report as the joint meeting opens.

Sanchez’s presentation and exchanges at the joint meeting, however, are for information only, says the Agenda, and “no action by the Public Safety Committee or the City Council is requested at this time.”

In responses he prepared for the joint meeting, Sanchez said his Department agrees with 19 of the 26 recommendations in the OIR report and either has “current policies or practices in place which adequately address the recommendation or is in the process of implementing the recommendations.”

“Regarding the balance, the Department either partially agrees or disagrees,” Sanchez said.

A point-by-point list of the OIR recommendations and Sanchez’s responses to each are included in the agenda. It is likely that Sanchez or senior police officials will review each recommendation and departmental response in Monday’s joint meeting.

The joint meeting announced by Mayor Terry Tornek during the November 23 Council meeting — a meeting which itself was dominated by discussion the OIR report.  More than 25 members of the public spoke about the report for over two hours before any of the other items in the agenda were ever considered.

Tornek said then that the December 7 public hearings would be a “point-by-point discussion on the recommendations in the OIR Report, for as long as it takes.”

The joint meeting was also in response to the urgings of the Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police (CICOPP) for a public hearing “that would be a fact-finding and accountability meeting,” according to Dale Gronemeier, counsel for McDade’s mother, Anya Slaughter.

“That is how tomorrow’s meeting is structured,” Gronemeier said in an email Sunday. “We wanted the OIR report authors Mike Gennaco and Rob Miller involved in the meeting; the City obtained their appearance. We appreciate the leadership that Public Safety Chair John Kennedy and Mayor Terry Tornek have shown in getting this type of a City Council/PSC special meeting. We have not advocated for any action to be taken at this meeting. We think further action needs to be informed by a full and frank discussion, which hopefully will occur tomorrow night.”

The full and complete OIR Report has been kept from the public eye since it was released in August, 2014. When the City was challenged in Superior Court to make the report public, the court originally ruled in the City’s favor.

However, after CICOPP and other intervenors in the case appealed, the Court of Appeal ultimately ruled in favor of the release of the OIR report with a limited number of redactions, ordering that many of the previous redactions be modified.

A public version of the so-called less-redacted OIR Report was released in early December and is available here.

Police Chief Sanchez’s responses to the OIR recommendations may be seen in this document.

City Manager Michael Beck and City Attorney Michele Bagneris are both expected to be in attendance.

The joint meeting will take place at Council Chamber Room S249, before the regular City Council meeting at 7:30 p.m.

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