LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The ACLU of Southern California supports the announcement today by Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian that the county's Office of Independent Review will conduct an independent investigation into the fatal shooting of Leroy Barnes Jr. during a Feb. 19 traffic stop. The announcement accompanied the Pasadena Police Department's briefing to the community on the department's own investigation into the Barnes shooting, which concluded that the officers were justified in their actions.

"This tragic shooting has sparked substantial controversy in the community, and an independent investigation is a step in the right direction," said Michelle White, president of the ACLU/SC's Pasadena-Foothills Chapter. "We hope that the OIR will be able to answer concerns that have been raised by the community about this incident, and help bring resolution and healing to Leroy Barnes' family and the city of Pasadena.'

Added Peter Bibring, Staff Attorney for the ACLU/SC: "Conducting an outside review of a fatal police shooting is just good policy. Investigators from the same department may know the area, but they also may have worked for years alongside the officers they're investigating. An outside, independent investigation helps assure the community that the investigation is fair and thorough. We will pay close attention to the OIR's progress and results as it looks into this tragic incident.'