|Andre' Coleman and a book|
This despite a firestorm of controversy last week, much of it brought about by the exposure given to this story right here on the Sierra Madre Tattler. Apparently those running the PW have chosen not to reply to what are the very serious charges leveled at them by Tyron Hampton. As you know, Tyron is currently in a runoff for the District 1 Pasadena City Council seat, and things in that race have gotten very ugly. Due in no small part to some of the disturbing attacks published in the Pasadena Weekly.
Why the Pasadena Weekly would choose not respond to Hampton's accusations being the very large mystery here. Were lawyers involved? Did the PW agree to shut up about their nonsense in order to avoid a possible lawsuit? Did they fear that any further exposure would only serve to reinforce the now growing perception that the accusations of influence peddling might actually be true?
The event that ignited this firestorm was the issuance of the following press release by the Tyron Hampton campaign on March 27. Hampton, who claims to have been the victim of an attempted shake down by Mr. Coleman, had refused to pay the money that he was allegedly asked to cough up. The suspected result being a series of attacks on Tyron's integrity, politics and, sadly enough, a personal disability.
Can it be that Tyron's crimes in the eyes of the Pasadena Weekly are he won't pay bribes and suffers from dyslexia?
Here is that press release:
Tyron Hampton, who does suffer from dyslexia, has in many ways overcome his malady through hard work and discipline. In February Tyron spoke about this at a national symposium presented in Chicago by the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Here is how the LDA previewed Tyron Hampton's talk:
It is sad to think that someone who has achieved so much while also overcoming a learning disability would be treated in so shoddy and unethical way by Andre' Coleman and the Pasadena Weekly. It is yet another indication of just how dirty politics can get in Pasadena. A city where the political establishment apparently believes that laying their mitts on taxpayer dollars is the only thing that counts, and no truth should ever be allowed to stand in their way.
Coleman has two columns in the Pasadena Weekly this week, one on the Pasadena Police Officers Association's (PPOA) current labor action (surprise - they want more money), the other discusses the tragic slaying of Kendrec McDade by members of that very same police force. A story that has begun to gain national traction due to some hard legwork put in by the Pasadena Star News (link).
The juxtaposition of these two columns, which run side by side on the Pasadena Weekly website (link) is unfortunate, and shows the problem of trying to serve two masters at once. In this case the African American community of Pasadena, many of whom who are justifiably outraged by the McDade killing, and the Pasadena Police Department's labor organization.
Here are several passages from each article that show just how at odds the messages of these two Coleman pieces really are. A pair of stories covering two distinctly different kinds of marches.
Marching for Kendrec - Local residents remember shooting victim during Palm Sunday march: About 130 people took part in a three-mile Palm Sunday Peace Walk in Northwest Pasadena that ended on Sunset Avenue and Orange Grove Boulevard, near where unarmed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade was mortally shot by police.
McDade’s mother, Anya Slaughter, attended the event.
“I want to thank the community. I want to thank my pastor. I want to thank my family first and foremost for being with me and standing by me,” Slaughter said.
McDade was shot and killed on March 24, 2012, after a brief pursuit. Officers say they were led to believe McDade was armed after Oscar Carrillo Gonzales told police during a 911 call that he was robbed at gunpoint by two African-American men.
After the shooting, City Manager Michael Beck and Pasadena Police Chief Philip Sanchez asked the now-defunct Office of Independent Review (OIR) — which investigated how decisions made by officers during use of force incidents related to established policies — to investigate the matter.
The OIR report has been completed, but not released. The Pasadena Police Officers Association (PPOA) has fought to keep the report sealed, claiming that it is a personnel document which contains confidential information about the officers. After Los Angeles Superior Court Judge James Chalfant ruled that a redacted version of the report could be released, the PPOA received a stay from the US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. An appeals document filed by the PPOA containing details of the officers’ actions was accidentally released last week and later sealed, but not before several media outlets, including the Pasadena Weekly, acquired copies.
One of the sponsors of the walk, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, has joined with individual members of the local NAACP, the Pasadena Chapter of the ACLU, and the Los Angeles Times acting on its own behalf, as interveners in lawsuits against the city to make public the findings of the report.
The other Coleman piece we're citing today offers up some supportive and laudatory passages for that very same Pasadena Police Officers Association slammed in the previous article:
Walking a Different Beat - Pasadena police officers march on City Hall for more money: … Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez said he had a good relationship with the union and hoped people listened to the officers’ message.
“I believe our officers are second to none, professional courageous and dedicated,” Sanchez said a few hours before some sixty officers — out of uniform and dressed in shirts, slacks and ties — marched with pickets around City Hall and later told the City Council about their needs for more money and better working conditions.
“They strive for excellence every day,” Sanchez continued. “As a collective body, union officials are looking to make the rank and file competitive to insure we maintain experienced police officers and attract a high quality of new applicants. As chief, I support that direction. I believe it serves our community by providing the best possible police services now and in the future.”
City officials are currently in negotiations with the Pasadena Police Officers Association (PPOA) for the officers’ first pay raise in seven years. The pay freeze has done considerable damage to officer morale, resulting in the reduction of the department’s full complement of 240 sworn officers to 219, with another 25 officers applying for jobs at higher paying jobs in other regional cities.
Low morale is not just limited to the Police Department. In March, the Pasadena Firefighters Association (PFA) sent a mailer to 17,000 homes stating that funding cuts made to the Fire Department are “decimating” the department and putting the public in danger. Firefighters want returned an ambulance that was removed from emergency use during budget cuts. Firefighters did not march with police on Monday.
Low police officer has also impacted that department’s ability to recruit from other departments. Last year, the local department held recruitment for lateral transfers from other departments, but only two people applied, according to Sanchez. That same month, the Anaheim Police Department received 400 applications for lateral transfers.
“They have the right to be heard,” said Deputy Chief Daryl Qualls, who added that although the officers did inform the city they would be marching, they did not present the department’s command staff with a copy of the statement that was read to the council. The officers were prohibited from wearing their uniforms during the event and on-duty officers were not allowed to participate.
The shrinking number of cops has also made it difficult for officers to get support in dangerous situations. In February, an officer who did not wish to be named told the Pasadena Weekly that he feared for his life because some of the police radios do not work.
In all fairness Coleman does review the Kendrec McDade situation in his PPOA column as well. How could he not? It is important background to this Police labor action story and could hardly be ignored.
But it does appear that Andre' is attempting to serve two distinctly different and at odds constituencies here. An outraged resident community on the one hand, and a Pasadena city employee union that more often than not financially helps out candidates he supports on the other.
A situation anyone could find their self in if they don't stand for much more than personal self-aggrandizement.