On Friday, the City of Pasadena released footage after two of their police officers were accused of excessive force for an incident in which a man's leg was broken. In all, video from six body cam and patrol car videos were released.
The footage shows two police officers trying to arrest Christopher Ballew at a gas station in November. The officers, whose names haven’t been released, claimed they stopped Ballew, 21, for “multiple traffic violations,” Pasadena Now reports. Those violations included a missing front license plate and tinted car windows.
Ballew resisted arrest for the violations. In fact, he allegedly tried to grab one of the officer’s batons.
Widespread outrage erupted after cellphone video of the incident surfaced, before any of the videos were released by police. That video, shot by a witness, painted a disturbing picture: one cop hitting Ballew in the leg, while the other slams Ballew’s head into the ground. Ballew told Pasadena Now his leg was broken from the assault. The NAACP has publicly denounced the actions of the officers as both “reprehensible” and “inhumane.”
Now, police have released their own recordings for transparency and to try to combat accusations of excessive force. 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.”
After the violent arrest, Ballew was treated at a hospital and arrested for “assault on a peace officer as well as several unspecified misdemeanors.”
The Pasadena police said they didn’t do anything wrong. The incident, however, is still under investigation.
City of Pasadena Spokesman William Boyer told CBS2 News, “Currently, the whole incident is under review, so there is no timeline for how long that will take. There is no conclusion right now.”
The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has decided to drop all charges against Ballew.
[Photo: Pasadena City Police Department]