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Hearing held in Pinnock Beating

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Assemblymembers Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, Bonnie Lowenthal and Reginald Jones-Sawyer convene at Assembly Select Committee on Mental and Behavior Health in response to the July 1, 2014 CHP beating of pedestrian Marlene Pinnock. (Photo Credit: Kenneth D. Miller)

Assemblymembers Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and Reginald Jones-Sawyer Respond to Marlene Pinnock CHP Freeway Beating

By Kenneth D. Miller
Special to the NNPA from the Los Angeles Sentinel

Brotherhood Crusade Chairman, Los Angeles Sentinel and Los Angeles Watts Times Publisher Danny J. Bakewell, Sr.’s demand for an independent hearing into the California Highway Patrol officer Santa Monica Freeway beating of Marlene Pinnock was held on Tuesday, July 20, at Southern Missionary Baptist Church in West Los Angeles.

Bakewell held a press conference several weeks ago requesting that an independent investigation into the July 1 beating of the middle aged pedestrian whom the white CHP officer pummeled.

This week Assemblymembers Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and Reginald Jones-Sawyer heard public testimony from behavioral and mental health experts and law enforcement officials examining police protocols and procedures for interactions with mentally ill persons.

“We are trying to make sure that folks are clear their government is responsive to the needs of those who are concerned about safety,” Ridley-Thomas told the Los Angeles Watts Times prior to the hearing.

He explained that the community advocacy piece is the reason why the hearing was being held.
“If it wasn’t for community groups of strong and engaged guidance such as Mr. Danny Bakewell in particular, then we would not be having this conversation,” Ridley-Thomas stated.

Assemblymember Ridley-Thomas said, “What brings us here today is the July 1stbeating of a woman who may have been suffering from a mental health episode or crisis and the series of events that led her to have a violent interaction with a California Highway patrolman. Our purpose today is to examine the entirety of the systems and structures in place within California to find the point where levels of law enforcement, persons with mental illnesses, and providers of mental health services intersect.”

Assembly member Jones-Sawyer said, “We’ve spent the last two years trying to correct two generations of public policy that criminalized persons suffering from mental illness. It’s time for California to get smart about crime prevention, mental health intervention, and behavioral health rehabilitation,” said Assembly Member Jones-Sawyer.

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