Photo courtesy of Alice S. Hall / NBCU Photo Bank
The South Pasadena City Council acknowledged the recent officer-involved shooting that resulted in the death of actress Vanessa Marquez Wednesday, September 18. Council members also heard from members of the South Pasadena community who voiced concerns about the shooting and the city’s response to the incident.
“On behalf of the city council, we would like to express our condolences to all who knew Vanessa Marquez,” Mayor Richard D. Schneider said. “We are a small town and a tight knit community. Regardless of the circumstances, a loss of a member in our community affects us all.”
Acting Chief of Police Brian Solinsky followed this with the current police report of the shooting. According to Solinsky, the officer who shot Marquez was placed under administrative leave and into counseling, but has now returned to active duty. Solinsky also asked for the public’s full cooperation while the investigation of the shooting continues.
Community members voiced their concerns and suggestions surrounding the officer-involved shooting in the public comment section of the meeting. Residents of the community advocated for further discipline on the officer who fired the shots and the implementation of a crisis team to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. Friends of Marquez protested against the city for misrepresenting her in media and not taking the right course of action.
“Vanessa’s story is being defined by the unnecessarily violent incident that took her life,”, Minerva Garcia, a close friend of Marquez, said. “Why did [the city] send the police department for a welfare check and not a social worker? What she needed was social services.”
Councilmembers preferred not to comment on the officer-involved shooting until the facts of the case were made certain by the ongoing investigation being performed by the district attorney’s office and the LA County Sheriff’s department. According to City Manager Stephanie DeWolfe, the investigation will take 6 to 12 months to complete.