Recently Released Video of 21-Year-Old’s Violent Arrest in Pasadena, Calif., Leaves More Questions Than Answers

The city of Pasadena, Calif., recently released bodycam footage of an early November police stop at a gas station during which a 21-year-old was beaten bloody and suffered a broken leg..


The release of the six videos marks the first time that police-body-worn-camera video has been made public in response to a police use-of-force incident in Pasadena, reports Pasadena Now.

Some speculate that the Pasadena Police Department released the video after a public video surfaced Dec. 4 showing part of the chaotic arrest of Christopher Ballew at an Altadena, Calif., gas station on Nov. 9 and drawing strong condemnation from the public and civil rights groups like the NAACP-Pasadena.

Police say that they pulled over Bellew, who was driving a white Mercedes, because he committed “multiple traffic violations,” including that the car was missing a front license plate and its windows were illegally tinted.

So they followed this young man into a gas station, and when Ballew probably asked why he was being arrested or stopped, all hell broke loose.

Pasadena Now reports:

The videos show the incident from both police officers’ points ofview. The footage captures the incident unfolding as the officers execute a U-turn on Fair Oaks inside Altadena and head south after the white Mercedes driven by Ballew, which turns into the Mobile gas station.

The officers follow Ballew, pull up behind him, and one approaches him as [he] heads towards the station’s cashier.

That officer guides Ballew back to the car where scuffling begins almost immediately.

As one officer tells Ballew [he] “better stop acting like a dummy, dude,” the two officers begin to struggle to handcuff Ballew, who ends up on the pavement up against the passenger side of the Mercedes.

The officers order Ballew to give them his hands. It does not appear that he complies.

Ballew repeatedly asks, “Where is your commanding officer?” and manages to pull away from the officers with dangling handcuffs clamped around one wrist.

One officer begins to strike Ballew with his baton. Ballew grabs the baton and pulls it away from the officer.

That officer draws his service weapon and aims it towards Ballew. His partner is apparently in the line of fire. The officer holsters his weapon and retrieves the baton, now lying on the pavement.

The officer delivers three “compliance strikes” to Ballew with the baton, one to his back and two in the area of his ankles, as his partner punches Ballew, knocks Ballew to the ground and pushes Ballew’s head onto the pavement.

The two officers then struggle to completely handcuff Ballew, who is lying on the pavement beneath them. Ballew appears to continue to resist until the handcuffs are secured.


Ballew was ultimately taken to the hospital, arrested and held on $50,000 bail on charges of “assault on a peace officer as well as several unspecified misdemeanors,” which is common in police brutality cases.


City of Pasadena spokesman William Boyer told CBS 2 Los Angeles that the actions of the involved officers were within department policy, but the incident is being looked into.

“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.


Read more at Pasadena News and CBS 2 Los Angeles.

Ms. Bronner Helm is the Senior Editorial Director at Colorlines. Mouthy Black Girl. Rosalynn Carter Mental Health Fellow. Shea Butter Feminist. Virgo Sun, Aries Moon.



So you get arrested for missing front plate and dark window tint?

They could have killed him.