Civil Rights Attorney Files Complaint Accusing Pasadena Police Officers of Creating False Reports

By Munguia, Hayley | Pasadena Star-News, June 14, 2018 | Go to article overview

Civil Rights Attorney Files Complaint Accusing Pasadena Police Officers of Creating False Reports


Munguia, Hayley, Pasadena Star-News


A local civil rights attorney filed a complaint with the Pasadena Police Department on Thursday, accusing two of its officers of creating false reports about a November altercation with a 21-year-old African-American Altadena resident.

The attorney, Dale Gronemeier, filed the complaint on behalf of two local organizations: Pasadenans Organizing for Progress and the Coalition for Increased Civilian Oversight of Pasadena Police.

In response to the complaint, city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian issued the following statement: “The entire incident is under review. Accusations are just that and the investigation will determine the actual facts.”

The incident in question took place when two Pasadena officers, Lerry Esparza and Zachary Lujan, pulled over Christopher Ballew outside of city limits for tinted windows and a missing front license plate. By the end of the interaction, the officers had smashed his face into the pavement and broken his leg.

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Ballew was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an officer, and the the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office later declined to file charges. Ballew has since sued the city.

Gronemeier said in an email the group’s “hope is that Officers Esparza and Lujan will be fired for making false police reports – as well as for use of excessive force.”

The complaint filed Thursday claims Esparza and Lujan “repeatedly lied about the events that led to their beating of Christopher Ballew on November 9, 2017.”

“Officers Esparza and Lujan lied both in their police reports and in their contemporaneous oral reports to their commanding officers at the site of the beating,” the complaint said. …

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