New City Manager Márquez talks about police accountability and public safety – Pasadena Now

Pasadena’s new City Manager, Miguel Márquez, pictured during an introductory press conference at Pasadena City Hall on July 11, 2022. [Paul Takizawa/Pasadena Now]

Pasadena Now sat down with new City Manager Miguel Márquez on Wednesday and discussed a variety of topics. This is the second in a series of stories drawn from this interview.

[Updated] City manager Miguel Márquez said Pasadena Now he looks forward to working with the Community Policing Oversight Commission and also said the approach to accountability must be balanced.

“I think it’s a good form of democracy to help us reconcile the kind of policing we all want to see,” Márquez said. Pasadena Now. “Even if we want to hold our police service accountable and try to build the type of police service we want, we must recognize the inherent dangers they face every day and they have every right to return home to their families. like anyone else. who shows up for work. So it has to be a really balanced approach that recognizes all of those essential elements of what policing is.

After years of fruitless discussions, the city council voted unanimously to create a police oversight commission following the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis.

Márquez cited an incident in El Monte that left two officers dead earlier this summer as an example of what officers face on the job.

“It breaks your heart,” Márquez said.

The city must keep communities and police safe and implement best practices, he said.

“I think the biggest problem is actually guns,” Márquez said.

He referred to a report which, as he recalled, showed that in 2011 there were 88 guns per 100 Americans, but by 2022 that number had risen to 122 guns per 100 Americans.

“It’s a crazy statistic,” Márquez said. “And you just say, come on, there’s just way too many guns out there. If you look at so many issues that have driven this community to come out and be heard, they have a weapon somewhere in history.

Locally, the Pasadena Police Department removed 288 firearms from the streets in 2020. About 10% of guns recovered were ghost guns.

Ghost Guns can be assembled by unlicensed buyers from legally purchased kits. The LAPD reported that a 9mm polymer ghost handgun takes between 30 minutes and two hours to assemble.

Unfinished parts are inexpensive and are not currently required under federal law to have serial numbers or a background check to purchase.

City Council recently passed an ordinance prohibiting the possession of ghost guns and ghost gun kits, firearms without serial numbers, and does not provide a “safe harbor” if, before January 1, 2024 , users have requested a serial number for their (currently) non-serialized firearm.

Pasadena police shot and killed an armed carjacking suspect late last month after he drove them into a stolen vehicle in a mall parking lot on Orange Grove Blvd. near the intersection with North Lake Avenue.

At one point, the suspect had a gun to his head.

On Wednesday, a police spokesman said Pasadena Now that an administrative review regarding a fatal police shooting in August 2020 is ongoing.

In that incident, police shot and killed Anthony McClain during a traffic stop on Raymond Avenue near La Pintoresca Park.

McClain, who was a passenger in the vehicle, fled after being asked to get out of the car. A Pasadena police officer shot him as he fled.

The officer said McClain was armed.

McClain’s DNA was later recovered from a weapon found at the scene, according to the Pasadena Police Department.

District Attorney George Gascón cleared the officers of any wrongdoing. The administrative review is underway to determine whether the officers complied with departmental policy.

“So the gun problem is not going to go away. Our U.S. Supreme Court said you can regulate guns under strict control, but I don’t think they’ve ever seen any regulation that they found acceptable,” Márquez said. “And so I think the government is very crippled in being able to effectively regulate guns and guns can be used to kill people. And we must continue to fight to find better ways to combat our gun epidemic, not just in Pasadena, but in our country. »

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