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Black residents in Pasadena are furious with the Pasadena Police Department after the shooting death of Leroy Barnes, 38. Adena Cole, a friend of Barnes' family, is fearful for members of her community.
Barnes was riding in the backseat of a car driven by Ameka Edwards at 4:20 p.m. on February 19 when they were pulled over by the police. It is unclear exactly what led to the fatal shooting of Barnes because the Pasadena Police Department has put a hold on the autopsy results, written and taped reports, recorded interviews regarding the shooting and surveillance videos from the officers squad car.
The first report from the Pasadena Police Department was that Barnes stepped out of the car and fired upon the officers. But a report the next day from the police department said that Barnes did not step out of the car and that he did not fire a shot.
Barnes does have a criminal record, and there was a gun in the car, but according to Cole, he did not have the gun in his possession at the time of the shooting. She claims that when the car was pulled over Edwards told Barnes to put the gun into her purse because she is a security officer and has a license to carry a gun.
Cole claims that the police had been watching that area during the day, and that they went straight for the backseat of Edwards' car, as if they knew Barnes was seated there. Cole claims that the back windows of Edwards' car have a very dark tint, so the only way the officers would have known that Barnes was back there before they approached the car was if they already knew he was in the car.
Cole believes that Barnes was executed by the police officers and she is worried for members of her community because this is the third shooting by the Pasadena Police Department this year, and there have been other shootings by the police department over the past few years, according to Cole.
"I believe the Pasadena Police Department is just as corrupt as Rampart," Cole said. "I wouldn't be surprised if an investigation is done and they find out that it is indeed just as corrupt.
"I was born and raised here in Pasadena," Cole said. "I've never felt more black in my life, but not on the positive side, but that I'm a minority. There's no way that this town can keep killing our black men and getting away with it and nobody saying anything about it. They're treating us like we're 30-40 years backwards."
Cole admits Barnes was not a model citizen and that he had done wrong during his life, but she does not believe that he was doing wrong at the time of his death. She believes that the police officers knew that Barnes was in the backseat and that they pulled over Edwards to get to Barnes.
"They're trying to push us out of Pasadena," Cole said. "Somebody needs to help this black community."