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California Briefing / Pasadena

Judge bars release of two officers' names

March 31, 2009|Victoria Kim

A Superior Court judge granted a temporary restraining order Monday barring the Pasadena Police Department from releasing the names of two officers who shot and killed an alleged gang member last month.

The city's police union and the two officers, identified in the complaint as John Doe and James Roe, filed a lawsuit Monday seeking the order. The officers fired 11 shots at Leroy Barnes, 37, during a traffic stop Feb. 19, according to the department.

The department scheduled a news conference for this afternoon and had notified the officers Friday of their intent to make their names public, said attorney Richard Shinee, who is representing the union. Police spokeswoman Janet Pope Givens said the department would not identify the officers but would go forward with the briefing.

In the lawsuit, attorneys for the officers said there have been threats of gang retaliation for Barnes' death since the shooting, citing a police informant and graffiti near the scene. Barnes was an active member of the local Blood-affiliated gang, the Pasadena Denver Lane, according to the lawsuit.

The department originally said Barnes, who was riding in the back seat of the car, stepped out of the vehicle and fired at the officers. Later, a spokeswoman said Barnes never fired and that he was killed during a struggle over the gun inside the car.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has called for an independent investigation of the incident.

-- Victoria Kim

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