Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek released a statement Saturday saying a Friday night vigil near his home for the victim of a police shooting was actually a veiled attempt by the event organizer to have a variety of criminal charges pending against her dropped.
Tornek said the action was “but a loud effort to intimidate and attack me personally. I was subjected to obscene chants and personal insults for an extended period of time,” according to the statement. “The focus was largely not on McClain, but rather about promoting the agenda of the event organizer and her efforts to compel me to have a variety of charges pending against her dropped.”
McClain, 32, was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over by officers near Raymond Avenue and Grandview Street at about 8 p.m. on Aug. 15. Police say he was shot at least once in the upper body after he got out of the vehicle and began running.
Police allege he was reaching at his waistband while running, compelling the officers to fire. Police also reported that after being shot McClain continued running and ditched an unregistered handgun, which was prohibited because he was on probation for robbery. He later died at an area hospital.
Tornek said in his statement that he went out Friday night to talk to a group of demonstrators at the sidewalk near his home to respond to their demands and was immediately “shouted down.”
“References made to important police oversight reforms were dismissed, so I returned to my home,” he said. “The group left candles and signage. Some time later, my wife and I moved the candles from the street right of way and relocated them onto the curb with the others so that a car wouldn’t run into them. We also removed the signage, some of which included references to murder and killer cops.”
Tornek added that “having a place for people to mourn and grieve for Mr. McClain is real and valid. I support it,” but said “the appropriate place for mourning would be at one or more churches; not on Raymond Avenue or my home.”
In his statement, the Pasadena mayor appealed to the city’s clergy to offer a location or even multiple locations.
“Church locations could meet a real need without becoming hot spots for violence,” he said. “I invite our pastors to host a forum at one of their churches to discus the idea. I look forward to having a conversation there with all who are interested.”