Pasadena, CA -- Body camera and bystander video footage have just been released prompting backlash against the Pasadena police department by residents and civil rights groups who called the police officers' actions “reprehensible” and “inhumane.” A man's window tint nearly got him killed by police.
The incident took place in November after police pulled 21-year-old Christopher Ballew over for the victimless "crime" of dark windows and a missing front license plate. Bellew pulled into a gas station where police followed him in and began their extortion process.
During the stop, police began to rough Ballew up after he failed to immediately give officers his hands to be placed in handcuffs for the horrifying crime of dark window tint.
Because Ballew failed to immediately comply, police then escalated to extremely violent force and began beating him with batons and fists.
As Ballew tried to protect himself by blocking their baton blows and fists flying at his face, the officers perceived this as "resisting arrest" and so more force was applied.
At one point in the video, Ballew grabbed the officer's baton prompting even more violence. Police continue to beat Ballew even after he is face down on the ground. The officers apparently thought that Ballew covering his head to protect it from the fists was a threat so they continued beating him.
He was beaten so badly that he had to be rushed to the hospital. Ballew suffered multiple lacerations to his face and head and he was hit so hard with the baton that it broke his leg.
Ballew was subsequently arrested and charged with felony resisting.
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"It was just in the interest of transparency and for people to understand police procedures and just the overall interest in what actually occurred during this incident," Pasadena PIO William Boyer said.
“Currently, the whole incident is under review, so there is no timeline for how long that will take. There is no conclusion right now,” Boyer said.
Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell said “while the City is not obligated or required to release such the recordings, […] I believe doing so is in the best interest of the City and that of the public,” the local CBS affiliate reported.
“To hear my son crying out in pain, and to see the officer beating him as he lay on the ground helpless,” his mother Sonya Ballew said, “I’m completely appalled. I’m not sure what the reason for the violence was, but I can make a lot of assumptions about what I saw based on that video.”
His mother called on the City Council to weed out bad officers who “do not represent the core values that I believe Pasadena stands for,” according to the Pasadena Star.
Proving the entirely unnecessary nature and violence of this stop, according to the Star, after his arrest, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office declined to file charges against Ballew, citing a lack of evidence.
Although the department claims to be investigating the incident, neither of the two unnamed officers have been suspended and currently remain on active duty. Citizens of Pasadena be warned.
Below is a video showing that in the land of the free, you can and will be horrifically beaten, kidnapped and caged if you disagree with being extorted over the darkness of your window tint.