Attorney Caree Harper cited the case on Fox 11 News on June 6, 2023. (Screenshot)

Attorney Caree Harper filed a lawsuit today, March 9, on behalf of Barsha Knox, Carlos Towns and a minor known as “CT2” against Pasadena Police Chief Eugene Harris and several Pasadena police officers for using excessive force, falsely arresting, and violating the civil rights of her on her clients.

According to the lawsuit, the officers assaulted and falsely imprisoned the plaintiffs after Knox, Towns, and the minor sought answers about the death of their relative, Charles Towns, earlier this year. Named as defendants, along with Harris, are Officer Ralph Palacios, Sgt. Blanchard and Lt. Christopher Kirby.

The complaint reads: “On January 22, 2023, Charles Towns was shot and killed by Los Angeles Sheriffs’ deputies on El Sereno Ave. in Altadena, California, on a street that boarders Pasadena.  Some Pasadena police officers provided mutual aid and crowd control at the scene of the shooting although it is County’s jurisdiction.

“One of the officers that responded was Ralph Palacios.  Plaintiffs Knox, Towns and ‘CT2’ went to the scene because Charles Towns and Knox are the parents of Towns and ‘CT2.’  Upon their arrival, they encountered Defendant Palacios, who treated them very harshly even after they told him that they believed their father was the person who was shot.  Palacios did not care and instead yelled at them to move although they could see Charles Towns lying dead in the street, uncovered and freshly executed by police.

Attorney Caree Harper (Courtesy photo)

“A short, heavy-set Caucasian LASD Deputy at the El Sereno shooting scene approached Plaintiffs and Palacios and ordered Palacios away from Plaintiffs and attempted to console Plaintiffs and explain that the scene needed to be secured.  Plaintiffs later confirmed that their father was deceased and had no further contact with Defendant Palacios that evening.”

The lawsuit also cites an incident on Feb. 20, 2023, where Palacios “aggressively took hold of Plaintiff Towns, violently face-planted unarmed Plaintiff in the flower planter and handcuffed him causing pain and bruising.”

When Knox protested the treatment of her son, she was handcuffed, and Palacios stood close and continuously yelled her until Officer Taisyn Crutchfield intervened by moving between the Knox and Palacios. As a result of Crutchfield’s actions, the lawsuit alleges that Palacios, Blanchard and Kirby conspired to get the Black female probationary officer fired.

The plaintiffs are seeking “an award of exemplary and punitive damages” against the defendants and payment for attorneys’ fee. In addition, a letter will be sent to the California Attorney General requesting an outside investigation, said Attorney Harper.

Read the entire complaint at